How to Use a Pull-Up Bar to Get a Stronger Chest

How to Use a Pull-Up Bar to Get a Stronger Chest

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Turning your palms inward targets the chest muscles more directly.

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Although traditional pullups do not actively work the muscles in your chest, you can still use a pullup bar to strengthen your pectoral muscles. Chin-up exercises require you to modify your grip, which helps to recruit the two muscles in your chest, the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. As always, talk to your doctor before trying out any new exercise, especially if you have a prior health injury or condition.


Stand beneath the pullup bar and grasp the bar with your palms facing you and your thumbs completely wrapped around the bar.


Bend your elbows and lift your body upward until your chin or chest touches the bar.


Pause and squeeze your pectoral muscles for a few seconds.


Lower your body back to the starting position and allow your elbows to straighten completely.


Repeat for a total of 12 repetitions. Add another set as your chest strength improves.


Vary your workout to keep your chest muscles growing. For example, wear a weight belt, widen your hand position or do one-handed chin ups.


  • For best results, tighten your abdominal muscles as you pull up to help stabilize your spine. Keep your head in line with your spine and your shoulders pulled down and back at all times.


  • Never lock your elbows when straightening your arms, which puts pressure on your elbow joints and can lead to injury like tendinitis. Do not arch your back while you do chinups. Although this can make the exercise a little easier, it reduces the tension on your chest muscles and can lead to back injury.