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Hand Position on Pull-ups/Rows for Biceps Involvement


I decided to focus solely on gymnastics style training for my upper body. Squats and clean pulls is the entirety of my lower body workouts, while my traps will get hit with the clean pulls. But purely for my upper body, I’m resolved to doing gymnastics.

I did those bodyweight row ups things with a barbell on a squat rack and I had a pronated grip. I was wondering, if it ever happens, I do just that grip type and that grip type alone for all my pulling exercises with this gymnastics training, my biceps will lag. Will it? Will I have to do the supinated grip as well to hit my biceps? Or pronated is enough?


Only ever using 1 method of anything will result in lagging compared to employing a variety of methods.

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How about before we go too far you tell us exactly and in its entirety what you already believe to be true about your method of choice.

Cuz honestly, this dance you like to do where everybody gives you their recommendations and you just shoot them down and keep doing what you believe anyways is tiresome fucking bullshit.


I heard of a thing called curls a while ago…apparently they hit biceps easily…

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I believe gymnastics training is great for upper body. And I wanna do it.

And now I wanna know if I should switch to a supinated grip when doing those “row ups” or whatever we wanna call them for the sake of my biceps.

I was asking if pronated grip row ups hit the biceps enough. That’s all what my question is. I didn’t ask if gymnastics-only training is a bad idea. That wasn’t my question.

And dude, I’m on a weight loss diet right now. Aside from the doctor’s orders, I listened to the discourteous mockery that you and the others threw at me for being fat.

I honestly don’t know where this hostility of yours is coming from. I asked a question and then bam, you posted that. But whatever.

If I say I’m a Christian and my question is how to be a good Christian, and then all of a sudden you bring up the topic of how I should instead be a Muslim, I won’t be convinced to become a Muslim because the question didn’t encompass it.

In an alternate universe somewhere, some other bapoleon just posted on G Nation that he has decided to focus solely on BBing style training for his Floor routine, and is asking whether his Rings work will lag because of it.


In order for something to lag other parts need to grow. I would be more concerned about the getting things to grow part of the plan first.

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If you’re on a weight loss diet right now, you shouldn’t be worried about your biceps lagging. Likely nothing will grow, or at least enough that your biceps will start to “lag.” Pronated-grip inverted rows may be enough stimulation to keep them where they’re at, but if you’re worried, just do some with a supinated grip. You can also look up inverted row curls. It’s a change in technique that will hit the biceps more.

Just try stuff out for yourself and see what works and what doesn’t. From your other posts you seem to have a bad case of paralysis by analysis. You get really fixated on something (boxing/judo/gymnastics), ask a bunch of questions and then never follow through and end up changing your mind and doing something else (or think about doing something else).

Rather than having a 100 post thread about pronation/supination and EMG bicep activation, only to then abandon the whole thing in the end and take up fly fishing instead, just try whatever you plan is for a month or two and gauge your progress.

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I’ve been consistently squatting for four months. I don’t think I’m suffering from an analysis-paralysis case. The reason I haven’t really put much effort on upper body is because I’ve been struggling to put some time to it. A bodypart split can’t work for me, so I decided to go the minimalist route by choosing a few gymnastics movement that targets several muscles, the same way that squats and clean pulls are THE ONLY lower body exercises I do. I chose inverted rows and push ups as my main movements, and then chose tuck ups for the abs. It’s much better for me than doing isolations all over the place. I wanna do a minimal selection of exercises and hit them all with crazy frequency. It worked for my squat.

It’s fantastic for the upper body. But much like Crossfit, those at the professional level do a lot more than many people think.

Firstly, most gymnasts have been training since they were kids, so they’ve had years and years and thousands of hours of the body being forced to grow. I’m sure you’re aware of this reality, but just keep in mind you won’t get the same return as a professional gymnast would.

Secondly, much like how professional Crossfit competitors don’t really train like most amateur Crossfiters (by which I mean they break up their training into periodized sections like almost any other athlete), gymnasts actually do a fair amount of isolation work for smaller muscle groups — specifically abs, shoulders and biceps. You’d be training more like a gymnast if you threw in a handful of direct work for lats/biceps/shoulders/whatever else after your main movements.



And this is why I asked you to write it out.

This is what you want to do. Go do it and let us know how it works out.

All my upper body work is on gymnastics rings e.g. rows, pull ups, dips, push ups, muscle ups, levers. The possibilities are endless. Just remember you need to balance out pulling and pushing exercises, plus make sure to include horizontal and vertical pulling/pushing. Regarding your specific question about hand position for pulling, with rings you can do anything you want i.e. overhand, underhand or neutral grip, wide grip, narrow grip etc. Good idea to use a variety of grips IMO.

how tall are you?

Yeah, I already started.

5 feet and 6 inches.

Sure, supinating ur hands during an inverted row will recruit ur biceps more. One of the roles of the biceps is supination. It’ll also preferentially recruit ur upper lats typically whereas an OH grip will recruit the lower more. Because pulling ur elbows back typically hits upper lats more and pulling ur elbows in hits more lower lats.

I know you said you don’t wanna do isolation but here’s a vid of a bodyweight exercise that isolates the biceps.

Many bodyweight progressions actually isolate the muscle more and more. Like a standard pull up vs a straight arm pull up.

In my personal experience, supinated chins with a narrow(er) grip are much better for the biceps than inverted rows that also hit the back pretty hard and with a dip belt or chains are easy to load up or with bands easy to deload.

This is also a way to deload a vertical pull w/ bodyweight. I have no idea how they feel underhanded but if you try them I’d be interested in your experience.

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