Categorized | Exercises and Workouts

Pull ups Vs Chin ups

Pull ups vs Chin ups. Pull ups and chin ups are one of the most effective body weight exercises to strengthen and build back muscle. In this article I am going to tell you the difference between these two exercises and how utilizing both of these exercise will help you to develop the v-tapered back which many people strive for. What really separates the pull up and the chin up is the difference between hand grips, difficulty and different muscles that each exercise targets.



Pull up

A pull up utilizes an overhand grip (where you palms are facing away from you) and is much more difficult then a chin up. Pull ups can be done with the arms either shoulder width or wider apart and depending on the distance between the hands, you will either increase or decrease the difficulty of this exercise depending on the strength of your muscles utilized. The pull up targets the: rear deltoids (shoulders), the mid-back and the brachialis (which is the outside of the biceps). Take note to squeeze at the top of the exercise to really target the mid-back muscles.





chin up

Chin up

A chin up on the other hand, uses an underhand grip (where your palms are facing towards you). Like the pull up, you can either perform this exercise with a shoulder with grip or a wider grip. Performing this exercise with a closer (hands shoulder width apart) will target more of the biceps. This exercise is going to be much easier for some people because it utilizes more of the biceps and lat muscles which on some people are going to be stronger then their rear shoulders and mid-back muscles. Squeezing while at the top of the exercise, focuses tension on the lats.


Now many people make the mistake of not performing the chin up or pull up fully. I’ve seen many guys in the gym only do half way chin ups or pull ups, which is where they go up where their chin is above the bar, but on the negative portion (where they lower themselves), they tend to only go down a quarter of way, leaving ALL of the tension on the biceps and very little tension on the back muscles and lats. DO NOT make this mistake. Perform the exercise with proper form, meaning pull yourself up all of the way and then lower yourself down all of the way.

If you cannot do a pull up or a chin up quite yet, there are some machines in gyms that can assist you to do a full pull up or chin up by adding weight assistance. These are very effective and if you’re working on building strength to perform a full pull up or chin up, you should start off with that. There also is a variation where you only focus on the negative portion of the exercises. This will help you to build strength after a while to be able to perform a full chin up or pull up. Use a chair to get to the top portion of the exercise where your chin is above the bar and try to slowly let your self down. After a few weeks you should notice some strength increases as your body adapts to the exercise.

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