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    Pull Ups vs Chin Ups Muscles Worked?

    Personally I feel like Chin Ups VASTLY workout my bicep more - although my body position angles back much more on chin ups its not so upright like pull ups, but Iv'e read old threads where guys are saying they are the same exercise; what is the truth here?
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    The truth is that; you, given the form you choose to use, feel chin ups working your biceps more than your back .
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    Either exercise really should be working your back and biceps equally, atleast that's how it works for me. Just do whatever you feel is working for you.
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    Originally Posted by chazzy1864 View Post
    The truth is that; you, given the form you choose to use, feel chin ups working your biceps more than your back .
    I guess thats the point that people don't seem to take into account when saying they are the same exercise; personally my form and grip width is totally different so there is no way it's working the same muscles. Today I did chin ups and noticed I do a very narrow grip width inline with my shoulders, whereas with pull ups I am 3-4 inches wider out on either hand. And with chin ups my whole body swings back at a 20-30 degree angle, but with pull ups I keep more vertical which seems to put the pressure more on the lats, but when angled back for chin ups I think that puts the pressure on the bis.
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  5. #5
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    I guess thats the point that people don't seem to take into account when saying they are the same exercise; personally my form and grip width is totally different so there is no way it's working the same muscles. Today I did chin ups and noticed I do a very narrow grip width inline with my shoulders, whereas with pull ups I am 3-4 inches wider out on either hand. And with chin ups my whole body swings back at a 20-30 degree angle, but with pull ups I keep more vertical which seems to put the pressure more on the lats, but when angled back for chin ups I think that puts the pressure on the bis.
    IMO, ideally, both are a back exercise. The different grips help me emphasize different parts/portions of my lats and/or other parts of my back. I do not get much biceps work at all from either chins or pull ups.

    If I want to work my biceps, I'd rather stick to various curl exercises. If I were stuck doing types of chins I'd do something along the lines of a nilsson curl:
    http://www.staleytraining.com/articl...sson-curls.htm

    The guy in the article uses a 2nd barbell to brace his arms in a power rack. But if you have a pull up bar in your door way (that fits inside the frame) you could merely close the door and have the same effect (I've done it with my roommates pull up bar in his door).
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  6. #6
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    I guess thats the point that people don't seem to take into account when saying they are the same exercise; personally my form and grip width is totally different so there is no way it's working the same muscles.
    Yes, there is a way, and it's the truth.

    Muscles work at different angles. Chins and pullups use the same muscles.

    The difference isn't the muscles used, it's moreso the % balance they're used in and the motion the joints go through, which yes, is different.

    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    with pull ups I keep more vertical which seems to put the pressure more on the lats
    Why? The lats pull back as well as down, right?

    Originally Posted by steyrsp View Post
    when angled back for chin ups I think that puts the pressure on the bis.
    That's dependant on your elbow angle. Leaning back is actually one way someone could take pressure off the bis.

    How they work is actually really confusing because I can imagine them working more if the elbow came forward, but then again when people do those chins with elbows against a closed door or racked barbell that ALSO is a bi move...
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    I think it might depend on limb length, technique and so forth. For me, my lats are drawing my elbows in to my body faster than the biceps are contracting.

    You should try leaning back a bit and think "elbows elbows elbows", not going up and down like a piston and squeezing your biceps to complete the rep.
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    Registered User steyrsp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    That's dependant on your elbow angle. Leaning back is actually one way someone could take pressure off the bis.

    How they work is actually really confusing because I can imagine them working more if the elbow came forward, but then again when people do those chins with elbows against a closed door or racked barbell that ALSO is a bi move...
    This is what I do; I basically have my elbows tucked into my side just like perfect form for a barbell curl, and then thats why I have to angle my body back to have any sort of motion - otherwise I would have to untuck them, so when I pull up I keep my elbows tucked - although they do wander a few inches in and out, but that mostly makes this very similar to the movement of a barbell curl, or perhaps a bad form barbell curl where you don't keep your elbows tucked perfectly...
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    Originally Posted by chazzy1864 View Post
    If I want to work my biceps, I'd rather stick to various curl exercises. If I were stuck doing types of chins I'd do something along the lines of a nilsson curl:


    The guy in the article uses a 2nd barbell to brace his arms in a power rack. But if you have a pull up bar in your door way (that fits inside the frame) you could merely close the door and have the same effect (I've done it with my roommates pull up bar in his door).
    I'll definitely be trying these out. Thanks!
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