Not many people do chin ups and pull ups.  In fact, the ones who do are the brave ones.  However, is there  a difference between these two exercises and which is a superior exercise between chin ups vs pull ups?

Perhaps you have tried one of these exercises or maybe even both.  Some people claim there isn’t a difference between the two exercises and often you will hear people using the term pull ups and chin ups interchangeably as if they were the same exercise.

What’s The Difference?

The biggest distinguishing factor between the two exercises is in the grip.  When performing either exercise you must stand underneath an overhead bar and grab it with two hands.

To perform pull up exercises you must do so with a palms outward grip.  In other words, have the palms facing away from you.

In chin ups exercises the grip changes.  The palms face inwards while holding on to the bar.  This is the distinguishing factor between the two.  Although you may often hear the terms used interchangeably you can now see there is a difference in the two.

Do These Exercises Work The Back Differently?

Although it may seem as though both exercises are working the back the same way the truth is they are targeting different muscles in the back.

Chin ups target the middle of  the back and the upper back muscles.  Because of the hand position the biceps are also highly targeted.  In fact, doing chin ups can help anyone with biceps developement.

Pull ups work the same back muscles but really help with building wide lats.  By performing this exercise you will help achieve a wider back.  Less of an emphasis is placed on the biceps than with chin ups.

Chin Ups Vs Pull Ups Which Is Best?

For overall back development the best option is pull ups exercises.  Although this may not be a favorite of most people the best thing is it helps build upper body strength.  Although it may not seem like it, the rear deltoids muscles are also involved and get a good workout along with biceps, lats, upper and middle back muscles.

However, since many find them hard to do and may lack the upper body strength in the beginning the best thing to do is to try chin ups in the beginning and build strength until pull ups are possible and can be added to a back workout repertoire.

How Often And How Many Reps/ Sets Should You Do

For best results incorporate these exercises strictly on back days.  Do these exercises once or a maximum of two days per week.  The number of sets you should aim for is FOUR SETS as this is a major muscle group.  With respect to the number of repetitions aim for TEN but if you can only do a couple that is fine.  Try and do as many as possible.  Over time you will improve and your body will gain strength.

These exercises will help you achieve an athletic look and you will definitely look fit.  When it comes to chin  ups vs pull ups your best bet is to go with pull ups but chin ups are a very good option.