Chin-Up Challenge
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Workout Wednesday: Chin-Up Challenge

We want to get YOU involved and get a quick view of how dedicated the readership really is!

I put together a small challenge to see who is ready to step up. The results should be a good motivator to get more lacrosse athletes into the weight room to start training with an eye on functional ability.

So, without any further pandering, here is the first ever LaxAllStars Chin-Up Challenge.

The Objective

Complete the heaviest 1 rep max weighted chin-up possible!

The Standards

  • Chin-up must be started from a dead hang.
  • Athlete must pull the chin over the level of the hands.
  • Weight must be situated between the feet. This keeps the legs from assisting in helping the chin up, and also challenges the athlete to brace the core (a key component to developing better chin-ups!).
  • Legs must be straight the entire time. No kicking, swinging, or hitching.
  • You can either pick the dumbbell up with your feet, or have a partner place the dumbbell between your feet while you are already hanging. Just make sure you are at a dead hang before beginning your pull.

The Example

Make sure the dumbbell weight is clearly seen and that you are not swinging or moving at the start of the chin-up. There weren’t any dumbbells heavier than 100#, but if I needed to go heavier I could start adding small plates on the top of the dumbbell.

The Reasoning

Chin-ups are a movement every athlete should be able to complete. They have a wide versatility in all sports but are a very underutilized movement by young athletes.

Training the chin-up properly has huge benefits towards improving your game and overall ability as an athlete. Chin-ups help to strengthen the lats, help improve grip strength, and challenge the strength of the arm at high levels of range of motion. Improving these three factors will help not only with your power behind each shot, but it will also set a strong foundation in developing upper back strength and keeping you injury free.

Adding weight to the feet offers a separate but equally important challenge. It not only eliminates any kicking, swinging, or compensatory movement that may aid in achieving a chin-up, but it also forces the athlete to utilize a strong activation of the core musculature to keep the body in alignment.

If your core is weak, this challenge will be certainly prove difficult. You’ll find having to grip the dumbbell almost as hard as the actual chin-up.

Keeping the core engaged in a chin-up is valuable for allowing the movement to have a better full-body transfer. Often, athletes demonstrate a huge bend through the back. Performing chins with better core activation goes a long way towards increasing trunk stability. There are plenty ways to add load to a chin-up, but simply using a dumbbell between the feet has a postural demand associated with it. Belts, chains, or hanging loads can still allow for poor postural mechanics.

Try doing pull-ups with the feet kept in front of the body and you’ll notice a huge difference in the difficulty and overall involvement of the anterior core muscles. Adding these demands to the challenge should make it obvious who the winners will be and hopefully we can see some impressive attempts.

The Prizes

Volt Swag

LaxAllStars and Volt Athletics will be teaming up to give out prize packs full of swag to a randomly chosen top 5 contestants. The winner with the overall heaviest lift will win a Volt Athletics Nike Pro Combat Performance T-shirt!

The Rules

1.  SIGN UP using the handy dandy form below

2. INVITE your friends and teammates to participate and gain an entry for each one that signs up

3. EARN bonus entries by following the instructions on screen

This contest ends at 12:00AM Eastern Time on December 17, 2014. The winners will be announced by 12/18 in our next #WorkoutWednesday post!