T Nation

Chins or Rows?

Hey guys,

If you were to pick one exercise for back development, would you choose weighted chins, weighted pullups, or rows? Normally, I would have choosen deadlifts at the top of my list, but my back needs a break from these because of an old injury. I’m currently working on upping my bench numbers so I’d work this back exercise along with heavy squats and pullovers one day a week.

What do you guys think?

This might go against every article ever written on back training but I don’t do chins or pulls. Did them for 10 years and got some back development, but in the past few years, the amount of reps I could do fell and one week I’d knock out 4 sets of 8 the next week could barely do 2 or 3. Yet I did not experience this strength disparity with other back exercises, and paradoxically (tounge firmly in cheek) I got better back development recently avoiding chins/pulls and using one of those pullover machines first in a back workout. I’d recc chins to anyone though, Common sense tells me doing chins is good advice, but if you are not getting the most from them then choose something else.

So to answer your Q, I vote Barbell rows. (was that an option?)

I’d also go with rows given the choices, then pull-ups, then chin-ups.

I like them all, and like you said, I’d also vote deads as #1 if that was an option.

You can always switch it up too, and use different variations of rows, chins and pull-ups.

If you are going to do a lot of benching, you might consider rows due to issues of balance.

You could always do both or alternate or whatever.

For healthy shoulders and a bigger bench, I’ll take rows any day of the week.

Cool, rows it is. Thanks for the help guys.

Wow… I certainly feel like chins has given me impressive lats and back development, but I always did chins AND rows in my program, so I guess the rows was the more beneficial exercise.

Good to know!

Definitely all of the above. Just hit them one after the other and pump it up.

I guess I was late, but bent BB rows are the ticket.

I love to strap on the weight and do chins and pullups,HOWEVER nothing seems to hit my lats better than the t-bar with chest support.