Chinups - Dead hang or stretch reflex?
I have a question about chinups. You obviously seem to like dead hang chinups, as you do them yourself, but what is the advantage to this?
I thought about doing them with a stretch reflex, in other words leaving a ever so slight bend in the arm at the bottom to make the next rep easier. This, of course, enables me to complete more reps. The downside to this would be that is very easy to leave a little too much bend at the bottom, and therefor not doing full ROM.
We do squats with a stretch reflex and we do deadlifts without.
Should chinups be a deadlift or a squat?
I tried searching, but all I could find was a bunch of training logs. Any help would therefor be greatly appreciated.
This question is pretty much the same as for the overhead press. There's no clear consensus, do whichever method you feel more comfortable with, and it probably won't matter much either way. Something to keep in mind, if you do use the stretch, then the load is never fully unloaded from your biceps (which might be useful to know if for some reason you're interested in training muscular endurance in the biceps). If you stop at a dead hang, only your forearm/grip muscles are still under tension, and your other muscles get a chance to rest for a moment. Personally, I like the dead hang.
I'll agree that there is no real consensus. I figured I'd throw in what I do for what it's worth.
I generally start with the stretch reflex and do as many as I can and if I feel really tired and that a pause at the bottom would help more than the stretch would then I do so. Whatever lets me get in more reps.
Dead hang is more "legit" but I wouldn't fret about doing them the other way as long as you are consistent.
I have to amend my past statement, I misread what you meant. I use the stretch reflex insofar as I breathe at the top/on the way down and do not pause at the bottom. I fully extend my arms with no bend in my elbows at the bottom, I just only remain there for an instant for the majority of my reps.
If you keep your arms bent, are you not missing the stretch reflex in your lats?
It depends: do you go to the gym to develop your body or your ego?
There is not a stretch reflex in a half-chinup. The half-chinup is easier than the full one for the same reason a half squat is easier than a squat - any exercise is only as strong as the weakest muscle involved, and in a half-movement you're minimising the involvement of the weakest muscles in the exercise. In the top part of a squat it's mostly quads, in the bottom part it's mostly glutes and hams; most Westerners have weaker glutes/hams than quads, so by doing half-squats, they get to use their strong quads and avoid using their weak glutes/hams.
In the top half of the chinup motion it's mostly arms, and in the bottom half from dead hang it's mostly back, and most people have stronger arms than backs. That's why your half movement is easier.
Any exercise will involve more muscles and be more effective in building strength and muscular endurance if performed over the fullest range of motion possible for that individual, given their current condition, medical history etc. A half-rep will be less effective and useful than a full rep. On the other hand, you'll be able to get more reps and/or use more weight, thus bloating your ego. So this is why I say it depends on whether you go to the gym to develop your body or your ego.
Assuming you have healthy shoulders and elbows now, go for a full range of motion, from dead hang every time.
I disagree with the idea that anything other than a full rep is simply bloating the ego. The guys at the gym with huge arms, curling 135+, and doing half chins with two or more plates strapped to them couldn't give a shit what anyone thinks about their reps- they care about the results. The guy who can do 10 half or three quarter chin ups with 100 lbs strapped to him is going to be more developed than the guy who can do 10 bodyweight chins with full ROM. I rarely see the biggest guys in the gym doing correct ROM excersizes- I've seen guys with legs like tree trunks doing sets of 20 half squats with 315, and I've seen guys do sets of 5 full ROM squats with 405+ who don't look like they lift.
Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron
There are a couple of issues here.
Originally Posted by aron
The first is that you speak of "results", but then speak only of size, as if that's the only result that matters. You're forgetting that you're on the starting strength website, not the starting size website. Strength is the result we're after here. Size may or may not come with that strength.
It's fair to assume that someone on the StartingStrength.com website is primarily interested in strength. For optimal strength development, the fullest safe range of motion should be used in all exercises.
The second issue comes from this same confusion about size and strength. Strength comes from a progressive overload over the fullest possible range of motion. Size comes from a progressive overload over a consistent range of motion (ie if you add 10lbs to the bar but have a shorter ROM, it's not an overload) plus eating a shitload of food. I would suggest that one difference between the huge-armed guys and those who "don't look like they lift" is something like a gallon of milk a day.
If the huge guys combined their big eating with a fuller range of motion, they would be even more huge than they are. But their egos would be hurt by the drop in weights used.