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  1. #1
    Registered User DaveChrist54's Avatar
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    pull ups vs chin ups

    which one is more beneficial? or should i jus alternate between them
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  2. #2
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    A mixture gives you the best of both worlds.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Saintsqc's Avatar
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    A rotation (supinated or pronated grip) of your forearm have no impact on your muscles back recruitement. Latissimu dorsi, teres minor and teres major are attached on the higher portion of the humerus. A rotation of the hand is done with the fore arm bones.

    However, the grip have an influence on biceps recruitement. A supinated grip (chin up) allow to fully use the biceps during the motion. A pronated grip (pull up) doesnt allow to effienctly recruit the biceps (something like 60% of biceps strength is loss).

    So, a pull up and a chin up work exactly the same back muscles.
    A chin up recruit more biceps, a pull up recruit less biceps.

    As far as the back developpement is concern, whether you perform a pull up or a chin up doesnt matter. But, someone could pull a little more with a supinated grip because of the extra biceps recruitement.
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  4. #4
    Registered User xXSamurai's Avatar
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    Saintsqc nailed it. If your goal is to hit your back, i would say focus on the pullups more. I think pullups will hit more of the outside of the back, while chin ups will hit more of the center of the back and biceps of course.
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  5. #5
    Starting the Slow Cut CertifiedMuscle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Saintsqc View Post
    A rotation (supinated or pronated grip) of your forearm have no impact on your muscles back recruitement. Latissimu dorsi, teres minor and teres major are attached on the higher portion of the humerus. A rotation of the hand is done with the fore arm bones.
    False. Grip does matter when it comes to lat recruitment.

    When performing Pull-ups (pronated grip), the grip is usually wider than shoulder-width and the ROM is shorter. Since the elbows move exclusively in the vertical direction (in the vertical plane of the shoulders), the lats do not stretch as much at the bottom, and so the upper-portion of the lat fibers (and the teres major) are mainly responsible for the movement.

    When performing Chin-ups (supinated grip), the grip is usually narrow or at least not much wider than shoulder-width and the ROM is longer. Since the elbows move in a vertical AND front-to-back direction, the lats stretch more at the bottom, so the entire lat (including the bottom-portion) is responsible for the movement.

    And yes, biceps are more involved in Chin-ups. But as far as LATS go, grip direction does matter. Hope this helps
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  6. #6
    Registered User Saintsqc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CertifiedMuscle View Post
    False.
    Wait, me? No.

    Whether you use a pronated grip or a supinated grip, it has no impact on your back muscles. Basic anatomy.
    A pronation is a rotation and a translation of the radius over the ulna. The articulation touch by this rotation is the proximal articulation between the ulna and radius and the articulation between radius and lateral epicondyl of humerus.

    Shoulders articulation and back isnt recruited by this movement.

    Latissimu dorsi, teres minor and major attached on the higher portion of the humerus.


    Whether you use a pronated or supinated grip, your humerus remain in the exact same position, thus, back muscles recruitement remain exactly the same.


    Now, you are talking about width grip, wich I didnt even mention. I use the exact same width, whether I peform a chin or a pull up. If someone use a wide grip pull up and a close grip chin up, back muscles recruitement will be slightly different. But if someone use a normale grip pull up and a normal grip chin up, back muscles recruitement will be identic.

    As far as LATS go, chin or pull up doesnt matter. Hope this helps.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by CertifiedMuscle View Post
    False. Grip does matter when it comes to lat recruitment.

    When performing Pull-ups (pronated grip), the grip is usually wider than shoulder-width and the ROM is shorter. Since the elbows move exclusively in the vertical direction (in the vertical plane of the shoulders), the lats do not stretch as much at the bottom, and so the upper-portion of the lat fibers (and the teres major) are mainly responsible for the movement.

    When performing Chin-ups (supinated grip), the grip is usually narrow or at least not much wider than shoulder-width and the ROM is longer. Since the elbows move in a vertical AND front-to-back direction, the lats stretch more at the bottom, so the entire lat (including the bottom-portion) is responsible for the movement.

    And yes, biceps are more involved in Chin-ups. But as far as LATS go, grip direction does matter. Hope this helps
    EMG studies I've read indicate otherwise, specifically Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research from Jul 2010. Study shows that there is greater lat activation in pronated vs supinated.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by jdwhitney View Post
    EMG studies I've read indicate otherwise, specifically Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research from Jul 2010. Study shows that there is greater lat activation in pronated vs supinated.
    Really? Could you post it?
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  9. #9
    Never Back Down ThatOneLurker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DaveChrist54 View Post
    which one is more beneficial? or should i jus alternate between them
    I'm running SS at the moment and I alternate between them every other day

    I do pull ups on my workout B days
    and chin ups on my workout A days

    3 sets 1-2 reps short of failure
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  10. #10
    Registered User jdwhitney's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Saintsqc View Post
    Really? Could you post it?
    This is the abstract. I'd post the whole thing, but its long, and to be honest I'm not sure how copyright would be handled.

    Based on electromyographic (EMG) studies, an anterior (in front of the face) wide grip with a pronated forearm has been recommended as the optimal lat pull-down (LPD) variation for strengthening the latissimus dorsi (LD) (Signorile, JF, Zink, A, and Szwed, S. J Strength Cond Res 16: 539-546, 2002; Wills, R, Signorile, J, Perry, A, Tremblay, L, and Kwiatkowski, K. Med Sci Sports Exerc 26: S20, 1994). However, it is not clear whether this finding was because of grip width or forearm orientation. This study aimed to resolve this issue by comparing wide-pronated, wide-supinated, narrow-pronated, and narrow-supinated grips of an anterior LPD. Twelve healthy men performed the 4 grip variations using an experimentally determined load of 70% of 1 repetition maximum. Two trials of 5 repetitions were analyzed for each grip type. Participants maintained a cadence of 2-second concentric and 2-second eccentric phases. The grip widths were normalized for each individual by using a wide grip that corresponded to their carrying width and a narrow grip that matched their biacromial diameter. Surface EMG of the LD, middle trapezius (MT), and biceps brachii (BB) was recorded, and the root mean square of the EMG was normalized, using a maximum isometric voluntary contraction. Repeated-measures analysis of variance for each muscle revealed that a pronated grip elicited greater LD activity than a supinated grip (p < 0.05), but had no influence of grip type on the MT and BB muscles. Based on these findings, an anterior LPD with pronated grip is recommended for maximally activating the LD, irrespective of the grip width (carrying width or biacromial diameter).
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  11. #11
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    Do both. Problem solved.
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

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  12. #12
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdwhitney View Post
    This is the abstract. I'd post the whole thing, but its long, and to be honest I'm not sure how copyright would be handled.
    You've been a forum member since 2006 (which tells me you've probably been on the interwebs before that) and you're worried about "copyright"???
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  13. #13
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    Im out of arguments...dunno what to answer to that.

    It seems like Im wrong...but I have no idea why. If someone can enlight me on that, I'd be grateful.
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    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    OVerall, I don't care much about EMG studies. They are very specific given very specific circumstances.

    I've personally found pronated helps emphasize lats by reducing the help the arms can play. Also, as your lats get stronger, you can do more pull ups vs chin ups (thus getting more volume overall).

    Contrary to most belief, I don't feel that "wider pull up for wider lats". Going extra wide emphasizes the teres muscles more, which can still help the look of a back, but doesn't emphasize the lats more. A super wide grip weakens the arms even more and shortens the overall ROM.

    Ideally, for lats, I feel either a moderate/narrow pronated grip or a hammer grip chin/pull is the best for lats. They provide longer ROMs while keeping the arms in a weaker position, IMO.
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    This thread is turning out to be very informative. Will stay tuned.
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    I recently switched over to chinups after close to a decade of favoring pullups. I've done weighted pullups with as much as 135, but I had to start with 45lbs with chins. I have noticed that I get more upper back work out of the chinups as well as lower lat involvement. Pull ups hit me more in the middle lats.

    Because the back is one of the largest and most complex muscle groups, it needs a lot of variations and angles to grow in all areas. I don't put any stock at all into EMG studies, but I can say that pullups aren't the end all be all of overhead pulls. Honestly, I think the extra bicep involvement helps increase the effectiveness of the lift (and also the angle of the shoulder/elbow during the pull).
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  17. #17
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    Then there is neutral grip with the palms facing each other.
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    do clapping supinations from pull-up to chin-up to pull-up to chin-up at the top of every rep, problem solved.
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    do 3 sets of each n you will have an awesome wide back n big biceps


    Originally Posted by DaveChrist54 View Post
    which one is more beneficial? or should i jus alternate between them
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    Originally Posted by Saintsqc View Post
    A rotation (supinated or pronated grip) of your forearm have no impact on your muscles back recruitement. A rotation of the hand is done with the fore arm bones.
    There are usually other mechanical differences between the moves, like being able to get closer hands/elbows with supine and tending to have wider hands/elbows with prone. Extension vs. adduction. Same muscles though yeah.
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    Originally Posted by DaveChrist54 View Post
    which one is more beneficial? or should i jus alternate between them
    I've recently posted on this as I'm a big fan of both and use them alot, visit Chrisy M Fitness for more details.
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    Originally Posted by ChrisyM View Post
    visit Chrisy M Fitness for more details.
    If you're going to plug your site, you may as well include a URL.
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