Friday, January 14, 2011

Pullup or Chinup...that is the question.

The age-old debate...which exercise is better for you: the chinup or the pullup? There's a fairly scientific discussion on this issue on the Leangains site.

My theory is that they're both pretty damn good exercises.

As you can see, skinless man here is preparing to do a chinup. Palms facing in, arms locked out, forearms, lats, and posterior delts are engaged in preparation for the lift.

As he pulls his chin above the bar, pretty much his entire back is engaged as well as his forearms and a bit of his rear delts. You can't see it in this picture, but I belive this grip also targets the rhomboids (middle back muscles).

Now this guy here is performing a pull-up.

As you can see through his range of motion, the pullup hits only the lats and teres major back muscles while the rhomboids remain inactive. His biceps and triceps are fully engaged, however, I think it's safe to suggest that incorporating both pull-ups and chin-ups into your routine is a great way to hit many muscle groups simultaneously while increasing your strength.

I'm also pleased to report that after maxing my bench today with reverse pyramid sets beginning at 85 lbs (my PR is 95 but I did not have a spotter this a.m.) all the way down to just the 45 lb bar (with pushups between sets), I was able to perform 6, 6, and 3 in my chin-up sets.

Six months ago I could not do one.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for the very appropriate post Jenn. I am hoping that in 6 mos I'll be in the same position! Thanks for the tips and good reads. Keep up the great work.

Jenn said...

np, Missy. If there's something you're wondering about, feel free to ask and I'll try to track down some answers for you! Keep training, girl.