How to Build Up Your Chin Up

Have you ever set a chin up (or pull up) goal for yourself but eventually fell short because it seemed too difficult or tedious? Do you watch videos of people doing chin ups and wonder how they “make it look so easy”?

If this sounds like you, you’re far from alone–plenty of people want to become better at chin ups. Majority of their success (and yours), comes from how you choose to approach the task. Simply attempting to do chin ups from a dead hang position is not your best bet here.

Make sure to start at a dead hang, as seen here.

That being said, there are various ways in which you can develop a better chin up. One of our go-to methods here at Upfit is the assisted chin up. The assisted chin up is great because it not only allows you to work through the entire range of the motion, but it also requires a good deal of core strength to do the exercise effectively.

One big variable in this exercise is the degree of tension in the resistance band you choose. Needless to say, the tighter the band, the more assistance it will offer & the easier the chin up will be. You want to find a happy medium in terms of resistance–not too easy but not extremely difficult…realistically you want to aim for 12-15 reps for this exercise.

Getting your chin completely above the bar allows you to reach the full range of motion.

Once the band is secured above your pull up bar you will start by putting either one or two feet in the loop of the band and allow yourself to drop enough so that your arms become fully extended.


From there you will brace your core and begin your chin up, finishing when the chin is completely above the bar & your shoulder blades are drawn down and your upper back is fully engaged. It’s important to note here that each rep should end in the dead hang position, arms fully extended.


After you have the proper form down & understand the full range of the motion, you’ll want to aim for 12-15 reps and 3-4 sets. Once you have hit that rep/ set range successfully for 3-5 weeks, depending on your frequency, you can begin to lower your resistance and eventually build up to body weight chin ups.

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