You wouldn’t mess with Chewbacca. The Wookiee may be a loyal companion but, according to Han Solo, he’s prone to tearing arms from their sockets when he’s angry. Obviously, removing people’s limbs is never acceptable, but if you want to be as strong as the hairy Millennium Falcon co-pilot, here are some moves that’ll help.
For strength, use… the one-armed hang
It builds shoulder stability and obstacle-race dangling power – helpful even if you don’t live in a treehouse. Hang from a bar, keeping your shoulders “active”, which means tugged slightly down, so you’re not in a dead hang.
For power, use… the pull-up reach
To build that explosive rip, do a pull-up, and then – while you’re briefly “weightless” at the top of the move - quickly take one hand off the bar and reach upwards before you grab hold again. Alternate arms, and feel free to bellow.
For core strength, use… the side reach
A twist on the classic hanging leg raise. Hanging from the bar, bring both feet up to one side, touching the bar with one foot. Repeat on the other side. Once you’ve mastered this, hook your raised leg over a tree branch and practise climbing up.
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From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.