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  #1  
Unread 05-06-2011, 12:34 AM
Moyer Moyer is offline
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Default Pullups vs Chins vs Hammer/Neutral Grip

Can someone explain the difference between these are far as muscles worked? It's clear that chins work the biceps more, but I've seen contradictory opinions on everything else. They're certainly not equal, because some people are much better at chins than pullups and vice versa.

Do any of them promote shoulder health better than the others?

Hammer grip/neutral grip pullups in particular seems to get very little attention. It's common practice to switch back and forth from pullups and chins, so it makes me wonder if hammer grip is the perfect catch-all.


In certain training cycles I would like to pick just one of these three and stick to it, but I'm not sure which one.
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  #2  
Unread 05-06-2011, 01:12 AM
popupwindow popupwindow is offline
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It's the same as barbell curls, DB hammer curls and reverse curls. More biceps in chinups, more forearms (brachialis) in pullups, medium amount in hammer grip.

Chinups are fairly good, you can chin on any straight bar or on the top of a smith machine, hammer's are limited by if you gym hasn't got the handles for it. Pullups are good too, but most people seem to cheat ROM on them, going mouth-to-bar or eyes-to-bar instead of chin over the vertical and horizontal plane of the bar. People cheat rom on chins too, but it seems more noticeable with pullups, also because some people take a SUPER-wide grip which makes it hard to get ROM.

Rotate between them, and also consider there are many variations too like towel pullups, alternate grip chinups and many others down the line. But get strong with the basics first.

For shoulder health, plenty of vertical and horizontal pulling seems to be the ticket, (3:2 or 2:1 ration of pulling to pressing is normally thrown around) along with avoiding excessive benching - especially with elbows flared, ensure good ROM of the shoulder, avoid things like BTN presses/pullups, upright rows etc, keep your rotator cuff strong and flexible, give all the heads of the deltoid some love and a few other specific stuff depending on circumstances and background. Eric Cressey writes a lot about shoulder health. I don't see one pullup variation being better/worse tho.
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  #3  
Unread 05-06-2011, 01:49 PM
Moyer Moyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popupwindow View Post
It's the same as barbell curls, DB hammer curls and reverse curls. More biceps in chinups, more forearms (brachialis) in pullups, medium amount in hammer grip.
I appreciate your entire post, but this part still makes me think hammer grip at shoulder width would be the best. It works both sides of the arms and you can generally go heavier than either of the others (of course there's no physiological reason to have to pick just one variation).

It would be nice for programming though for me, just sticking to hammer pullups for a while. One heavy day/wk at 3x5 and one volume day at 3x12+.

There's also something very appealing psychologically about doing only 3 big exercises in a workout. Probably helps me focus and add weight faster. Of course a lot of people feel the opposite.
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  #4  
Unread 05-06-2011, 01:53 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Best for what?
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  #5  
Unread 05-07-2011, 09:36 AM
Moyer Moyer is offline
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Working the most muscle.
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  #6  
Unread 05-07-2011, 03:46 PM
dexlt dexlt is offline
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For me, maybe for you: neutral to a +/- 45% supinated grip, hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart.
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  #7  
Unread 05-07-2011, 04:20 PM
Zé Apelido Zé Apelido is offline
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you may be able to work "more" muscle in one form vs another, but will you get to work that muscle "well" (i.e. stimulate all muscle fibers)?

and the method that allows you to pull up the most weight doesn't necessarily mean its using more muscle (although it may). personally, the "V" bars (in between chin-up and hammer) allow me to carry the most weight but I don't know if its fully stimulating the most muscles...
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