How To: Practice chin ups on a Smith machine

Practice chin ups on a Smith machine

Learn how to do chin ups on a Smith machine. Presented by Real Jock Gay Fitness Health & Life.

We'd all like to be able to bust out a set of chin-ups, but the reality is that many of us have to work up to it. This exercise introduces the chin-up and makes it manageable until you can move on to the unassisted version.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Set the bar on the Smith machine rack at head height (you can also use a squat rack if you don't have access to a Smith machine). Stand facing the Smith machine and grasp the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart and your palms facing toward you.

1. From the starting position, squat down until your legs are bent and your arms are nearly extended as if you were hanging directly beneath the bar, as you would for an unassisted pull-up.
2. Keeping your toes on the floor, slowly pull yourself directly upward in a chin-up. Use your feet to "spot" yourself, but try to put as little weight on them as possible. In a perfect-form chin-up, your neck will stay in line with your spine as you lift your chest toward the bar, retracting your shoulder blades down and back. This form also helps ensure you are using your back muscles for the movement instead of your shoulders and biceps. At the top of your lift, your chin should be just above the bar.
3. Lower yourself back to the squat position, feet light on the floor, and repeat for a full set of 12 chin-ups.

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