Wide Grip Rings Chins: A Joint-Friendly Way to Do Wide Grip Chin-ups

Posted on by Ben Bruno

First off, Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday week. I did, but I’m ready to back to the grind too.

Today I want to share an exercise that I think you’ll really like: Wide Grip Ring Chins.

I’ve allows loved the way wide grip chin-ups (or pull-ups) feel my lats and upper back, but when I do them on the bar, they usually really piss off my shoulders and wrists. I know a lot of people have had a similar experience, and I’ve also heard complaints that using a wide grip really bugs some peoples’ elbows.

So usually I just avoid them—that is, until I started using the rings.

Using the rings allows for a more natural rotation, so they feel MUCH better. Night and day really. I just wish I’d started doing these sooner.

Here’s what they look like.

Beyond being more joint-friendly, the rings allow for a much better contraction, so these feel freakin’ awesome. When you set the rings up wider than your wingspan it makes it a lot harder because the rings will want to go out, so you have to squeeze hard to keep them on the right path.

The setup is really easy. If you have rings, just set them up on either side of a power rack. If you have a TRX, just throw it over the top of the rack, like so.

If you use a power rack you’ll probably need to bend your legs, but that’s no big deal.

If you’re like me and love wide grip chins but find they’re too hard on the joints, give these a rip. Keep in mind that they’re A LOT harder than regular chins—especially if you’re strick on the form—so don’t expect to hit you’re usual numbers, but expect your lats to be fried more than normal. You’ve been warned.

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  • melkon

    Ben -if you don’t have rings could you do them “palms facing in “to help your shoulders?

    • Ben Bruno

      Sure, you could definitely use a neutral grip and that will generally be better tolerated, but a lot of people will still find the wide grip uncomfortable–especially those with shorter arms. Personally if I don’t have rings I’ll only go a bit outside shoulder width or I have problems.

  • Nick

    I do these with Metolius Rock Rings hanging from hooks in my garage. Total setup cost: $30, and you can move between holds on the rings to add grip-strength work as desired. They’re rock-climbing tools, but far less invasive than the new breed of pull-up bars.

    • Ben Bruno

      That’s awesome Nick. Never heard of it but I’ll have to look into it. Thanks!

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  • Aragus

    What do you think of closer than shoulder width pullups, these are my staple because I feel strongest at that position?