Pull Ups Vs. Chin Ups

by | Feb 14, 2018

Pull Ups and Chin Ups are both great strength-building bodyweight exercises for your upper body. Their great advantage is that one doesn’t require gym equipment in order to do a full workout. By lifting your own body weight, you will be enjoying benefits like building upper body strength and muscle mass. However, pull-ups and chin-ups are quite difficult to do so you really need to mind your posture and build your strength during the exercises.

What is pull ups?

A pull-up is an upper-body compound pulling exercise. Pull-ups mainly target your back muscles but also put a lot of emphasis on the biceps and shoulders. There are many muscles in the back, but the main ones are the latissimus dorsi (lats) and rhomboids, which pull-ups can hit better than most other exercises. It also targets the lower trapezius (mid-back) and forearm muscles. Your chest muscles also get some action.

What is chin ups?

The chin-up is a strength training exercise. People frequently do this exercise with the intention of strengthening muscles such as the latissimus dorsi and biceps, which extend the shoulder and flex the elbow. Chin-ups also work the lats and teres major, and also involve the middle and lower trapezius and rhomboids. You’ll also hit the forearm muscles. Doing chin-ups can be a pure bicep workout in itself.

What is the difference between pull ups and chin up?

The biggest distinguishing factor between the two exercises is in the grip.  To perform pull up exercises you must do so with a palms outward grip.  In other words, have the palms facing away from you. In chin ups exercises the grip changes. The palms face inwards while holding on to the bar. Pull ups are often done at a wide-grip or either shoulder-width, and chin-ups are usually done at shoulder-width or narrow-grip. Both exercises are working the back the same way the truth is they are targeting different muscles in the back. Chin ups target the middle of the back and the upper back muscles. Doing chin ups can help anyone with biceps development. By performing pull up exercise you will help achieve a wider back.  Less of an emphasis is placed on the biceps than with chin ups.

Which one is better?

For overall back development the best option is pull ups exercises.  Regardless of the grip you’re going with, at the end of the day you’re working on your arms, your back, your shoulder and your muscles, because the movement pattern through shoulder extension is ultimately the same. When it comes to pull ups versus chin ups, no one exercise is really superior both require strength and good technique to be done properly.

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