T Nation

One-arm chins and strength

Hello,
I would like to start training for a one-armed chin and in “researching” about this subject there seems to be some good ways to do this:

a) performing one-arm pulldowns

b) doing a regular chin; controlling the negative portion of the
movement by using one arm only.

c) doing heavy chins, bw+ x amount of added weight. This could obviously also be done in the same fasion as alternative b.

Can I please have your comments and experiences on this topic and the training methods I just mentioned? That would be greatly appreciated!

…and if someone can perform one or more one-arm chins, could you tell me about your other lifts( i.e deadlift, bench, regular chins) so I can put things in perspective here? Obviously, one would have to be furiously strong to perform this valiant feat!

Aside from what you have already mentioned, you can drape a towel over the bar and grip the towel with your off hand. Try to do a chin with the hand that is on the bar and use the towel hand as needed to help get you to the top.

Try a mixed grip chin-up. This is of course one hand pronated and one hand supinated. Obviously your going to swap from set to set. Then you can graduated to a much more nasty version of this. Grap the bar with one hand I suggest a supinated grip, and with the other hand grab the wrist of the first hand. As you progress in strength more your hand down your arm. Again alternating set to set. Have fun. :slight_smile:

According to something that T-Mag (Poliquin, I think) wrote a while back, only one person in 10,000 has the genetic potential to do a one-arm chin. (Not that that should keep you from trying…) So “furiously strong” might be understating the case a bit. :slight_smile:


I’ve only seen one guy in my life who could do them (this guy could manage about 6-7), and it did look slightly surreal, like he had an invisible harness on and was being pulled up a wire or something. He was a top British rock-climber, had some size but was just unbelievably cut. Obviously a superior genetic specimen.