Why pullups instead of chinups?

Jeff

More than 500 posts
Why does the SF community promote palms forward pullups over palms facing chinups? Chinups engage the biceps more. Do pullups have some other advantage over chinups?
 

Bret S.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I like to do both and add different hand spacings, chinups are great for biceps, sometimes I use a tactical grip
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Why does the SF community promote palms forward pullups over palms facing chinups? Chinups engage the biceps more. Do pullups have some other advantage over chinups?
I checked my bodyweight 1-day course manual, and it includes both but the pull-up is emphasized. The chin-up and parallel grip pull-up are variety options. I think it's a functional emphasis -- if you have to pull yourself up and over a wall or something, you usually can't take an underhand grip on it. So if you want to be strong and functional, the pull-up is the skill to train. But yes I agree (and I think StrongFirst does too), either one works well for strength and conditioning.

Since I have my manual out, a few other great tips in there...
  • "Do as much heavy work as possible as often as possible while staying as fresh as possible." (Zatsiorsky).
  • Ladders are very effective.
  • Pull-ups thrive on specialized variety: change the grip, the width, the implement on which you are doing pull-ups, the point of weight attachment... etc.
  • Once you are strong enough, weighted pull-ups are highly recommended. Do not try to unreasonably maintain the "purity" of bodyweight training only.
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
To me, this is like arguing over (not that people in this thread are arguing) the best style of squatting or deadlifting. They're all good, so it's more important to find a style that works for you (works = you can do it pain free, it doesn't cause or aggravate pain over time, and it feels good and natural) than it is to determine the "best" style by any other criteria.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Why does the SF community promote palms forward pullups over palms facing chinups? Chinups engage the biceps more. Do pullups have some other advantage over chinups?
Sometimes it comes down to goals. Jeff, what are you training for?
@Anna C was spot on about many of the functional aspects of the pull-up versus the chin-up.
 

IonRod

Triple-Digit Post Count
I prefer Pullups because they are more difficult and I feel more accomplishment doing them.
 
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