The pullup bar doesn’t have to just be a spot for boring, stale reps. Give yourself some room to goof off (safely, of course) by taking on this bodyweight routine with more intention than just getting ripped—which, of course, will also be a byproduct of your workout.
Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. isn’t too uptight to enjoy his workout with this inchwork chinup challenge. “This move channels the jungle gym fun you had as a little kid with a little purpose,” he says. That purpose will be training your back and biceps while honing your forearms and grip strength for good measure.
To perform the move, all you need is a sturdy pullup bar.
- Start on one end of a pullup bar, gripping the bar with an underhand (supinated) grip with your hands shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your biceps and shoulder blades together and pull your chin over the bar to do 1 rep.
- When you descend from the rep, shift one hand over so you move into a wide-grip chinup, then do a rep.
- Descend and shift your other arm back into position for a shoulder-width chinup.
- If you’re working on a smaller bar, work back and forth, rather than moving across the bar.
Your arms and shoulders are getting a ton of good work, but your grip strength should also reap the benefits of this routine. “Pullups and chinups have always provided some measure of grip training; now, at the bottom of every rep, for a moment, you’re supporting your entire bodyweight on one forearm,” says Samuel. “That adds up over the course of a single set to some solid forearm work.”
Your abs should feel the burn too, if you’re keeping the right posture. “You should be in tight hollow body position, working to keep your shoulders and hips as square as possible, says Samuel. “That means you’ll need to correct for lateral movement and momentum from each grip change between each rep. That’s going to force your rhomboids and rotator cuff tendons to work overtime, and it’ll mean a solid, tight core.”
Try moving across the bar over 8 to 10 reps, depending on how much surface area you have to work with. If you’re working on a smaller bar, that may mean you’re going to do 3 to 4 reps to the left, then 3 to 4 reps going to the right. Do 4 sets total, moving in opposite directions across your span at the start of each set.
By Brett Williams