We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
The underhand chin-up grip is more beneficial for the chest than the overhand grip.
Installing a pull-up bar in your home is a smart move. With very little investment in time and money, you'll have a basic piece of equipment that can help you tone and strengthen many of the muscles of your upper body. While that can include portions of your chest -- the "traditional" pull-up is not really the best option for building the muscles of your chest.
What the Pull-up Does
When you do a traditional pull-up with your palms facing away from you, you're primarily working the latissimus dorsi of the back -- a muscle on the opposite side of the body from the chest. Your pectoralis minor does do some of the work, as do the biceps, shoulders and other muscles of the back -- but for the most part, the pull-up is a lat exercise. The pectoralis major, the larger of the two pectoral muscles, is not activated much at all by pull-ups.
An Alternative: Chin-Ups
Don't toss aside the notion of installing that pull-up bar in your home, however. By making a few alterations, you'll be able to more actively recruit the pectoral muscles. One option is to change your hand position to a chin-up hand position. This is a simple fix: just turn your palms toward you instead of away from you. The lats will still do the bulk of the work here, but with the chin-up, the sternal head of your pectoralis major as well as your pectoralis minor are both recruited.
Try Inverted Rows Instead
You can also more actively recruit the chest by lowering the bar to about waist-height. Lie under the bar; rest your feet on the floor with your legs straight out, forming a long straight line between your chest and feet. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and then pull your body upward to meet your chest to the underside of the bar. This will activate your pectoralis major, along with the muscles of the back and shoulders.
Or Go For Chest Dips
Beyond those pull-up alternatives, try doing bench presses, flys and pullover exercises to more actively recruit the muscles of the chest. If you're working out at a gym that has an assisted pull-up bar machine, chances are that machine also doubles as an assisted dip machine. The chest dip, as its name suggests, is a beneficial exercise geared toward building chest muscle. When you put your hands on the dip bar, allow your palms to rest diagonally across the bar, called an "oblique" grip. Allow your body to lean forward slightly, thereby recruiting more chest muscle while lowering your body into the dip. In this exercise, the pectoralis major is the primary muscle you'll use.