One of the coolest things about bodyweight training is that you can do it literally anywhere. With enough creativity you can sculpt a perfectly strong, stable and powerful body using nothing but a few open square feet. However, if you do get the luxury of coming across a chin up bar or an over hanging ledge, I would recommend using it, and using it A LOT!
Muscular/joint balance is key no matter what type of training you prefer. And while you can always do horizontal pushes like PUSH UPS or vertical presses like HANDSTAND PUSH UPS, you have to balance your opposing muscles with some pulls. Horizontal pulls like BODY ROWS or CHIN UPs and PULL UPS! The lat pull down simply does not compare.
So why don’t you see a line of people waiting for their turn on the chin up bar? Because they’re hard! Maybe it’s the flash back to the daunting chin up fitness test from grade school or maybe people just tend to gravitate towards things they are good at (like lat pulldowns). No matter what the reason you’re not doing them, it’s time to start.
But if chins or pull ups aren’t your strong point, check out this video on how to progress your vertical pulling strength from start to finish. This way you can save the embarrassment from using the assisted sissy chin up machine at the gym (which you may see a line for).
We’ve recruited our good friend Matt Pack for the video who is an extremely talented strength coach, nutritional consultant and the owner of Primal Fit Miami. You can find out more about Matt and his unique training styles at www.impackfitness.com
You might also want to check out my four-part series with progressions leading up to the Muscle Up:
- Lead-Up Exercises to the Muscle-Up: PART 1 THE JUMPING MUSCLE-UP
- Lead-Up Exercises to the Muscle-Up: PART 2 THE KIPPING PULL-UP
- Lead-Up Exercises to the Muscle-Up: PART 3: THE MUSCLE-UP DIP