Changing Your Grip Width and Hand Orientation In A Chin Up

Recently I have been reading a lot more with regards to strength and conditioning as part of a course that I am soon to be running in conjunction with Elite Sports Performance and thought I would discuss some of the key take home messages from the article titled “The Effect of Grip Width and Hand Orientation on Muscle Activity During Pull-ups and the Lat Pull-down” that was published in the strength and conditioning journal in 2013.

For some time now I have been training multiple grip widths and hand positions when performing my own chin ups as well as instructing my clients to in order to create strength throughout varied pulling movements.

The key take home message from the article was that when training the lat dorsi we should aim for a pronated grip or use handles that can rotated.  A supinated grip during pull ups is likely to result in increased biceps bracii activity.

From a functional and clinical point of view, should the individual not have any specific reasons not to vary their grip width or hand positions, I would advocate having them look to vary this regularly when performing chin ups so that they can create a more functional stronger upper body that is able to pull load with variable grip widths and hand positions.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.


Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.