You may have noticed how different grips in a pull up offer different results and challenges; in this best pull up grip guide, you will see that whichever exercise you may be doing, whatever angle you hit it from, whichever way you wrap your hand around that bar, it’s going to have different impacts on your strength and muscle development.
One should aim to try out and perform pull ups with as many different types of grips as possible to provide each muscle with a different amount of stimulae, and build strength in many different positions.
In this section, find the most commonly used grips as well as some that are less spoken about, but still very effective. One thing to remember is that there are two main hand positions which are the pronated position (palms over the bar), and the supinated position (palms under the bar). These same two positions are usually the main difference between a pull up and a chin up.
The Pull Up - Pronated Grip
Probably the most commonly used form of pull ups along with chin ups. They are a highly effective exercise that will work your Brachialis and Latissimus Dorsi to an extended degree with a bigger emphasis on the latter due to your hand positioning.
To perform the exercise correctly, place your hands around shoulder width apart and begin the movement by engaging your scapulae and leaning backwards, and proceed to pull whilst keeping an engaged core to avoid kipping.
The Chin Up - Supinated Grip
Probably the first type of grip most people ever use, the chin up places more stress on the Brachialis than the back, making it an easier movement for beginners who lack the strength to do a pull up with clean form.
The chin up is performed exactly the same as a pull up, the only thing changing being the grip. Don’t place your hands out too wide with this one; you may put unneeded stress on your shoulders.
The Hammer Grip Pull Up - Gupinated Grip
The neutral grip allows for more natural rotational motion at the wrists and shoulders, which is great for your rotator cuffs and elbows if you’ve had issues in the past. This specific grip will also heavily target your Brachialis, as well as your entire back.
The hammer grip pull up is an awesome variation to perform and should not be neglected if you have the means of performing it.
The Wide Grip Pull Up - Pronated
A slightly harder variation than the standard pull ups, these will not provide you with any additional muscular development than the standard version, in contrary to popular belief. Thinking that doing pull ups with a wider grip will in turn gift you with a wider back is essentially “Bro science”.
They make it harder to retract your shoulder blades back fully at the top of the movement and put your shoulders under a higher amount of stress. If it’s pure results that you are looking for, stick to the standard grip pull ups.
The Wide Grip Chin Up - Supinated
Very similarly to wide grip pull ups, wide grip chin ups bring a slight change to the percentages of stimulae being applied to each working muscle but is not the best of grips to utilize in the long term as it places your joints in unnatural positions.
The range of motion may also be reduced slightly.
Towel Pull Ups - Supinated Or Pronated
Towel pull ups can be performed in a bunch of different ways, as well as with different grips. You can make use of either a single towel, as demonstrated in the picture, or two towels, one for each arm, which you can place with different amounts of spacing.
They can be gripped with a double pronated grip, a double supinated grip, and a mixed grip (one pronated and one supinated). Changing things up from time to time will blast your grip from all angles.
This is an effective exercise to work your grip strength in a way your body isn’t used to. You may not be able to do as many pull ups as you usually can with this method.
Why Is It Important To Train With Different Grips?
Using different types of grips in your training is optimal for targeting and getting rid of weaknesses. Don’t keep training whichever form of pull up you are the strongest at; quite the contrary actually, preferably, you should be aiming to blast your weak points and get stronger at those. That way, your body has a higher ability of working efficiently as a whole.
Best Pull Up Grip - Conclusion
Some grips will offer you more in terms of a development of a specific muscle or strength, and others will allow you to work around any injuries you may have. Switching grips from time to time or even within the same workout is therefore highly recommended.
Remember to keep a full range of motion throughout the entire movement at all times, and let the gains come.