Pull ups and chin ups are some of the best weight training exercises that you can perform. This is because first, weight training exercises help you develop your core muscles and second, pull ups and chin ups work most of your muscle groups aside from concentrating on your arms, back and glutes.

Pull ups and chin ups are both done similarly, but these two are very different from each other. Outside the fact that they are both done in monkey bars, these two weight training exercises have a lot of differences.

If you have been thinking whether one is better that the other, here are some of the important differences of pull ups and chin ups and how one is better than the other in certain aspects:

  • Grip differences. While pull ups and chin ups are used interchangeably, the manner by which you hold the positions are different. For chin ups, your hand is supinated which means that you hold the bar in an underhand position so your fingers are facing towards you. Chin ups are a lot easier to do if your grip is shoulder width apart. On the other hand, a pull up position requires you to grip the bar with your hands in a pronated position so your fingers are pointing away from you. You also tend to hold your grip slightly wider than your shoulder width.

In line with grips, pull ups are more effective in developing the arm muscles because it requires more effort to perform it. Nevertheless, you can hold a neutral grip wherein one hand is pronated and the other one is supinated for easier upward motion.

  • Strength differences. When it comes to strength, you require more effort to do a pull up than a chin up because your position in chin ups makes the biceps contract more for power. In this regard, if you want to build more arm strength, doing a pull up may be optimal. However, many begin with chin ups before moving to pull ups because the former are a lot easier to do.
  • Motion differences. Both exercises aim at vertical or upward and downward movements, but the manner by which the body does this is different. For instance, in order to do the pull up, your shoulder goes into adduction or away from the body while with chin ups, your shoulders extend. In this line, one is not better than the other only that they cater to different muscles groups.
  • Training differences. Both exercises cater to the arms, back and lats. However, there are few differences on the special muscle groups that are developed. For instance, chin ups may develop the biceps better than pull ups while pull ups may develop the lats better that chin ups.

With all these differences and some similarities, it is then optimal to perform both chin ups and pull ups rather than deciding which one is better than the other because both exercises provide advantages that the other cannot provide. If you are planning to go on weight training, better include both in your routine.