Pull-up vs Chin-up: Which is Better Strength Building?

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Pull-ups and chin-ups are upper-body functional exercises that build strength in your arms, shoulders, core, and back all in one movement.

Hand Position Difference

A chin-up is performed with your hands in a supine position (palms facing inwards), whereas a pull-up is performed with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you).

Grip Difference

Pull-ups require a slightly wider hand position than shoulder-width, whereas chin-ups permit a narrower grip. Both are effective for enhancing upper-body strength.

Muscle They Target

Pull-ups and chin-ups employ the same movement pattern, so they utilize the majority of the same muscle groups, including the back, shoulders, arms, and core.

Using a supine hand position, chin-ups emphasize the anterior chain (front of the body), whereas pull-ups emphasize the posterior chain (the back of your body).

Which is better?

Both options are equally effective for building foundational strength and improving forearm strength, grip, and core stabilization.

On the other hand, if you want to strengthen your biceps, you will activate them more during a chin-up.

You can increase your strength in barbell exercises like the Romanian deadlift and front squat by practicing pull-ups and chin-ups, which also require a strong grip.

Which is less difficult?

Some claim that chin-ups are less difficult than pull-ups because your biceps help more during the pull.

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