Re: Why can't I do a chin-up?

In article <1141397416.973274.123500@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
swanson.jason@xxxxxxxxx says...
I have been trying to do chin-ups for a couple of months now. I have a
chin-up bar mounted to the top of my bedroom door frame. Right now,
here's what I can do:

If I begin by hanging from the bar (with my feet off the ground), I can
pull myself up just a little bit, until my elbows make an angle of
about 135-150 degrees. But that's it. I simply can't get any higher.

But if I begin with my feet on the ground (so that my elbows make an
angle of about 120-135 degrees), then I can pull myself up completely.

So I can do both "halves" of the chin-up, but I can't do the whole
thing in one smooth motion. Why? I have thought of two possible
explanations. Do either of these make sense? Or is it likely something

1. Maybe muscles in the shoulders and back play a larger role in the
beginning of the chin-up, and my shoulders and back are not yet strong
enough to complete the first half of the chin-up.

2. After I have pulled myself up a little from the hanging position,
maybe the orientation of my body (specifically, I think, my shoulders)
is not the same as it is when I am grasping the bar with my feet on the
floor. With my body/shoulders in the latter orientation, I can pull
myself up easily; but in the former orientation, I cannot. Sometimes,
when I start from hanging and pull myself up a little, I feel like if I
could just "twist" my shoulders a little, then I could complete the

Can anyone help me understand this? Does it sound like I'm doing
something wrong? Or does this sound normal?

Not to get personal but are you overweight? Makes it much tougher since
you are pulling up your whole body.

John Black