T Nation

Pulldowns versus Chins

Dr Darden,
In your view is there a significant difference between chins and palms up pulldowns. Mostly in regards to the stimulation of the biceps and lats. I ask because at 250lbs I have trouble doing many chins with any kind of reasonable cadence. Once I control the momentum tough to get more than a few. I realize I can use negative chins as an option but looking for variety.

I find the way one usually does pull downs where you are seated with legs held with a padded bar is very different from hanging from a bar with feet dangling . Since I couldn’t do a chin I used to do heavy pull downs thinking it would help with chins, it didn’t . It’s a very different movement so I’m guessing it would effect the back and lats differently as well?

Yes, chins and pulldowns require slightly different involvements of the torso and arm muscles. But both are exercises that I like. Work them both into your workouts.

Would you be ok with substituting them for the 60sec chins?


1 Like

Last week for the first time, I added negative chins to my routine…holy crap they are hard, :laughing:…i did one set of a 20 second negative chin…today I did 3 sets of 5 second negative chins…could not believe how hard they are

Yes they are hard ! When I’m doing them I’m glad I’m not hanging off a cliff and trying to pull myself back up, I’d never make it!

It doesn’t help being 203 lbs either, lol


I combine negative chins (either 60 sec or repeated 10 sec) every third workout. Yes, they are indeed hard work! A word of caution though, as I once strained a muscle in the shoulder using too much additional weight on belt. Feels good though, doing really heavy negative chins!

Avoid the extreme stretched/hanging position as well.