Chin Ups


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Chin Ups

One of the Best Exercises for Building Strength in the Arms and Upper Back Muscles and a True Test of Functional Strength

Welcome to our Chin Ups Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this compound body weight exercise using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other weight training exercises so you can immediately add to your Bicep Workouts, Back Workouts, and other Weight Training Programs.

Have you seen our Best Bicep Exercises list yet? How about our Best Back Exercises? See if this compound exercise made either list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Chin Ups
Main Muscle: Biceps
Secondary Muscle(s): Forearms, Lats, Upper Back
Exercise Type: Pull, Compound
Equipment Required: Pull Up Bar

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This Compound Exercise is one of our Body Weight Exercises and earned top honors as our Best Bicep Exercises list.

“Chins” are one of the most basic and effective exercises for gaining muscle mass and losing body fat as you’re forced to use several muscle groups and curl the weight of your heavy body. If you’ve been struggling to build big biceps, it’s probably because you’re concentrating on 30lb Concentration Curls rather than going heavy. Check out our Building Big Arms How to Article for more info.

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Grasp the chin up bar with a shoulder-width supinated (underhand/palms facing up) grip and let your body hang from the bar with your arms straight.
  2. Slowly pull yourself up so that your chin is higher than the bar.
  3. With a controlled movement lower yourself to the starting position.


  1. Keep your feet in line with your torso throughout the exercise.
  2. Fully extend your arms at the bottom of the exercise before moving to another repetition.
  3. Hold a dumbbell between your feet for additional resistance.


Check out these other popular body weight exercises:

  • Climber Pull Ups
  • Gironda Sternum Chinups
  • Narrow Parallel Grip Chinups

Other Pages of Interest:

Now that you’ve seen Chin Ups, which primarily targets your biceps, check out all of our different Bicep Exercises.

Or, view our Back Exercises Main Page, which links directly to our Lat Exercises as well as our Lower Back Exercises, and Upper Back Exercises.

Final Related Pages:

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