It’s no secret that pull ups and chin ups are absolute ALL-STAR exercises, but what actually are the benefits we receive from them? What’s the difference between the two? And why are they important for Boxing and Muay Thai athletes?
Many people think that the main benefit we receive from pullups and chin ups is strengthening our Lat’s (those big wing-like muscles on the sides of your back), and although this is a great benefit, I believe the largest benefits we receive is learning to control our own bodyweight under load and being able to brace the core during movement. This has so much carry over to everything else we do in life, because if we don’t brace our core effectively when reaching for things, or lifting heavy objects, then this will put excessive strain on our lower back which over time increases the risk of injury in that area.
The main difference between the two is that chin ups are performed with an “underhand” grip (palms facing you) and pull ups are performed with an “overhand” grip (palms facing away from you). Due to this, chin ups are easier because you are able to recruit help from the Biceps and the Brachialis muscles is the upper arm, whereas pull ups require pulling from mainly the Lat’s. I always recommend people use whichever variation they are more comfortable with and have the best technique with, so try both and see what works well for you! Although there are these clear differences between the two movements, I think we should more so celebrate the similarities. If you think about it from the perspective of the two main benefits I listed above, they are very similar movements, and both will effectively teach these things.
When punching in Boxing and Muay Thai, we generate power from our legs, which is then transferred up our body, through our core, into our arms and finally, onto our opponent’s face (hopefully). From this, we can see that if we do not effectively brace our core whilst punching, we will lose the ability to transmit power into our punch; this is where chin ups and pull ups come in. As said before, these movements teach us to brace our core whilst moving. In other words, they teach you to brace your core and transmit power through your body whilst your arms are moving (punching). They also help with kicking! As we swing around with our leg when kicking, we counter swing in the opposite direction with our arms and upper body to keep ourselves balanced. Having more strength in the lats will mean we can counter swing with more power, which will therefore mean we can put more power into our kick whilst keeping balanced!
More powerful punches AND kicks? Sign me up!
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach @ Highgate
A Story of Hope: Champion Boxer & Ex-Marine
Meet Adam Hope – With over 12 years of experience and over 45 amateur fights, Hope is bringing a fresh and exciting look to the Champions Gym boxing team. At 21, Hope joined the British Marines, only to return after learning his Mother was terminally ill. With boxing in his heart, and at just 24 years old, Adam isn’t slowing down any time soon and has big plans for Champions Gym in 2020. Hope has an incredible life story and we are excited to see what plans he has for our #BLUEARMY.
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Meet the newest recruit to join the Champions Gym Dream Team – Adam Hope. Hope has enjoyed a huge career in boxing, starting at age twelve, having over 45 amateur fights, won the state title and the Golden Gloves twice and settled for silver in the national Golden Gloves Championships. At 21, Hope joined the British Marines, only to return after learning his Mother was terminally ill. This man has an amazing story, and at just 24 years old, Adam isn’t slowing down any time soon and has big plans for Champions Gym in 2020.
Originally from Kent, United Kingdom, Hope was a hyperactive child, he didn’t concentrate well in school and had a knack for getting in trouble with kids in the local neighbourhood. When Adam’s parents saw the need to change for their family, they decided to move to Perth, Western Australia. Adam Hope was 12 at the time, coming to a new land, new school with little to no friends, and time to start a new chapter…
One day, whilst at the local hardware store to pick up some supplies for a job, his Father met a man and started talking about how he wanted to get his son into boxing. It turned out that the man he was speaking with was actually president of Boxing WA – Fred Treble – who would become Hope’s trainer for the next seven years.
When asked to tell us about his first day in the boxing gym, Adam told us: “In the gym it was hard and it was strict. There were older guys training, the coaches kept you in line, and I liked that… It kept me coming back for more!”
Hope attributes a major part of his success to his master: “Fred changed my life! He taught me discipline, respect and everything I know about Boxing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
When he realised he wasn’t much of an academic, Adam left school at age 15 to follow in his Dad’s footsteps and completed an apprenticeship in plastering. In 2017, with his busy boxing career, Adam wanted a real challenge for himself and so, enlisted in the British Royal Marines. The Royal Marines are the UK’s Commando Force and the Royal Navy’s own amphibious troops. They are an elite fighting force, optimised for worldwide rapid response and are able to deal with a wide spectrum of threats and security challenges.
Hope would spend over a year in training with the Marines, before getting the fateful call from his father, who delivered the news that his Mother was terminally ill. He left it all behind to safeguard and care for his Mother who passed away close to his last pro boxing fight in 2019, a night that Hope holds close to his heart and one he tributes to his late Mother.
Since taking a hiatus from the competitive boxing world, Hope has taken a personal passion in strength and conditioning as well as gymnastics where he hopes to expand his horizons and knowledge in human movement and performance. He is intrigued by the science behind the capabilities of making the human body better and prides himself on leading by example, keeping himself fit through regular crossfit competitions and tournaments. He aims to master the handstand for a minute.
In his personal time, Hope loves the Western Australian coast line, hanging out with friends and enjoying good food. He has big plans for the members of Champions Gym bringing a fresh burst of energy, knowledge and excitement to Boxing practitioners of all ages, as well as the Champions Gym Boxing Team, hoping to develop and refine the program to help find the next set of champions!
We can’t wait to grow together with you Adam and we are excited for the future!
We hope you enjoy this short video of Adam and his story…
#CHAMPLIFE #STRONGERTOGETHER #BOXING