Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00

Pull-ups - - regular grip or parallel grip?

Well, we're finally back online, and with a new look at that - - a look that (judging by the emails I've got so far) some of you seem to be enjoying more than the previous version of the site.

Whew - - what a battle it was to finally get online again, but it's DONE for now, and I hope Fast and Furious Fitness doesn't have to "move" again anytime in the near future!

Anyway, let's start things off with some reader feedback - - specifically, a great question from Tom in Newark. He wrote in saying that he loves pull-ups - - and that they are his favorite exercise, but he had a question. Are pull-ups better when done with a "hammer grip" (parallel, with the fingers of both hands facing each other), or is it better to do them with a regular grip (palms facing away)?

He also goes on to state that doing the hammer grip pull-ups seems to hit different parts of his back than the regular pull-ups do, and that both complement each other.

And he finished off by saying he's building some super gripping power with a combo of these two exercises (and a few others thrown in, these being the main ones though) alone.

Great question, and one I've often pondered myself, and my answer is - - Tom, they're BOTH good - - and they're BOTH variants you should practice on a regular basis.

You've also let one of my "secrets" to improving at pull-ups here out of the bag - - that being to work the hammer grip pull-ups to improve the regular pull-ups, and vice versa.

And yes, the hammer grip pull-ups DO hit your back differently than the regular pull-ups. The regular version seems to "spread" your lats out more, while the hammer grip pull-ups seems to "lengthen, stretch and strengthen" (no other way to put it on this one!) your lats a lot more. And they BOTH hit your lower back pretty well.

The parallel grips also seem to lend themselves to higher reps than the regular grip pull-ups, though interestingly enough, that doesn't happen ALL the time for me - - only on occasion. I'll elaborate more on that later though.

The only real area of difference is the abdominal region. I've found that the regular grip pull-ups tend to hit the "front" of the stomach as a whole a lot more, as opposed to parallel grip which seems to tax the "obliques" a lot more - - a good thing, by the way, since THOSE are the muscles (along with the transverse abdominal muscle resting deep under the superficial "six pack" muscles) that really pull your waist in - - as well as add REAL POWER and STRENGTH to your entire core.

And contrary to what most people think, BOTH are great ways to develop crushing grip power - - of course, if you do things the right way. There is a secret that one needs to know - - and MASTER - - while doing pulling exercise - - something so simple you'd think it was obvious, but something that (amazingly enough) I see ignored on a regular basis.

I detail that secret in Gorilla Grip - - a must have if you're (like Tom is) interested in developing crushing gripping power - - you can grab your copy right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/8-gorilla-grip/

But otherwise, both are great versions of the same exercise, and I recommend practicing both versions if you can on a regular basis. Just make sure you do the exercise in PROPER FORM - - no "kipping", no "swinging up with the legs" or the other foolishness I notice and write about on a daily basis.

Kudos on the gripping strength you've developed - - add some monkey bar work in there, and you'll soon be on your way to tearing wrists off in no time, hehe.

And that, dear reader, is that for now. Back again with more!

Best Regards,
Rahul Mookerjee

P.S: - Our Facebook page is a great way to stay informed on what is going on at Fast and Furious Fitness HQ's - - stop by and check it out - - https://www.facebook.com/fastandfuriousfitness

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