If you didn’t know it before, even Arnold Schwarzenegger swore by pull-ups and chin-ups to build his amazing shaped back.
If you think that it won’t benefit you to master these movements, you’re clearly missing out!
Your back is made up of a large amount of muscles, both big and small.
No back routine is complete without a wide variety of exercises, and it is certainly not enough just to do deadlifts and heavy rows!
A real back routine will take advantage of many different angles, and exercises. The two basic types of pulling exercises include the horizontal pull, and vertical pull.
Both types of pulling are necessary to be included in your workout program, because they work on different muscles of your back to different extents.
Pull-ups, chin-ups, and inverted rows are all functional movements which work the various muscles in your back effectively!
Together, these exercises will help you give you that amazing V-shaped physique you have always dreamed of!
General Benefits and Uses of Pulling Exercises
The basic difference between the inverted row, pull-up, and chin-up, is that the inverted row is a horizontal pull; while the other two are vertical pulls.
This changes the muscles worked drastically, but they have many cross-over effects. By including both types of movement, you will be able to work your back effectively.
Along with helping you develop an aesthetic physique, all types of pulling exercises prevent neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. These types of exercise also help to improve your posture, and they are good for preventing pain and injury from prolonged sitting.
In performing a basic inverted row workout, you will need a suspension trainer or the best free standing pull up bar you can find!
Traditional inverted rows, pull-ups, and chin-ups are great but if you want an even bigger challenge than the TRX is right for you!
Want to build a truly amazing looking body, that is functional as well?
In comes the TRX to save the day!
Muscles Worked Through Pull-ups and Chin-ups
Pull ups provide you with intense challenges that are quite difficult for training, regardless of your strength levels.
Pull-ups place a great emphasis on your major muscles in your upper back.
When you are able to build these muscles fully, you will develop a wider torso and a great physique.
There are many different ways that you can program pull-ups in to your workout, and it may be difficult to choose the best program that is suitable for your fitness goals.
My two favorite programs for building my pull-up strength are Every Minute on the Minute training, and a simpler approach of performing 50 total pull-ups in as few sets as possible.
This can also be applied to chin-ups, since they are performed similarly.
Chin-ups are underhanded, or supinated in grip.
Although both of them are effective in working your lats, they still have specific benefits which will determine your choice of movement.
I personally recommend people to only do supinated chin-ups, or pull-ups, since I strongly believe underhanded chin-ups can put excess stress on your elbows that is not necessary.
It is commonly believed that chin-ups work your biceps more effectively, but this has been proven wrong on many occasions.
The difference between underhand chin-ups, and supinated grip chin-ups or pull-ups, is generally negligible.
The best advice you can take is to just do which one you are most comfortable with overall.
Using Fat Gripz to Increase your Pull-up and Chin-up Strength
One of the easiest ways you can increase your ability to perform pull ups or chin ups, is to start to work with Fat Gripz. Fat Gripz can quickly increase your “pulling” strength, due to strengthening your hands.
Also, this will help protect your elbows, since your hands and forearms will be able to do more “work” in the movement.
This is an awesome tip that I highly recommend you try out for yourself!
Some people might not even be able to do pull-ups or chin-ups with Fat Gripz at the beginning!
If this is an issue for you, start by first using them with easier movements such as bicep curls, or lat pull-downs. Once you have improved your hand and arm strength enough, then use them with more difficult exercises!
Difference Between the Inverted Row, Chin-Up and Pull Up
Despite the shared features, there are some key differences between pull ups, chin-ups and the inverted row.
Some of the differences include:
- Pull-ups have a vertical position, while inverted rows are a horizontal pull. Due to this difference, the ratio of muscles used will be clearly different.
- Although all of these movements work your rhomboids, mid and lower traps, lats, shoulders, biceps, your core, and forearms, pull-ups focus more on your lats, Contrarily, inverted rows place emphasis on your mid and lower traps, and your rhomboids.
- Chin-ups and pull-ups have a generally more positive impact on your shoulders and chest, due to the necessary scapular retraction. On the other hand, inverted rows primarily work a wider-scope of back muscles.
- The difficulty level of inverted rows is more easily interchangeable, helping you become better at chin-ups, and pull-ups over time.
Along with these movements, people commonly confuse the fact that the traditional “lat pull-down” is just as effective for working your back muscles.
In some ways this is true, but in others it is a far inferior movement.
The good thing about traditional lat pull-downs is that you can utilize a large amount of weight, and work muscles which are limited by your body weight through pull-ups.
The bad side, however, is that you get little to no core engagement and it isn’t very functional for your body overall.
I am not saying that you should not do lat pull-downs, but for athletes, it can definitely add quite a bit of “heavy” muscle which isn’t functional in your sport.
I have found one variation which I personally like, as it engages your core quite a bit more that the traditional lat pull down.
Doing the movement this way has more overall benefit!
You can see it below:
TRX Pull Ups and TRX Inverted Rows
When talking specifically about inverted rows, or TRX pull-ups, TRX training is amazing because you can do variations of both at whichever training level is most comfortable for you.
You can start with easier variations, and gradually work your way up to more difficult levels while also using more conventional methods. You absolutely can substitute TRX rows for either pull-ups or conventional inverted rows, but it can easily go along with these exercises as well.
I often perform TRX inverted rows multiple times per week simply because of the improvements in grip strength, and shoulder health that it gives me.
The TRX row is a very helpful warm-up exercise, since there is limited strain on your joints!
Furthermore, every single TRX exercise will improve your ability to perform high reps of pull-ups since it improves your core as much or more than anything else.
Core strength is vital to blasting out high reps of good-form pull-ups, and the TRX pull-up is incredible at improving this.
Additional Benefits of TRX Training
The TRX was developed by a former Navy Seal and Stanford MBA graduate, Randy Hetrick.
Total Resistance Exercise (TRX) is a type of resistance training which incorporates utilizing bodyweight exercises where several multi-planar, and compound exercise movements, can be performed.
It is a unique way of training, and one that can effectively can shock your body for increased muscle growth and muscle strength.
The goal of this form of resistance training is to develop balance, strength, joint stability, and flexibility simultaneously!
The level of resistance can be increased, or decreased, by adjusting your body position or length of the TRX cables.
Although it may not look so, it is safe for individuals of all fitness levels!
One of the advantages of training with the TRX is that there is nearly no fixed position at all, and almost every bodyweight exercise can be transitioned in some way to fit your fitness level.
It does not expose the joints and tendons to the risks of stress that is common with traditional “suspension” forms of training.
Believe me, it is even extremely viable for recovering from injuries!
It is important to know that this is dependent on the safety precautions you take, but there are ways to train almost literally every part of your body with the TRX.
One of the times in my career when I used the TRX the most was while I was rehabbing a severe ankle injury in 2015. The TRX was exactly what I needed to continuously challenge my core, and improve my lower body stability!
Central Features of TRX Training
If you want to know more about who can do TRX training, or what the benefits of TRX training are, keep reading below!
Understanding the TRX is truly the first step to mastering it!
TRX Training is for Everyone
No matter where you are, TRX training helps you to achieve your fitness goals, and make your training more interesting.
The TRX is extremely portable, and can be used easily while traveling! Also, it is just as viable being added in to your weekly routine at your normal gym!
Training with the TRX Gives You More Bang for Your Buck
With TRX training, you are empowered to use a minimum level of effort to achieve maximum result!
The TRX is absolutely a train “smarter,” instead of “harder,” method of training. You can get a whole lot of benefits from simple movements with this training device, and there are advanced movements which will surely do even more as well!
The TRX is the Shock Your Muscles Need to Keep Making Gains!
TRX training provides scalable, and versatile, tools that are easy to use by anyone, anywhere. Nearly every single movement done with the TRX will help improve your body in a wide variety of ways!
The difficulty level of any movement can easily be adjusted, and it is a great method for working your way in to more advanced training styles.
It is Truly Fun to Do a TRX Workout
The TRX is unique, and a generally fun form of training.
Overall, this helps with keeping you focused and enjoying what you are doing. It is far from monotonous, and an exceptional training style for those who become easily bored!
What are the Uses of the TRX?
Based on the results of one study to determine the effects of the TRX compared with traditional resistance training programs on measures of muscular performance in adults, results indicate that TRX training improves muscular fitness variables in middle aged adults and younger adults that are associated with resistance training at comparative or better rates!
In easier terms, TRX training is proven to help improve your muscles quicker than traditional weight training!
The report therefore suggested that the TRX could serve as a useful training tool for individuals in search of extra training options, to enable them to gain more endurance and muscular strength.
Along with this, it is also important to understand that the TRX is not just for beginners.
Advanced training movements can be difficult to perform for even the strongest of athletes!
It literally is a wide-ranged, multi-purposed, masterpiece of fitness equipment!
It is a very suitable activity for those who suffer from frequent back pain, because this system is capable of strengthening the important core muscles.
The TRX is commonly used in physical therapy because of its ability to make you work with, and against, gravity. Adding this in to your routine before a problem arises can effectively limit your chance for many different injuries, or chronic pain.
Again, TRX suspension training is very much designed to work all your muscle stabilizers (those that maintain proper posture during training).
This lowers the risk of injury, especially in people who follow training routines repeating strength exercises (weights).
Personally, the TRX has done wonders for my shoulders and knees over the years.
Basketball has put a large amount of strain on these two areas of my body, but consistent TRX training has managed my various chronic pain, and unwanted muscle weaknesses exceptionally.
Almost everywhere in the world that I have gone over the past few years I have found a TRX, and it has been valuable in every situation for maintaining strength and stability throughout my body!
Luckily, the TRX can be hooked up anywhere!
You can get an easy weight rack to hook your TRX to from weightracksandmore.com.
Along with these benefits, the TRX helps you lose weight because of the large amount of muscles worked in each movement.
Since you are forced to work different muscle groups than you normally would with traditional training methods, it substantially increases muscle size and heart rate to cover the exercise and the energy requirements for burning fat from your body.
Concluding Thoughts – Inverted Rows, Pull-ups & Chin-ups
Depending on your current level of fitness, all three of these exercises have a place in your routine.
I do have some generally simple advice for you though.
The first piece of advice which I would like to share is that you should never, ever, compromise form on a single rep of these.
Although these are bodyweight exercises, the strain on your joints can be just as much as when doing weighted training, if performed incorrectly. Ensure proper training habits early, and do not force reps out unnecessarily.
I am all for pushing your limits in strength, but not at the expense of joint health.
Next, I really do recommend working primarily with pull-ups, and inverted rows. In my opinion, chin-ups can be seriously damaging to your elbows overtime.
Chin-ups may seem easier for you in the beginning, but overtime this will wear on you.
If you make a concerted effort from the time you begin working with these exercises to focus on the absolute best form possible, with the safer movements, you will assuredly have far better results.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to add weights to these movements over time!
Challenging the stability of each movement in different, and unique ways, will help you build an immensely stronger body overall.
As soon as you are comfortable, go ahead and attack these movements!
Add these movements in to your routine in whichever way is best for you, because they are three effective movements which will help you build the body of your dreams!