Gym Shorts: The Negative Chin Up

New to the negative chin up or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

The Negative Chin Up

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps:

  • Palms facing you
  • Feet on the ground or a stable surface
  • Jump
  • Pause at the top
  • Slowly lower yourself down
  • Take about 3 seconds to lower yourself down
  • Hold your breath at the top
  • Tight abs
  • Legs slightly forward

The negative chin up is a movement we use to help people attain their first bodyweight chin up. The concentric (up) portion is completed with a jump, but the lifter slowly lowers herself or himself down to work the eccentric (down) portion of the chin up.

Program negative chin ups for people who have access to a chin up bar and want to work toward their first bodyweight chin up. Typically, these people alternate these and banded or assisted chins ups. These two chin up variations–with consistency and time–will lead to a lifter’s first bodyweight chin up.

We tend to program these for intermediate and advanced lifters, but if a late novice who really wants to get his or first chin up can do these as well.

We often program these for more sets but fewer reps. A typical scheme is to first do 6 singles every 30 seconds to 2 minutes. You work up to 10 singles and then return to 6 doubles. After you work up to 10 doubles you lower to 6 triples and work up to 10 triples. Typically, a lifter often finds he or she can perform his or her first chin up after this, though we can add reps and stress as needed.

Perform these after your main lifts on a 3-day split and after your press and bench press slots on a 4-day split.

If you want to complete your first chin up or pull up but can’t, try some negatives to train the eccentric portion of the lift and accomplish your first chin up.

Click HERE to see a technique tutorial for the chin up and HERE to learn more about the process for getting to your first bodyweight chin up (or pull up).

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