The purpose of this study was to compare kinematics and muscle activity between chin-ups and lat-pull down exercises and between muscle groups during the two exercises. Normalized electromyography (EMG) of biceps brachii (BB), triceps brachii (TB), pectoralis major (PM), latissimus dorsi (LD), rectus abdominus (RA), and erector spinae (ES) and kinematics of back, shoulder, and seventh cervical vertebrae (C7) was analysed during chin-ups and lat-pull down exercises. Normalized EMG of BB and ES and kinematics of shoulder and C7 for chin-ups were greater than lat-pull down exercises during the concentric phase (p < 0.05). For the eccentric phase, RA during lat-pull down exercises was greater than chin-ups and the kinematics of C7 during chin-ups was greater than lat-pull down exercises (p < 0.05). For chin-ups, BB, LD, and ES were greater than PM during the concentric phase, whereas BB and LD were greater than TB, and LD was greater than RA during the eccentric phase (p < 0.05). For lat-pull down exercise, BB and LD were greater than PM, TB, and ES during the concentric phase, whereas LD was greater than PM, TB, and BB during the eccentric phase (p < 0.05). Subsequently, chin-ups appears to be a more functional exercise.