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Old 12-14-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default chin ups vs pull ups muscles worked ?

is it true that pull ups place far more emphasis on the upper back while chin ups put much more stress on the biceps ?

I just use chin ups on starting strength but in retrospect it sounds like I should of gone with the pull ups
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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Chin ups do function more like a bicep curl than pull ups, but still involve a lot of the upper back.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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For best results do them both, also do the wide grip pull up.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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The lat and other back muscles serve a number of purposes. They pull the elbows back but also pull them down towards your sides. Put your arms straight over your head and lower them to either side. Now do the same thing, starting with your arms straight over your head again, but this time lower them by bringing them down in front of you and ending up with them at your sides. The starting position and end position is the same, but if each movement was performed with resistance then different muscles would be incorporated.

Some people think that the only difference between chin ups and pull ups is the way your hands face. This isn't the case. When you do a chin up with a close grip, you are pulling your arms down in front of you, and when you do a pull up with a wider grip you are pulling your arms down to the outside. These are as different as either is to a row, and should be treated as such.

Chin ups are usually easier to do, so people avoid wide grip pull ups and only do chins. This is like saying that bench presses are easier than overhead presses, so you should just bench.

Remember that if you point your palms away from you but still have a close grip and pull your arms in front of you, all you are doing is a modified chin up. If you want to do a pull up then widen your grip, pull your elbows out to your sides and squeeze hard once you can't pull yourself up anymore. You'll be surprised at how many you'll be able to do when you aren't worried about how close to the bar you get.
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Last edited by Soldier; 12-14-2011 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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what if I can't do them what should I do
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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what if I can't do them what should I do
Band assisted chin-ups are a good place to start.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:25 PM   #7
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what if I can't do them what should I do
If you train with someone, have them hold your feet, but DON'T have them lift you up and down. They just hold your feet and you choose how much help to give youself using your legs.

If you're at the gym then take an adjustable bench and adjust it so the top of the back of the bench is about where your knees are when you do a pull up. Now position the bench about 1-2' behind where you'll be hanging. When you do your pullups, put the tops of your feet or ankles on the top of the bench and assist yourself just like you would if you were getting a spot like the example above.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
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. You'll be surprised at how many you'll be able to do when you aren't worried about how close to the bar you get.
So you're saying a full pull-up doesn't require the bar to go below the chin? Just pull until arms hit the sides?

Interesting, I always tried to go above the bar regardless of which direction my palms were facing. I also rarely do palms facing in, and prefer a good wide overhand grip, for both pull-ups and lat pulldowns. Although, on a low-row machine, I prefer a narrow hammer grip bar..
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:42 PM   #9
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Do are full pullups good or bad?
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Do are full pullups good or bad?
Huh?
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