Weighted chin ups are the exercise that can build your chest, shoulders, back, biceps, forearms all in one movement! Your t-shirt will soon be filled with superhero like muscles as you get stronger and bigger!
Even if getting bigger isn’t your goal, advanced chin ups like these can help you get stronger as you get leaner which is one of the key indicators of a successful diet.
and pull ups are no longer a challenge then adding weight to your chin up training is the next logical progression.
Why Should You Do Weighted Chin Ups?
Weighted chin ups have all the benefits of their bodyweight counterpart and more, here are some additional benefits unique to the weighted version:
- Build Biceps Without Direct Bicep Exercise – During my
fat burning workout plan
I ignored direct bicep training and focussed on weighted chin ups instead. My biceps are now bigger than they ever have been!
- More Intensity Than Bicep Exercises – You are lifting your entire bodyweight using your back and biceps. You wouldn’t be able to lift your bodyweight, say 180 lbs in any bicep exercise
- Overall Strength Gains – You will get stronger everywhere else in your body. Heavy chinning has a big impact on hormones and the biological processes that force your body to adapt
- Improve In Other Exercises – My total strength went up and I got stronger in the bench press, overhead press and just about every other upper body movement
- Bodyweight Becomes A Breeze! – Weighted chin ups allowed me to be able to knock out 10-20 bodyweight chin ups easily. I’m now always ready for a
pull up workout
How Do You Do Weighted Chin Ups?
Weighted chin ups are easy to do, the execution of them in the same as their regular bodyweight equivalent.
I covered how to perform chin ups in
Do Chin Ups For Increased Upper Body Strength
so go there if you need a refresher.
Rather than repeat myself in this article, were going to look at the unique aspects of weighted chins so you know what to expect and you can be confident going into your workouts.
How Do You Add Weight Safely?
There are a number of ways to add resistance to this exercise; I’ll start with my favourite which is using a weighted belt.
Using A Weighted Belt
I’m not sure why I bought a weighted belt, maybe it was because it looked like something I could hold above my head and relieve my childhood re-enacting the Wrestlemania videos I watched so much!
Whatever the reason, it was hands down the best purchase I’ve ever made and its contributed more to my development than any supplement or workout plan.
I use the belt can be used for chin ups, pull ups and
weighted tricep dips
so it’s been a versatile training aid.
Using the belt is very simple; firstly you need to get the weight plates you want to add to the movement. The belt has a clip similar to those that secure attachments to exercise machines like lat pulldowns, unclip the attachment to release the chain.
Squat down and keep the weights between your knees with the belt around your lower back. Run the chain through the centre of the plates and then clip the attachment securely.
Stand up slowly, the belt should be secured by the weight and feel like it won’t slip off your lower back. The chain will be running down your groin with the plates in-between your legs.
The length of the chain means the plates will stay out of range of your manly bits (especially if you’re female!) but still try move slowly or you’ll hurt yourself.
Do your sets as normal, when the set is over simply return to the squatted position and unclip the weight.
Using A Dumbbell
In the absence of a weighted belt, a dumbbell can be held between your feet instead.
You can do this with a reasonable amount of weight but it starts to get painful pretty soon so it’s really only an option at the beginning of your weighted chin up workouts.
I always found that as the weights got heavier I’d be too busy focussing on not dropping the weight rather than actually focussing on my chin ups!
If you do decide to try weighted chin ups with a dumbbell I recommend you have a platform to rest the dumbbell on.
This will elevate the dumbbell so it’s higher up, when you’re hanging from the bar you’ll be able to secure it between your feet easily.
Any raised platform will be fine provided It’s stable, here’s what I use:
Using A Loaded Backpack
One for guys and girls that workout at home…
You can strap a backpack to your back to get you started, heavy books, rocks, even small weight plates will fit inside a backpack.
You could even do your chin ups outside using a climbing frame, a sturdy tree or door frame and get the benefits of weighted chins without having to visit the gym!
One word of caution…make sure the backpack is strong enough to take the strain!
I’d also add that like the dumbbell between the feet method, this is only really feasible for beginners who are starting to add weight to their chin ups.
Once you get strong enough to pull 30 or 40 lbs on top of your bodyweight you’ll need a weighted belt to ensure safety.
I hope this guide has helped you figure out how you can add some weight to your chin ups. The method doesn’t matter, what matters is that you start doing weighted chin ups regularly.
Get good at this exercise as it truly is one of the best and your new body is a step closer every time you strap some weight around you and get chining!
Need a Chin Up Bar?
Check out my guide to the best pull up bars for effective home workouts: