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  1. #21
    smathews is offline Senior Member
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    Congratulations! I've come to see the chin up/pull up distinction as rather analogous to deadlifting sumo vs. conventional. Different muscles emphasized, and perhaps more biomechanically advantageous for some than for others, but both are deadlifts. Likewise, if you are pulling your body vertically through space, you are getting stronger, regardless of the grip. There's nothing tactical about sore shoulders.

  2. #22
    oilerlover Guest

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    The pull up is harder than the chin up as you are using more of your back muscles (the lats) to pull yourself up whereas when you are performing a chin up you are using your biceps as well as your back to pull yourself up which makes the exercise easier. If you want to build a great back, stick with a strict pull up!

  3. #23
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilerlover View Post
    The pull up is harder than the chin up as you are using more of your back muscles (the lats) to pull yourself up whereas when you are performing a chin up you are using your biceps as well as your back to pull yourself up which makes the exercise easier. If you want to build a great back, stick with a strict pull up!

    See I'm not entirely sure of this logic. If I can do more chinups and use more muscle doing them, then wouldn't that be a superior exercise?

    I mean people laud the deadlift because of how much weight you can use.

    Not trying to be controversial. Just trying to make sense of the "this vs that" argument here.

  4. #24
    bwwm is offline Senior Member
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    If you look at deadlift versus squat - the max poundages in the squat have exceeded deadlift for some time now (admittedly probably due to gear). I think deadlift has been promoted more for 'functional strength' since it better mimics things like lifting boxes off the floor, etc.

    It really comes down to goals - in the TSC for example, the reason the pull-up is the chosen exercise of the two, is because in tactical situations (climbing over a wall or through a window), there's no opportunity to grab anything under hand.

    But there's nothing to say that the chin-up is 'bad' - if your goal is for better rope climbing - the chinup might be better choice since it's likely to have better carry over in that situation.

    Define your goals, brainstorm the options/pros/cons, and experiment.

  5. #25
    Steve W. is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by smathews View Post
    Congratulations! I've come to see the chin up/pull up distinction as rather analogous to deadlifting sumo vs. conventional. Different muscles emphasized, and perhaps more biomechanically advantageous for some than for others, but both are deadlifts. Likewise, if you are pulling your body vertically through space, you are getting stronger, regardless of the grip. There's nothing tactical about sore shoulders.
    I basically agree with this, although there are those who insist sumo isn't a "real" deadlift.

    As to the sore shoulders, I can relate since after unsuccessful rotator cuff surgery, I no longer have the range of motion in external rotation to comfortably do pull ups.

    I used to focus mainly on pull ups because they seemed to have more carryover to chin ups than the other way around, and they are "harder" so therefore "better." But at this point, I think it's wiser to work within my limitations.

    There may be situations where someone might have a problem with pull ups that a refinement in technique or improvement in shoulder function could fix, so those may be factors to look at. But in general, "If it hurts, don't do it," is a good principle to follow.

  6. #26
    Flattop is offline Senior Member
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    Anyone with shoulder or elbow pain doing pullups can try hanging straps and handles on the pullup bar. I like Ironmind endless loops. I used to do lots of softball pullups, before I hurt my shoulder last year on the heavy bag. I was able to get 1 perfect pullup gripping the softball completely from the bottom, my fingertips as far from the carabiner on top as possible. Grip nuts, try a few of those. Using straps, your shoulders and elbows have more freedom to go where they need to, it is almost like the dumbbell equivalent of pullups.

    You can hang all kinds of things to use as handles, Rolling Thunder's, softball grips, pinch grip handles, etc. Pullups from hard to grip objects is a lot of fun, providing you slowly build up to it.

    I did rope pullups for the first time yesterday, using a fairly slick rope that is closer to a rock climbing rope than a manilla rope. 1 rep was hard, I managed 2 reps on my last set. Holding on was not easy. It was more of a grip exercise than a pullup exercise.

  7. #27
    bwwm is offline Senior Member
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    There's so many great variations of pull-ups/chin-ups that challenge grip, it could be a whole grip area unto itself. Ropes, towels, pinch blocks, eagle loops, grippers in each hand, using less than all fingers, oversized bars, fat gripz, etc. One could probably think of 50 things or more. There are a number of folks that also do the rafter pull-ups, levers, etc. That stuff is incredible.

    The most fun I had challenging the grip on a pull-up was with huge diameter pipes at a playground in CA. There was one that was like 8" in diameter or some crazy thing, and I was able to do a few off of that one, but only because the paint was fresh and smooth, and I was able to generate "sticktion".

  8. #28
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    Well, I notice a difference in when I do a lot of pullups vs. a lot of chin-ups. I'd say pull-ups
    (palms out) is more useful & a bit mor difficult. Not exactly sure why. I've noticed a bit of pain in my forearms when I'd switch from doing a bunch of pull-ups to a bunch of chin-ups. I try to make it more of a climbing enhancer, but adding in the chin-up may be useful (at the very least. you can do the "roll over a building" move- as I call it. You know, you grab the edge underhanded, then roll yourself up & over.). That's a useful one, as well.

  9. #29
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris F. View Post
    See I'm not entirely sure of this logic. If I can do more chinups and use more muscle doing them, then wouldn't that be a superior exercise?
    I have seen the opinion that, if you don't have specific concerns like climbing over walls or into windows, chin-ups are actually a better choice in terms of general muscular development.

  10. #30
    Comrade Sunshine is offline Senior Member
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    I find that pullups mess up my elbows where chins don't. I'm going to try rings, but in the meantime I'm working the chins far more.

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