T Nation

Rope Chins

Has anyone ever tried chinups while gripping onto two towels draped over the bar? If not try them there unreal!! My questions is when I get into my later sets my body starts to twist to the right. Does this mean my left lat is weaker than my right? Also I noticed that my right lat is larger than my left and its not just in my head. Does anyone have any suggestions? Please help fellas!!

Towel chinups do rock, don’t they? I certainly fatigue a lot faster with them. 10-12, and I’m out. Strange thing is, it doesn’t feel like my grip is failing me, I just can’t do anymore. Wierd.

Regarding the lat imbalance, I don’t know for sure, but if there is a size advantage on one side, and you’re rotating in that direction, it’s definately possible there is a correlating strength imbalance. I’d imagine the prescription for fixing it would be lots of unilateral back work. (ie, DB row variations, mixed-grip chinups with the majority of the stress on the side you’re working, particularly in the eccentric, etc.)

Are you lifting in the northern hemisphere? Thought so. If you were below the equator, you’d be twisting to the left. Happens all the time.

Not sure about why you start twisting. The only time I do that is when doing Commando Chinups, and I think it’s because the grip is so close that it’s hard to keep the body straight when chinning up to either side of the bar. As for towel chins, they are awesome. Even though I don’t have a strong grip or big forearms, I never had to stop due to that. Like Ike, I usually just got to a point where I couldn’t do anymore!

Try this. Pull-up to one side then to the other. This creates a sea-saw motion that forces the side you are pull to to do more work. The sea-saw motion also can held you squeeze out a few more reps. You can vary how you preform this side to side pull-up. All to one side, alternatin sides with sets, 2 for 1. Well you get it, there are quite a few variations. Best of Luck.

Looks like your body favors one side when you approach failure. Could be a muscle imbalance. I think its when times of high intensity when you see muscle imbalances.

Yeah, I first noticed the phenomenom when car pushing. It would always steer to the right. I finally learned how to compensate. Trouble is, when I competed in Australia, the car would ZING off to the left.

Note: I have never competed, nor been to Australia.

Actually, it was Nate Dogg who posted about commando chins, but knowing Nate, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what he’s talking about. In American English, we have a slang phrase: “going commando”. Ever seen that episode of Friends? Well, commando chins are when you do chin-ups while going commando. They’re kind of fun…but if you’re already having swing problems then I don’t really recommend them, as the commando style actually tends toincrease swing rather than the opposite.


Nate, did I get that right?

you might want to check to make sure one of your shoulders isn’t rising as you come up… if so, consider some stability work for the scapula and and strength training for the scapular retractors. Though Ian King might not like it, I think unstable training is great for muscular imbalances.

One last thought… it’s kinda a long shot, but consider seeing if you’re tighter in one quadratus lumborum than the other… this may be affecting your hip alignment and, subsequently, your muscular recruitment.

great exercise for the grip and I use two towels around a chin up bar. I also like doing towel curls, by looping a towel through a kettlebell.

Char-dawg, I haven’t seen that episode of Friends, nor do I know the term “going commando” but you are correct in saying that the style of commando chins does tend to increase the swing! “You ain’t got that thing, if you ain’t got that swing!”