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  1. #1
    Member Matt-liquid's Avatar
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    Post Training for one-arm chins

    Training for one-arm chins



    The following training method was developed by Jasper Benincasa, who was famous among hard-core Brooklyn strongmen for his legendary feats of strength. His method worked not just for youth, but as I found out 6 years ago when I regained one arm chins, also for a man in his 50's.

    The basic approach is a one-arm comedown. A comedown is, with a one-handed grip, lowering yourself from a position with your chin above the bar to a position with your arm in a dead hang. This must be done in a controlled fashion, smoothly and slowly.

    Don't begin comedowns until you can do about 20 chins. Even then, for most, it is very hard, especially near the bottom. But near the bottom is key, because for most, breaking the bottom lock is the hardest part of a one-arm chin.



    Alternate One-Arm Comedowns



    Comedowns are alternated, right and left hand, in sets from 2 to 12 repetitions. This equalizes right and left arms, and helps minimize injury. I'll now describe the comedown exercise.



    1. Hang directly under a chinning bar, facing the north end of the chinning bar. But unlike the normal chinning grip, both palms are facing each other on opposite sides of the bar. The pinky of your clenched right hand should be adjacent to the thumb of your clenched left hand. Your body will be perpendicular to the bar.



    2. Pull up, using both arms, raising your chin to the left side of the bar. When your chin is over the bar, let go with your left hand, and extend it to the right to help your balance - your body will rotate slightly clockwise. Generally speaking, as you lower yourself, your left arm returns to the left. This balance, which you begin learning now, is very important for one-arm chins. Lower yourself at a constant pace, slowly, about 8 to 12 seconds from the top to a dead hang at the bottom. Most likely this will not occur when you first start practicing this routine, but you will slowly improve.



    3. When you reach the bottom, with your right arm fully extended, and not before, reach up with your left hand and grip the bar, once again with your palms facing each other, but now with your left pinky adjacent to the thumb of your right hand. Once again your body is perpendicular to the bar. Pull up, using both arms, now raising your chin to the right side of the bar. When your chin is over the bar, let go with your right hand, extend it to the left - your body will rotate slightly counter-clockwise. Lower yourself with your left hand, similar to the right hand comedown. If you want to follow with a right hand comedown, at the bottom grip the bar with the pinky of your right hand adjacent to the thumb of your left hand.

    When you can do 2 or 3 sets of 12 one-arm alternates very strongly, you should start to try chinning with one arm. Surprisingly, 2 sets of 8 worked for me in my 50's.


    Trying a one-arm chin


    Good technique will help you do a one-arm chin. As you get better, you can overpower it, but technique can help a great deal, especially to get your first one.



    Technique for a right hand one-arm chin



    1. Start by hanging beneath the bar with 2 arms, palms facing each other, as in #1 above. Let go with your left hand. Basically, what you want to do is pull like your life depended on it, and keep your balance by rotating your body clockwise, but not too much. Easier said than done because so much of your focus is on pulling! Simultaneously with pulling, as soon as you let go of the bar with your left hand:

    A: Extend your left hand and arm to the right across your chest.

    B: Rotate your head to the right-clockwise.

    C: Rotate your left hip slightly to the right by raising your left leg to the right.

    D: As you're pulling, keep the elbow of your right hand as close to your body as possible.



    Practicing one-arm alternate comedowns develops the strength and technique to do one-arm chins. As a youth, many got their first one arm chin within 6 months to a year of practice. It took me almost three years, starting in my early 50's. Be patient.



    It's best to practice on a long, narrow chinning bar, with room on both sides of the bar. Unfortunately, such bars are rare these days. Using chalk is essential because you'll need a very good grip for both comedowns and one-arm chins. In order to do alternates you need room on both sides of the bar. While doing alternates, your body moves away from the end of the bar you're facing to the other end. If the bar is short, or the number of repetitions brings you to the other end of the bar, you run out space. The best way to solve this problem is:

    1. At the bottom of a lefty comedown, do not grab the bar with your right hand on the right side of the bar(as you usually do). Instead, let your body rotate clockwise, and then grab the bar with the right hand on the same side of the bar as the left hand. Immediately, let go with the left hand, and re-grip on the other side of the bar, adjacent to the right hand and continue by pulling up with both for a righty comedown.

    You must learn to fine tune your training. Chinning with weight, adding weights to comedowns, and one-arm pull downs on a lat machine may be helpful. These methods also give you a way to see progress until you can finally do a one-arm chin.

    Jasper Benincasa developed alternate one-arm chins as the center of his exercise regimen. That is, chinning up with 1 arm, but letting down with two arms, alternating right and left.

    If you email me at jackarn@rcn.com I'd be happy to answer any questions.
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  2. #2
    Registered User The Greg's Avatar
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    wowza

    im too weak to try that
    but very very descriptiev!
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  3. #3
    Member Matt-liquid's Avatar
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    i v been doing it for about a week now and my strength has increased and for some reason every muscle in my body is getting hit. Even my obliques are getting hit. in about 6 months time i hope to be able to do at least 1 or 2.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Fight Club's Avatar
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    Great post Matt, I'm gonna give it a try. That's one of my goals, to be able to do tons of one arm pushups, one arm chins and pull-ups. I want mad strength.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Fight Club's Avatar
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    How many days a week would you recommend doing this?
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  6. #6
    Member Matt-liquid's Avatar
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    I do it when ever i got any energy. Bout every other day.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member TTT's Avatar
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    Talking

    was reading this at home & decided to give 'em a shot. tried the comedowns for 6 reps on each arm (pretty brutal), rested about 10 mins, then from a hanging position proceeded to get 2 reps (nose to bar) w/ my right arm & 1 1/2 reps w/ my left. don't think i'll be trying them again anytime soon as i'd imagine the risk of tearing a bicep is extremely high.
    What one of my fellow co-workers says to some random guy who's watching me curse out passing motorists & throw empty water bottles at at various people in the gym parking lot...

    "Mike's really a nice guy in the gym, but when he gets outside it's like he goes to war & everyone's the enemy..."

    (sorry str8, they made me do it)
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  8. #8
    Member Matt-liquid's Avatar
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    as long as u do them slow and controled u wont tear a bicep. They will lengthen u r bicep though.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Aetolos's Avatar
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    I can do one armed pull-ups :-D (And not that cheap grab your wrist with your hand that isn't on the bar stuff.)
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  10. #10
    Registered User Zen_Lifter's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Matt-liquid
    They will lengthen u r bicep though.
    right...yah thats it
    "Change is Inevitable, Progress Isn't"
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