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11 Different Pull-Up/Chin-Up Variations

So after you have the chin-up and pull-up down you can start building your workouts from there. You should consider the pull-up, chin-up and push-up as the basic exercises to start from and use their variations in order to gain more strength for harder gymnastics exercises like the front lever, back lever, muscle-up and more. […]


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11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

So after you have the chin-up and pull-up down you can start building your workouts from there. You should consider the pull-up, chin-up and push-up as the basic exercises to start from and use their variations in order to gain more strength for harder gymnastics exercises like the front lever, back lever, muscle-up and more.

In this article I will demonstrate all of the different pull-up/chin-up variations that I am using in the workouts that I have provided on this website. There are many more variations of Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups out there but I am listing the fundamentals being the only ones that I have ever used over the years(remember that you are welcome to experiment with more if you would rather).

1. Regular Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

The regular Chin-up/Pull-up is called the variation where your arms are shoulder width apart.

2. Wide Grip Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

In this variation the distance inbetween your hands is doubled compared to the regular pull-up/chin-up variation. You should keep in mind that the wide grip chin-ups will hurt your wrists most likely, so I advise you avoiding them.

3. Narrow Grip Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

In this variation your hands should touch each other(or be as close as possible to one another) on the bar. It’s a very nice variation for both pull-ups and chin-ups. If you do your chin-ups like that it will focus more on your biceps and if you do your pull-ups like that it will focus more on your forearms.

4. Commando Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

In this variation you are standing below the bar facing it sideways and also one of your hands is having the supinated grip and the other one is having the pronated grip. As you go up the pull-up bar will go to the side of your chin. You should alternate the sides of the bar to which you chin-up(ex. on the 1st chin-up – the bar is on the right side of your chin, on the 2nd chin-up the bar is on the left side of your chin).

5. Pull-Ups Behind Your Neck

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

This variation will focus more intensity in your upper back. However some people experience aches in their shoulders whilst performing pull-ups behind their neck. Be careful, if you experience any pain in your shoulder try stretching them before you go for this variation, try gaining more strength in your shoulders for couple(or more) months or leave this variation aside.

6. Weighted Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

The weighted variation has been one of my favourite pull-up/chin-up variations. It is entirely a strength variation and will help you boost your pulling strength like no other exercise! Learn how to tie a karate belt like that in this article. Also you can read why I use this belt as opposed to more expensive and “professional” ones here.

7. Pull-Up into a Chin-Up

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

In this variation your goal is to change your grip from pronated into supinated and vice versa. In order to do that you will have to develop additional momentum on your way up the bar so that you have some “air time” which you will use to let go of the bar and change your grip. This will work explosiveness and coordination.

8. Clapping Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

Working on this variation of the chin-ups/pull-ups just like the above mentioned one(variation #7) will help you develop explosive strength and coordination. However this variation needs a little bit more “air time” so that you have enough time to perform a clapping and grab the bar again. It will also help you with the coordination for that it might be challenging to grab on the bar each time at first.

9. Pull-Up into Chin-Up – Static

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

As variation #7 your goal here is to change your grip pronated into supinated and back to pronated. Unlike #7 however, you are not allowed to use momentum here. Pull yourself up to the point where your elbows form a 90 degrees angle. Hold that position and quickly change your right hands grip from pronated to supinated. After you are done with your right hand follow with your left one changing its grip from pronated to supinated as well. After that change your right hands position again from a supinated grip into a pronated one. Do the same thing for your left one again. Changing the grip of both of your hands is counted as one repetition. Your goal is to maintain a stable balance and shake as little as possible. This variation will work your isometric strength in your whole upperbody!

10. L-Seat Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

Here you have to keep your legs straight in front of you forming a 90 degrees angle with your upper body. You can apply this variation to any of the so far listed ones. It helps developing your abs and also creating a serious control over all pull-up/chin-up variation on the pull-up bar.

11. Towel/Sambo Belt Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

11 Different Pull Up/Chin Up Variations

For this variation you will need just a simple Karate Belt. By performing the chin-ups/pull-ups only holding onto the belt you will significantly strengthen your grip and challenge yourself going higher in the chin-ups/pull-ups on the bar(taken that by gripping the belt your grip becomes lower than the bar).

 

A video to the article:

You can execute any variation of the so far listed ones using a towel or a karate belt. This will improve your grip strength immensely and could be used as a natural transition to rope climbing.

I hope you successfully manage to implement all of these in your training,
-Arthlete