Difference Between Pull Up and Chin Up

Exercise is considered very important for the overall development of the body. It is a physical activity that maintains wellness and keeps our body fit.


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Exercise is done for various purposes like to develop muscles, improve strength, improve health, for athletics, or simply for enjoyment.

Many people like to do exercise in outdoor situations because they interact, socialize in groups which help them m to enhance their wellness. Pull Up and Chin Up are muscular exercises.

Pull Up vs Chin Up

The difference between Pull Up and Chin Up is that the Pull-Up exercise is good if an individual wants a V-shape. It also helps to build the upper back. Chin Up is done if you want big arms, biceps and wants to strengthen lats. Pull-Ups are very difficult to perform because it requires upper body strength. Chin Ups are easier to perform as it requires muscle power.

Pull Up vs Chin Up

Pull Up exercise is called a Closed Kinetic Chain exercise because in this exercise, hands and feet are fixed in one position in space, and they can’t be moved.

In this exercise, upper body strength is required to push the body upwards. Shoulders abduct, elbows are flexed and then extended to bring them into the torso.

Pull up uses muscles such as the biceps brachii and latissimus dorsi.

Chin-up exercise is done for strengthening the muscle, which helps in extending shoulders and flexing elbows. While doing a chin-up, palms should be facing towards the body.

It is one of the forms of pull-up only where the body is taken up to the chin, i.e. name chin-up is given. The main target of chin-up is to make the biceps which makes it different from pull up.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPull UpChin Up
Best Forbuilding upper back, achieving the V-shapestrengthening the lats and biceps and sculpting big arms.
Trap ActivationBetterWorst
Biceps ActivationWorstBetter
Musclelats, teres major, rhomboids, biceps, corebiceps, lats, forearm, shoulders, core

What is Pull Up?

The word ‘pull up’ was used since 1970 when it was practised with barbells. It is also called an open-chain pulling exercise.

Now in modern-day, it is popularly known as upright row and bent-over row.

Pulls ups are usually pronated, which means that palms are facing away, and Guinness World record have even make a distinction between pull up and chin up according to the grip.

Pull up is always used to test the upper physical strength of the body. This type of exercise is more common in military services because there is a test for it to check the fitness of the body.

In many parts of the world, pull-ups are used in military tests according to various norms.

There are different types of variation in doing pull-ups like Standard, Weighted, mixed-grip, one arm, one hand, kipping, sternum chins, muscle up, supine row etc.

Muscles of various parts of the body are used, such as elbows, shoulders, scapula, finger through which adduction, extension, isometric flexion takes place. Deltoid, Pectoralis major, Infraspinatus,

Teres minor, Teres major etc., are responsible. Grip plays a very important role while holding and grabbing the bar.

The width of grip also varies according to the type of pull up an individual does.

pull up 1

What is Chin Up?

Chin-up is a new terminology that has become prominent. It is one of the forms of the pull-up.

Name chin-up comes from that how you can bring your chin in relation or till the position of bar or your grip with which you are holding the bar. In this exercise, an individual has to bring the chin over the bar without touching it.

The exercises performed in chin-ups helps in the extension of the biceps. Men can easily do chin-ups than women because they have stronger biceps and a centre of gravity. It is the general view.

But it doesn’t mean that chin-up cannot be done by women. It can be achieved by supinated, i.e. palm is facing towards the grip. Chin-ups have various forms like they can be done using gymnastic rings, rotating handles or barbells.

Chin-ups main target is the biceps and also uses muscle like latissimus dorsi muscle. There are variations in chin-ups like weighted chin-ups, one hand chin-ups, one arm chin-ups, spine chin-ups, sternal chin-ups etc.

A special type of training is required to do chin-up exercise. It also helps in increasing your performance.

It is measured in different ways, such as the number of repetitions in a specified time interval, the number of repetitions with a total weight (body weight+ additional weight and the number of repetitions without touching the floor.

Bars in which chin-ups are installed in playgrounds as well for children so that they can make their bodies fit. 

chin up

Main Differences Between Pull Up and Chin Up

  1. Pull Up is best for building the upper back and achieving the coveted V-shape as it is concerned with upper body strength. Chin up is best for making your arms big, especially for the biceps and lats.
  2. Grip in pull up is pronated, i.e. palm is facing away. Grips in chin up are supinated, i.e. palms are facing towards.
  3. Pull Up has a better trap activation. Chin up has the worst trap activation.
  4. Pull up has the worst bicep activation. Chin up has better biceps activation as its main target is to strengthen biceps.
  5. Muscles involved in pull-ups are lats, teres major, rhomboids, biceps, core etc. Muscles involved in chin-ups are biceps, lats, forearm, shoulders, core etc.
Difference Between Pull Up and Chin Up


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/118f44a7b35e76ad252aa5a557e70197/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=4718
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327841MPEE0502_1
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