T Nation

Chin Ups vs. Pull Ups


Is one particularly better than the other?

My workouts are basically all body weight, because I workout at my house and I don't have much equipment.

So I don't have much bicep work so I figure I should do chins.

However, should I do chins and pull ups? or is one sufficient? of is it best to mix the two together?


I think chins are a little better for the biceps and pull ups are a little better for the lats.


I think everyone is different, but for me, chins, palms facing toward me, close grip, not only hit the bi's, but seem to give me a better lat workout as well. I know many go for the wide grip pull ups to hit back, but frankly, for me at least, narrow grip chins give me a better back pump than anything.


I thought chin ups and pull ups were the same thing?


Chins definitely work my biceps better than pull ups. Check out the article posted today by Mike Robertson where he makes reference to those moves and their muscle recruitment.




I do both, I find one helps the other, I started just doing pullups, but when I added chinups in there as well my pullups started to improve.


If anything, I'd recommend working all sorts of grips (including neutral) and hand spacings. I prefer the neutral more than anything for a back pump, but if your goal is to work the biceps, I would focus more on the chin-ups. I know CrossFit is bordering blasphemy around here, but you might also want to look into 'kipping' during chins and pull-ups to help add to your dead hang numbers.

Pull-ups come in all sorts of grips and hand spacings; a chin-up is a pull-up with a palms-in grip. It's kind of like how a square is a type of rectangle but a rectangle is not a square.