6 Bodyweight Exercises to Build Your Chin-up Strength 

Everyone knows how difficult it is to perform a perfect chin-up perfectly. It is definitely one of the hardest exercises out there.

However, do not worry; there is no need to get intimidated. You can easily master the chin-up with a little consistency and some bodyweight exercises.

What is a chin-up exercise?

A chin-up is a complex exercise that engages several muscular groups in the upper body. It helps to train and strengthen the muscles of the biceps and latissimus dorsi, popularly known as lats.

Importance of chin-ups in your workout

There are many benefits of including chin-ups in your strengthening workout. Some of these benefits are listed below:

  • Chin-ups are a great way to build your upper body strength and train your back muscles.
  • Chin-ups also aid in building strength in your grip.
  • These exercises help train your forearm muscles which can, in turn, strengthen your grip.

Chin-ups engage many muscle groups in your upper body and even engage your core. They primarily activate your lats and biceps, but they also engage your deltoids, rhomboids, and core. These are the muscles that must be strengthened.

In this article, we have listed six of the best bodyweight exercises to build your chin-up strength. Before we get to the list, we need to clarify what bodyweight exercises are and whether they are enough to build strength in your muscles.

Bodyweight exercises are resistance workouts that employ a person’s own weight to produce resistance against the gravitational pull. They can help improve strength, power, endurance and balance.

Now, if you’re wondering if bodyweight exercises alone will be enough to build the strength you need for chin-ups, the answer is yes, they are. Bodyweight exercises can be a useful complement to your fitness regimen.

6 bodyweight exercises that will help you build your chin-up strength

The following bodyweight exercises can help build up strength in your upper body and back muscles without any weights or machines:

1) Hollow hold

This is a flat floor exercise. It is a great way to mimic chin-ups while lying on the floor.

This exercise engages your core and back muscles. It helps you maintain a proper pull-up posture.


Here’s how to do a hollow hold correctly:

  • Lie down on your back on the floor, with your arms stretched by your face.
  • Raise your head, arms, and legs to an angle of 45 degrees with the ground, holding your core.
  • Extend your arms and legs toward your center while remaining stable, pausing when they are perpendicular to the floor. Hold the position for five seconds.
  • Return to step 2’s starting point and continue the process.
  • Do four sets of five reps.

2) High plank

The plank has always been an effective exercise for core and upper body strength. By incorporating high planks into your workout routine, you can easily train your body to do chin-ups effectively.

In this exercise, you will be supporting your own weight on your arms while keeping a stable core.


Here’s how to do a high plank correctly:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees somewhat behind your hips.
  • Push up from your toes to straighten your legs, forming a straight line from your head to your feet while bracing your core. Keep your back straight.
  • Hold for a few seconds until your form begins to shake.
  • Do four sets of the exercise.

3) Dead hang

This exercise is exactly what it sounds like. To do it, you need to hang from a rod. One of the many benefits of this exercise is building strength and resilience in your arms. It also helps to relax the spine and stretch it out.


Here’s how to do the dead hang correctly:

  • Make use of a safe overhead bar.
  • Use an overhand grip.
  • Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your arms.
  • Hang on to the bar.
  • For beginners, 10 seconds are enough. Slowly and gradually, you can work your way up to 45 seconds to one minute.

4) Assisted Pull-up

You can look at assisted pull-ups as your first step towards a full unassisted chin-up.

Assisted pull-ups are a great strength-training exercise that works the muscles in your chest, shoulders, arms, abs, and behind.


Here’s how to do an assisted pull-up correctly:

  • To make a hanging loop, wrap a resistance band around the bar.
  • Using an overhand grip, position yourself on the pull-up bar.
  • Put your knees or your feet in the band.
  • Raise your body to the highest point you can.
  • Return to the starting position gradually.

5) Negative Pull-ups

Negative pull-ups concentrate on the lower half of a pull-up, the part where you lower yourself.

They are a popular strategy to increase strength for full pull-ups because they only include the lowering component of the exercise.


Here’s how to do a negative pull-up correctly:

  • Begin by raising your chin above the bar.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and activate them.
  • Slowly lower your body, activating the muscles in your back and shoulders.
  • You should finish your dead hang with your arms completely extended overhead once you’ve lowered yourself.

6) Lat pull-down

This move is very similar to a pull-up because it also engages your back muscles. However, in this exercise, you’re sitting on the floor, so it’s much easier for beginners.

Here’s how to do a lat pull-down correctly:

  • Wrap a resistance band around a bar and hang it from the ceiling. Sit on the floor with one hand gripping either side.
  • Pull your hands down to your chest and slowly release the band to raise your arms above.
  • Do 20 reps of this.


While these bodyweight exercises are a great way to build your chin-up strength, it does take some time to completely master chin-ups, especially if you are a beginner.

Remember to stay consistent and consume a healthy diet to help you reach your fitness goals.

Q. Have you ever tried any of these

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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