Here’s a variation of the pull/chin-up you can try!
Here’s one for advanced lifters only. The sternum chin-up was first introduced by Vince Gironda many moons ago. Why haven’t you ever seen it performed in your gym? Because most people simply can’t do it. It’s that tough.
This variation of the chin-up involves leaning back throughout the entire movement. The lower portion of the chest is what will actually touch the bar. You can use either a supinated or pronated grip, and the grip can vary from narrow to shoulder-width (the latter being more indicated for the stronger trainee).
Charles Poliquin explains the lift:
“As you pull yourself to the bar, have your head lean back as far away from the bar as possible and arch your spine throughout the movement. At the upper end of the movement, your hips and legs will be at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. You should keep pulling until your collarbone passes the bar and your sternum touches it. By the time you’ve completed the concentric (lifting) portion of the movement, your head will be parallel to the floor.”
This exercise works more than just the lats. It also creates a great overload on the scapular retractors. The beginning of the movement, however, is more like a classical chin, while the midrange resembles a pullover motion. Finally, the end position duplicates the finishing motion of a rowing movement.
In other words, yes, you’re gonna be hurtin’ for a few days after you try this one.