T Nation

Thoughts On Wide Grip Chin-Ups?

Hello, I was just surfing today, and then I stumbled across this.
wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=87732
They talk about (widegrip) chin-ups


Not TOO wide, otherwise you could hurt your rotator cuff. And certainly not wide enough where you are on the ends that angle down.


“Wide grip builds width” is one of those silly myths that WILL NOT DIE.

Wide grip pulling work takes the stress OFF the lat and places it ON the rotator cuff. Great, hey?

Shoulder width or narrower keeps the stress on the lat, which is where you want it. Vary your grip among overhand, underhand and close parallel grip, but please, leave the wide-grips alone.


I’ve wondered before is narrow-grip chins would be better because they stretch out the lats more than regular chin-ups. Generally, the greater the ROM, the greater the strength benefits are, correct? It seems to me that doing wide-grip chins vs. narrow-grip chins would be the equivalent of quarter-squats vs. full squats.


However I would stay away from the wide grip chins like built said, those just mess with your shoulder.


What’s your take on this? Because I have always heard the “Widegrip builds width”.
:slight_smile:

While chinning (hands supinated, palms facing you) the narrower the grip, the more stress you put on your biceps as opposed to your Lats

Doing chins with a grip >> shoulder width is a very unnatural position for the shoulder/rotator cuff and can potentially lead to injury

Same with doing pullups, (hands pronated, palms facing away), only pullups generally stress the lats/teres major much more than the biceps regardless of grip, and a very narrow grip while doing them may potentially injury your elbow joint. In addition, you can do them with any grip you like, but with a very wide grip (e.g. on a bar with slightly bend ends) you lose so much ROW that the exercise becomes almost isometric (see famous video of Powerlifter Matt Kroczaleski doing quater pullups for 30 reps with a very wide grip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8874JYBIODQ )

Thank you for the answer. :slight_smile:

I just did them with a little over shoulder-width today.
5 reps @ 210 lbs. I’m very pleased :slight_smile: