If you’re looking to target different muscles with your pull ups, you’ll want to try out different grips. There are a few different types of pull up grips that you can use, and each one will work a different set of muscles.
In this article, we’ll discuss the three most popular types of pull up grips and what muscles they work. We’ll also give you some tips on how to choose the best grip for you!
Different Pull Up Grips
There are a few different types of pull up grips that you can use, and each one will work a different set of muscles. If you’re wondering what muscles do pull ups work, you’ll find the info below for the different pull up grips.
Below is a table listing the most popular different pull up grips and the muscles they work.
Pull Up Grip
Classic pull ups
Hammer grip pull ups
Rear deltoid, upper back, biceps
Narrow grip pull ups
Biceps, upper back
Mixed grip pull ups
Lats, biceps, triceps, chest (pecs)
1. Classic Pull Up Position
The first type of pull up grip is the pronated grip. This is the most common grip that people use when they do pull ups.
To do the classic pull up, place your hands shoulder or wider width apart and grip the bar with your wrists facing away from you.
The pronated grip works the muscles in your back, specifically the latissimus dorsi (lats). This is the muscle that gives you that “V-shape” look. As with any pulling motion, your biceps are also involved in a more minor way too.
If you’re looking to build up your lats, then the pronated grip is the way to go. However, if you’re looking to target other muscles, you’ll want to try a different grip.
2. Classic Chin Up Position
The second type of pull up grip is the supinated grip, or the chin up. This is also a very common grip, and it works the biceps muscles. You perform a chin up by placing your hands roughly shoulder width apart and have your wrists pointed towards you.
If you’re looking to build up your biceps, then the supinated grip is the way to go. Like the pronated grip, the supinated grip also works the latissimus dorsi (lats). However, it puts more emphasis on the biceps than the traditional pull up grip does.
If you’re looking to build up your biceps and your lats, then the supinated grip is a good choice.
3. Hammer Grip Pull Up
The third type of pull up grip is the hammer grip. The hammer grip is similar to the chin up, but the grip is wider apart and your wrists should be facing each other. It’s not as common as the more classical grips, but it’s a great grip for targeting the muscles in your rear shoulders. The hammer grip is a great pull up variant for targetting the rear deltoid muscles more so than other pull up grips.
If you’re looking to build up your shoulders, then the hammer grip is the way to go. However, if you’re looking to target other muscles, you may want to try a different grip.
4. Narrow Grip Pull Ups
The fourth type of pull up grip is the narrow grip. The narrow grip is a slightly more advanced exercise and you can do it pronated or supinated.
The narrow grip will put even greater stress on the biceps and upper back compared to the more classic pull up and chin up grips.
5. Mixed Grip Pull ups
The fifth type of pull up grip is the mixed grip. The mixed grip is a combination of the pronated and supinated grips. It’s a great grip for targeting the muscles in your back and your biceps.
If you’re looking to change things up and build up your lats and your biceps, then the mixed grip is a good choice.
6. Muscle Ups
Not really a pull up specifically, but we thought we’d include it anyway, the muscle up. Muscle ups are a combination of a pull up and the push up part of a dip, pushing yourself above the bar. It’s a great exercise for building up your general upper body strength, but the exercise is far more difficult than pull ups as you incorporate upper body strength movement into the exercise as well.
If you’re looking to build up your upper body strength, then muscle ups are a great choice. However, if you don’t think you’re up to the task of lifting yourself up and above the bar, sticking to pull ups is fine!
Tips for Choosing the Best Grip for You
Now that you know about the different types of pull up grips, how do you choose the best one for you? Here are a few tips:
If you’re looking to build up your lats, then the pronated grip is a good choice.
If you’re looking to build up your biceps, then the supinated grip is a good choice.
If you’re looking to build up your rear shoulders, then the hammer grip is a good choice.
If you’re looking to build up your upper body and back at the same time, then muscle ups are a great choice.
In summary, there are a few different pull up grips that you can try. Each grip will target different muscles, so it’s important to choose the right grip for your goals. We hope you enjoyed this article on the subject of the different pull up grips and what they work!
Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!
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