To get better at performing chinups, you need to do more chinups. It would be best if you actually did the thing, which some people miss. But when doing more doesn’t improve performance, it’s time to train smart. This is where these four chinup accessory exercises come in.

Chinups are one of the best performance indicators of your relative body strength. What is relative strength? It’s the strength you can lift compared to your body weight. You have improved your relative strength by doing six chinups instead of five.

Plus, chinups give you wings and build serious upper back strength.

Just in case you forgot, upper-back strength and muscle play a critical role in good technique in your bench press and keeping a neutral spine with squatting and deadlifting. Here we’ll dive into what’s needed for good chinup form and four accessory exercises to improve your chinup performance.

What’s Needed For Good Chinup Form

I’ve been fortunate to be able to do chinups from an early age because I didn’t weigh much, but other bigger people struggle. IMO, it should be a goal for every gym-goer to be able to perform chinups, no matter your size, because relative strength matters. Here are a few big rock attributes needed for chinups.

  • Grip Strength: Because your entire body weight is being held in your hands because you’re hanging vertically, if you cannot grip it, you cannot rip it.
  • Thoracic Mobility: Extending your thoracic (upper back and chest) spine allows you to better engage your upper back and lats. You can do chinups with rounded shoulders and poor posture, but it could be better.
  • Core Strength: Chinups are not often thought of as a core exercise, but your anterior core engages to keep your lower body still and your lower back in neutral. Plus, it allows your larger back muscles to do their job. If the core is weak, so is the pull.
  • Relative Strength: There are two types of strength, absolute strength, the total amount you can lift, and relative strength, what you can lift compared to your body weight. Good relative strength is essential to perform multiple chinup reps.

4 Chinup Accessory Exercise to Improve Performance

Doing more chinups will only get you so far, which is where chinup accessory exercises come in. Accessory exercises strengthen your weak point and strengthen your strengths as well. Both will improve performance, and these four exercises do just that.