Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What difference, if any, will it make if my hands are over the bar rather away from me or behind the bar towards me when doing a chin-up?

Does this work different sets of muscles?

Is one more difficult than the other?

Should my workout contain different sets of both ways or is it just a preference thing?

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Hands facing away tends to focus on your back and lats. Hands facing toward you emphasizes the biceps.

As far as which to use when... that depends on what you are trying to accomplish with that workout. Obviously, the two still use a lot of the same muscle groups so take that into account if you're going to use both.

share|improve this answer

In addition to hands facing away and hands facing towards you, you can also work different muscle groups by varying the width of your grip. While a wide grip will focus on your upper/outer lats, a closer grip will target your lower lats.

Check out this resource on Pull-Ups for photos and more tips.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.