Chin-Ups Arch Back

I have been recently doing arch back pull-ups and it’s a game changer. For so long I’ve been doing hollow body pull-ups and i havnt been feeling it in my back as much as I do arch back. My question is, will doing chin ups arch back put more emphasis on the bicep and how wide should I go. Should I use the same kind ROM by leading with my chest and squeezing the biceps at the top. Will this develop my bicep any more then normal hollow body chin-ups???

When you say “back” - that’s a lot of different muscles. Hollow body pullups tend to bias the lats more, and arched-back pullups tend to hit the upperback (rhomboids) more.

Doing chinups, as in having a supinated (underhand) grip, vs pullups, will put more emphasis on your biceps. Arching your back or doing them hollow body isn’t what’s going to determine your bicep involvement.

There’s no added benefit to the biceps by going wider. Close grip to shoulder width would be best.

If you want to do pullups or chins for your biceps - which I have - I would use a shorter rom, focusing more on the top 2/3 of the movement.

Again - hollow body vs arched back pullups is not what determines the level of biceps involvement.

Do arched-back and hollow body pullups, do overhand, underhand, neutral grip pullups, do shortened ROM pullups, do dead hang pullups, do weighted pullups, do them all. You cannot do them without involving your biceps - you will see growth if you are hitting pullups hard.


As a beginner I really wouldnt worry either way. Saying that do whatever gives you the best posture and shoulder retraction

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I really think you are splitting hairs. Honestly I do. Get as full a ROM as possible and then if you can focus on squeezing at the top; great. But I would just focus on getting as many quality reps out as possible. Someone (I want to say Chad Waterbury) did a thing where they did pull ups every day for a period. Boom - found the piece. This is a great example of how to use this exercise to progress. My advice - don’t worry about hand placements and squeezes. Just get to a point where you can knock out 20-25 pull ups from the bottom. At that sort of level of bad ass hollowed out / arched back - no one cares. You just did 25 pull ups and have 16 - 17 inch biceps.

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fucking seriously. I’ve never even heard of ‘hollow body’ chin ups. I can barely track this conversation.

What I do know, is that I’ve done a hell of a lot of pull ups in my life, with rings, on bars, whatever. I’ve never considered posture/arching/whatever. And they’ve still worked. This is really the definition of majoring in the minors.


If you have never heard of hollow body then you seriously don’t know how to train and use muscles optimally. I bet you do half arse reps with your feet folded and use massive momentum. Do your homework mate :+1:t4:

Click the guys profile picture and ask yourself if you’d rather have his level of muscular development or yours.


What you’ve done here is got defensive for no good reason. This will not serve you well.

Fyi - there are lots of guys I listen to on this site. But very few I listen to like flip. You’d do well to read up on people’s past posts, and training logs before dismissing them as a potential source of knowledge.

images (34)

Typical strongman @flipcollar

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Man. I give good advice and fuuuuuck me. Maybe he thinks my profile picture isn’t me? weird shit.

I’m gonna be SLIGHTLY patient on this one.

  1. @Kasim123 I’ve been one of the top lightweight strongmen competitors in the world for several years. I can’t take your criticism seriously, you’re just a dude with a keyboard who can’t figure out how to do pull ups. The fact that I don’t spend my days reading about the definitions of particular forms of exercises doesn’t mean I don’t know how to perform them. I’ve just never heard of the things you’re talking about. Do you truly think I’m incapable of doing a good pull up because I don’t read about pull ups on the internet?

  2. My point was that this is not a particularly important distinction to make, because doing thousands of pull ups, year after year, will yield results. I completely agree that ‘half arse reps with momentum’ or whatever are not ideal. But I also don’t remember saying I do anything like that.

  3. I don’t know what’s more important to you. Being able to tell everyone you have awesome pull up form, or being strong. I’ve deadlifted over 600 lbs while weighing under 200. I’ve pressed 300 lbs overhead. I’ve lifted a 360 lbs atlas stone onto a 50+" platform. There’s a pretty decent chance you’ve never even met a person as strong as me. Somehow, some way, I’ve achieved this without reading articles about hollow body pull ups.

So, if you want to dismiss what I have to say on here, so be it. It’s not going to make me weak.

I’ll go do my homework. K thnx byeeeeee


Went ahead and dug through my phone to find a pull up video. No idea what ‘type’ of pull up this is, but it’s on rings. And trust me, do this a lot and your back will get big and strong, regardless of what you call the exercise, lol

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Not that you need to ever hear the term, but it’s mostly a calisthenics thing. Tucked hips and protracted shoulders. An exaggerated but useful picture:

Most people tend not to do stuff hollow body, but it’s a super common thing because it helps with gymnastics stuff like muscle ups, planches, and handstands.

However, you not knowing this is only confirmation that nobody needs to know it if they want big arms. I’d wager the list of big-armed people who don’t know what hollow body pull-ups are is bigger than the list of those that do, haha.

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That totally makes sense to me, especially with the picture. Although I would think emphasizing one form over the other is more for developing skills/ mobility/etc than hypertrophy/strength. I can’t imagine doing one over the other would make THAT much of a difference in overall muscular development. And I probably wouldn’t have even responded to this thread if it had been about that subject. If the OP had asked ‘which form is going to help me learn to do a muscle up/handstand/gymnastics better’, it would have come across as a very legitimate question, and one that is outside my knowledge base.

I also answer questions in the beginner section as if I’m talking to a beginner. If exactly the same question was posed in, say, the bodybuilding section, and an advanced bodybuilder was trying to fine tune stuff, that changes everything. Bodybuilders have a need to address very specific needs for balanced physiques and actually winning shows. Beginners should never be focused on details like this.


I may just be an idiot meathead, but I’ve never heard of this stuff either. I’ll second (or third or fourth) that you don’t need to know any of these weird nuances to build a big back and arms. The fact that he went on the offensive right away is very strange.

@Kasim123 The people in this thread are just trying to offer that there are much more productive things to focus on than the idiosyncrasies of your pull ups. That’s fine tuning for when you’re advanced and squeaking out every last ounce of muscle you can, and by the time people get that big, they usually don’t ask questions like this.

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I appreciate the advice and post. I wasn’t trying to be rude or come across as negative and if I did come across like that, allow me to apologise. Thank you

Apology accepted. But you DEFINITELY, 100% were trying to be both rude and negative.

There is no other way you could have intended this. It was meant as an insult. But again, apology is accepted.

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The problem I have is when I’m doing pull-ups with my core engaged with hollow body I tend to round my shoulders at the top once my chin reaches above the bar. I feel like this isn’t helping my posture at all and not really targeting my back as a pull-ups should. When I’m doing arched back and leading with my chest I can feel it a lot more. The whole reason for me starting to do this is to eventually have my shoulders/rhomboids pulled back naturally instead of rolled over shoulders.

Hope this makes sense

If posture correction, shoulder and upper back strength/position, etc is your goal, then I think you’re approaching it the wrong way. Making a slight change in how you do pull ups MAY help, but what I would do (and actually what I’ve been doing for a solid 10 years) for shoulder health and posture is cable face pulls with a rope handle. Devoting an entire exercise to this issue is the most direct way to fix it, not by slightly modifying an exercise you’re already doing.

I began my lifting career in powerlifting, and I had a really, really strong bench press (close to 400 while competing in the 181 class). But I didn’t do enough work on my upper back, and as a result, I had really crappy shoulder posture. Extreme rotation inward, shoulders rolled forward, tight chest, etc. Then I got into strongman, which also involves a lot of pressing, BUT you have to have a much more balanced physique to perform all the movements like heavy carries, stone lifting, etc. So I had to fix this issue. This is how I did it:

At the end of every single workout I do, no matter what I worked on that day, I perform 2-3 sets of high rep face pulls, with a rotation at the end, so that basically you’re doing a bodybuilding ‘double biceps pose’ to finish. Google that if you’re not sure what it looks like, that’s the mental cue I use. I want to get a good stretch on the extension, so I make sure I’m standing far enough away from the machine to keep constant tension, and then really pull hard on the retraction/finish of the movement. I use very light weights to make sure I can perform the full range of motion and really squeeze at the end. My rep range is like 20-25 per set. This has made a MASSIVE difference to me.

Arw you making the face pull with the rotation almost two separate movements? Or is it more of a fluid movement starting to rotate your arms up before full contracted to the rear?