Pull Ups vs. Chin Ups: What’s the Difference?

Pull ups and chin ups are one of the most fundamental exercises in a trainer’s tool kit. Thousands of years ago, cavemen hoisted themselves above tree branches to prepare for the hunt; ancient Egyptians repeatedly lifted themselves onto massive blocks of stone to train to build massive structures; medieval Britons raised themselves above their battlements in order to be ready to fend off invaders from their castles (perhaps I should have paid more attention in history class). The point remains, however, that pull ups and chin ups are both extremely effective in improving fitness and strength and also can be done with essentially zero equipment. For those who are new to working out, understanding the technique and benefits of these two exercises is critical.

Pull ups

Pull Up

The only piece of equipment that pull ups require is a horizontal bar that can support your weight. This is fantastic for newer trainers, as it allows you to jump right into working out without a big initial cost, but eventually, once you want to improve your set up, you can purchase a high quality pull up bar. The technique to do a pull up is simple but critical to do correctly. There are three basic steps to completing a pull up.

  1. Hold onto the pull up bar with your arms fully extended, but not locked, and your palms facing away from you.
  2. Raise yourself slowly until your chin is just above the bar. Don’t tense your head or neck to try and get your chin above the bar, and make sure not to swing or rock back and forth. Really try to isolate your lats.
  3. Slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended, but not locked.

Correctly executed pull ups exercise the lats and biceps. Through consistently and correctly done pull ups, the size of these muscles will increase and overall fitness will improve. One of the main differences between pull ups and chin ups is your ability to change the width of your grip to adjust your workout. The wider your hands are the more the edges of your back are worked, allowing you to adjust your workout to fit what you are working to improve.

Chin ups

Chin Up

Similarly to pull ups, the only equipment that chin ups require is a bar that will support your weight. The technique for chin ups is also similar to pull ups, although there are a few key differences. This is the technique for a proper chin up:

  1. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended but not locked. Your palms should be facing toward you, and your hands should be either shoulder width or a bit narrower.
  2. Raise yourself slowly until your chin is above the bar. Make sure that you don’t “reach” by straining your neck. Keep your head and neck relaxed during the whole motion.
  3. Slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully extended, but not locked.

Chin ups mainly work the lats and biceps as well. They work the biceps more than pull ups, but work the lats less. If you are just starting to work out, I would recommend starting with chin ups, as they are easier for most people than pull ups.

Things to think about

Both pull ups and chin ups are fantastic exercises for both newer and more veteran trainers. They are almost unmatched in their ability to both cause hypertrophy in isolated areas and also improve overall fitness. Next time you’re planning your workout, or if you’re just looking for a quick pump, consider including pull ups or chin ups.

 

Related Products

  • Ultimate Chin Up Attachment-1Ultimate Chin Up Attachment-2

    Ultimate Chin Up Attachment

    0 out of 5

    FREE Shipping to the lower 48 US States! For other locations, please contact us via email or phone and we can give you a shipping quote.

    Ultimate Chin Up Attachment for the IM2000 machine

    Customers have been asking for a chin up attachment for the IM2000 for many years. The wait is over and we now have a fantastic attachment for our flagship machine that does what no other chin up station can do. The crossbar easily attaches to the top front of the machine. The two multi grip handles are fully adjustable in width and also have four different grips each so you can always find the perfect position. Wide grip angled, wide grip straight bar, close grip, neutral grip, close easy grip, the list goes on.  It is also great for hanging off to perform hip flexor and abdominal exercises.

    $171.00 $159.00
  • Chin Up Bar for Super Bench-1Chin Up Bar for Super Bench-2

    Chin Up Bar for Super Bench

    4.66 out of 5

    FREE Shipping to the lower 48 US States! For other locations, please contact us via email or phone and we can give you a shipping quote.

    The Ironmaster Chin Up Attachment. Just when you thought the Ironmaster Super Bench adjustable weight bench couldn’t get any better, you stumbled on to one of our customer favorites. This brilliant space saving chin up bar for the Super Bench will add an infinite amount of versatility to your workouts, all while hardly taking up any additional space at all.

     

    $112.00 $99.00
  • Ironmaster Super Bench Adjustable Weight BenchSuper Bench Adjustable Weight Bench

    Super Bench Adjustable Utility Bench

    4.73 out of 5

    FREE Shipping to the lower 48 US States! For other locations, please contact us via email or phone and we can give you a shipping quote.

    Ironmaster Super Bench

    Our adjustable weightlifting bench is one of the most popular weight training benches available. The Ironmaster Super Bench is super strong and super versatile – making it a key component of any home gym. The Super Bench fully adjusts to suit your workout needs: Flat – Incline – Decline – Upright. Fully adjustable, our weight bench has 11 lock out angles and can be used in a variety of workouts with the addition of different Ironmaster attachments. Add Ironmaster dumbbells or Olympic Bars for bench presses or entire strength training cages for the ultimate experience in home weight training. This is not just a dumbbell bench, but the base of your complete home gym.

    $368.00 $319.00
  • IM2000 Self Spotting Machineim2000-5

    IM2000 Self Spotting Machine

    5 out of 5

    FREE Shipping to the lower 48 US States! For other locations, please contact us via email or phone and we can give you a shipping quote.

    IM2000 Base

    The IM2000 is the greatest squatting and pressing machine ever designed! We have refined this design over decades, resulting in the most complete, space efficient and best operating home gym you can buy. You can work each body part in at least three different ways in complete safety. The quick-lock guided barbell system is our patented design. Although similar in concept to the common Smith machine design, the Ironmaster does the job much better, and the overall machine is much more versatile and space saving. Working out with a bar and bench is not as efficient as a machine and is not safe to use without the aid of spotters. In fact, it is commonly known that working out with traditional free weights is limiting since you must always stop your reps before you reach maximum muscle failure. It is a proven fact that when you push yourself to failure you will make your muscles grow stronger. You can really blast your muscles by training to the point of ultimate failure and never get stuck with lockout points only 1.7” apart!

    The lifting bar sliding system is a state of perfection on the Ironmaster. The best Smith machines use linear ball bearings as a means of guiding the bar up and down the guide rods and under ideal conditions work well but the IM2000 is different. There are some important reasons the Ironmaster system is better. Linear bearings require constant lubrication with grease which is quite messy. They also have a limited life along with the steel guide rods and will require replacement. The grease will attract dirt that will cause premature wear to the bearings and rods. Linear bearings are very noisy and have the feeling of rolling friction resistance. The Ironmaster slide bushing and slide rail system is unique. We use a special polymer material bushing that slides over specially coated slide rails of compatible materials. Other designs use bushings that have simple plastic sliding on metal. This causes fast wear and friction and the action feels terrible. We have proven the long life of our design in schools, police departments, fire departments, and commercial gyms all over the world, not to mention countless home gyms. You will not find a machine with better feeling free-flowing action or simplicity of use!

    You can also build your own custom package for big savings here: IM2000 Custom Gym Package Builder

     

    $1,539.00 $1,399.00

Share this post

Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved and you'll be given a link. You, or anyone with the link, can use it to retrieve your Cart at any time.
Back Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved with Product pictures and information, and Cart Totals. Then send it to yourself, or a friend, with a link to retrieve it at any time.
Your cart email sent successfully :)

Super Bench Sale going on now – Save $40.00 with coupon code sbsale1017. Click here for more details!