The humble chin up is probably the greatest measure and challenge of someone’s relative strength. When I say relative I mean ability to move one’s self. I guess when it comes to useful fitness, being able to move yourself well is the ultimate goal. Sure it might be nice to be able to lift a car but I mean how often will you need to be able to do this? But when it comes to getting your own body weight up a set of stairs or getting up off the floor or pulling yourself up on to a rock when you are bushwalking, now that is no so uncommon.
So how do you get to be able to do a chin up? The best way to start is with the lat pulldown. That exercise uses predominantly the same muscle group. Progress this up by doing a weight that allows you to do 12 reps only and then build it from there to a weight what you can do maybe only 4 or 5. (hey quick disclaimer here: only do this if you have doctor’s clearance and have seen a health professional first! Hopefully that is enough to keep the lawyers at bay!).
You are now in an elite club! Check out this link for a great idea on how to start.