Strength Innovation – Kneeling Rest-Pause Chin-Up & Fisherman Row

This innovative chin-up variation is classified as a double-duty exercise, because it serves 2 purposes. At first, it was incorporated to build explosiveness on the concentric part (i.e. the pull) of a chin-up. Similar to the way a pause and relax helps you pull with more force on the Barbell Bent-Over Row.

bent-over row

But since, it’s proven extremely useful for helping clients land their first proper pull-up, or go from single-chinner to multiple-chinner.

Which could be the result of grip strength and ‘fear of heights’ getting removed from the equation. Although it probably has more to do with scapular retraction becoming a necessity; as there’s no ability to swing, hump and kip your way to a crumby rep.

For those with a little bit more experience, try performing a higher rep set with a full 1-2 sec rest at the bottom and an explosive pull on the way up. Not only because it’s a great way to recondition your form (shoulders back, chest up) and improve your pulling power, but because consistently refreshing your grip will give you better idea of how far your back can actually go.

Interestingly, after a few weeks of Kneeling Rest-Pause Chin-Ups, it will be a lot further than what it is now. And it’s a difference you’ll notice immediately when returning to regular chins.

Fisherman Rows

While we’re on the topic of pulls (and scap retraction), here’s a variation on the 1-arm bent-over row I’ve been playing around with.  Point being, that it takes the legs out of the exercise – so you’re forced to use your core – and it elevates you to the point where you need to reach – so you get a super stretch of the lats.

The name, Fishermans Row, is because the movement is similar to reaching out of the boat to grab the big catch-of-the-day.

You may have hooked it, but can you pull it in?


Coaching tips include:

  • Start with knees at 45 degree angle on bench
  • Keep torso parallel with floor throughout
  • Bring dumbbell to waist/hip pocket
  • Rotate from a pronated (at bottom) to neutral (at top) grip
  • Use a 1-2sec pause (and relax) when fully extended

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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