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Old 14-Jun-03, 01:08 PM   #1
astroflake
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best pullup grip position?


what is the best grip on the pullup? like wide, narrow, or neutral? understandably each has it's own advantages, and works slightly differently on the lats, but what exactly are the differences, and what exercises will give you the widest lats and the best v-shaped torso?
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Old 14-Jun-03, 01:57 PM   #2
Velvet
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I always go wide, but not as wide as I can go. Just go wide enough so that you can successfully complete the pull-up. Just remember to always go wider than shoulder width.

Thats how I do them anyway.
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Old 14-Jun-03, 02:19 PM   #3
Maxima
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The best grip for pull-ups, lat pulldown, bench press, shoulder press etc. is when you are at 90 degrees at the shoulder, you are at 90 degree's at the elbow. This ensures that you get full range at the shoulder, while getting limited range at the elbow.

Always remember more range of motion means more muscle stimulation.

Example, we will draw three stick figures with different hand grips doing a bench press one at the beggining of the motion (with the bar just above the chest, if you want me to explain why touching the bar to your chest is bad unless you have a huge chest let me know) and one at the end of the motion.

Draw one with a narrow grip, beggining and ending something kind of like this - start <o>, end lol (sorry I had to get creative, the <> represent bent arms, the o represent the head, and the second lol represent the arms when straight with the head in the middle)

Draw another with a 90 degree at the shoulder, and 90 degree at the elbow grip, beggining and ending

Draw your last with a wide grip, beggining and ending

So the two main muscles that we will be looking at will be the chest muscles that bring your arms in towards each other, and the tricep muscles that extend the arm.

So the criteria for which muscles are being asked to a lot of the work will depend on how much the joint is moving. For the chest it will be how far your shoulder rotates (or bring the part of your arm where your biceps are (humerus) together) and for the tricep it will be how much the elbow is moving.


NOW LOOK AT YOUR DRAWINGS

So out first diagram, the close grip bench press

Tricep - You can see that you start with your elbows bent to a much greater degree, which if you extended them would cause a lot of range of motion at the elbow, because you start with your arm very bent and then straighten it all the way.

Chest - Your biceps (humerus) are coming in all the way to the midline so we know that this would not be limiting to the chest because the range of motion is there.

However like I said, more range of motion means more muscle stimulation so really your chest isn't being worked as hard as it can, and the smaller triceps are likely to give out first. So this would not be optimal for chest.

Next diagram.

Tricep - your elbows start out at 90 degrees and then straighten, so we know your tricep is not going to be as stimulated as in the first diagram.

Chest - Your biceps (humerus) are coming in all the way to the midline so we know that this would not be limiting the chest just like the first one.

This would be ideal, your triceps are not being as stimulated but your chest is.

Last diagram

Tricep - your elbows start out at more than a 90 degree angle and straighten, so there is even less stimulation of these muscles than all three.

Chest - because of the wide grip your biceps (humerus) are not coming in nearly as far to the midline at the end of the movement.

So while this one looks good from a secondary muscle standpoint because it is not stimulating the triceps as much, it is not stimulating the chest as much either. This is also really hard on your shoulder.

Now you can take this and apply it to Lat pulldowns. The two joints that we will look at will be elbow and shoulder again. The bicep flexes your elbow, the lats pull the part of your arm where your biceps are (humerus) in to your sides.

Same thing - with a narrow grip your elbow is moving a lot and so is your shoulder so it would be effective at targeting the lats, but the bicep is being called to do a lot of the work too.

90 degree all around grip - your still getting great range at the shoulder, and limited range at the elbow which is putting a lot more work towards the lats.

Wide grip - even though your elbows aren't moving as much neither is your shoulder.

Some will tell you that a wide grip is good for building wider lats, but those are the same people that will tell you a preacher curl works the lower end of the bicep

Now you know the basics of biomechanics (unless I have lost anyone) as long as you know what joint the muscle moves, and how it moves it you can evaluate any exercise.

Last edited by Maxima; 14-Jun-03 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 14-Jun-03, 06:06 PM   #4
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Trying to grasp the visualization here. Would a 90 degree grip for pulldowns or chins equal:

1. Arms over my head, staight up (shoulder width)

2. Arms a little wider than shoulder width, hand placement just before where the bar starts to bend to create the hand grips.

3. Arms very wide, hands holding onto the hand grips provided.

My answer is #2. Did I win anything other than the boobie prize?
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Old 14-Jun-03, 06:43 PM   #5
Maxima
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Quote:
Originally posted by IronMan
Trying to grasp the visualization here. Would a 90 degree grip for pulldowns or chins equal:

1. Arms over my head, staight up (shoulder width)

2. Arms a little wider than shoulder width, hand placement just before where the bar starts to bend to create the hand grips.

3. Arms very wide, hands holding onto the hand grips provided.

My answer is #2. Did I win anything other than the boobie prize?
When the upper part of your arm (humerus) where the bicep is located, is parallel to the floor your forearm should be pointed straight up (perpindicular to the floor)

Your grip sounds right unless you have very broad or narrow shoulders. That's where mine is so I'll give you the boobie prize

http://www.bullittzero.com/Vbb/image...s/boobies4.gif
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Old 14-Jun-03, 07:41 PM   #6
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lol thanks! Always been a boob man. Good to know I've had my placement right all along. Not good at making fancy descriptions, but I know what feels right. Thanks again, max.
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Old 15-Jun-03, 11:10 AM   #7
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gotta go with wide
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Old 15-Jun-03, 06:44 PM   #8
Shredded
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Variety works best for me.
I think whatever pull up you decide on your lats will grow just don't kick or swing
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Old 15-Jun-03, 06:45 PM   #9
ssirish
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you do pull-ups for you lats?....
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Old 15-Jun-03, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ssirish
you do pull-ups for you lats?....

yes
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Old 15-Jun-03, 08:43 PM   #11
astroflake
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yo, maxima, why is it bad to touch your chest with the bar when you're doing bench? i've always been told that that's the way your supposed to do it.
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Old 15-Jun-03, 09:42 PM   #12
MrPump
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Keep this rule in mind. Anytime you do lat work...WIDE grip works the interior back ex: Muscles next to the spine. NARROW grip works the outside of your back, in other words, broadens the back, Your V- Shape!
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Old 16-Jun-03, 05:12 PM   #13
Maxima
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Quote:
Originally posted by astroflake
yo, maxima, why is it bad to touch your chest with the bar when you're doing bench? i've always been told that that's the way your supposed to do it.
This concept came from watching power lifters as it is one of the requirements for the lift to count.

The reason it is bad to go to low is for a couple of reasons.
1. The chest's line of pull
2. The physiology of muscle contraction


When you go to low your chest loses an optimal line of pull. Look at your humerus, your chest attaches near the top of that bone (your arm) and originates at your sternum. Now look at your arm when you go low enough to touch the bar to your chest, and draw an imaginary line from your sternum to your humerus. Unless you have a super huge chest that sticks out, your chest is not going to have a good line of pull, this is bad for the next reason.

As your muscles lengthen they become weaker. So by touching the bar to your chest not only does your chest not have a good line of pull but it is also weak. What does this lead too? The anterior delt having to get you out of that intial weak spot which can lead to a variety of shoulder injuries and why heavy bench press has been associated with shoulder damage, when in fact it doesn't have to be, your chest was created for that very movment, sometimes people just apply it wrong.
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Old 16-Jun-03, 07:11 PM   #14
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What is your recommendation on how far down the bar travels for someone interested in hypertrophy?
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Old 16-Jun-03, 08:03 PM   #15
Maxima
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Quote:
Originally posted by IronMan
What is your recommendation on how far down the bar travels for someone interested in hypertrophy?
Don't worry about the bar, watch the joint that your lat is moving. Always remember more range of motion more muscle stimulation, so for the lat pulldown you would watch your elbows (humerus) and make sure it is coming down all the way into your sides, this is to make sure that your shoulder (pivot point of the exercise and where the lats motion is taking place) is working through a full range of motion.

This is a big reason that behind the neck pulldowns are inefficient. Next time you do lat pulldowns try one behind the neck pulldown and you will notice it is impossible to get your humerus all the way into your side. That and it's an unatural movment (your lats are designed to pull you up, I don't think anyone would try to pull themselves up in a tree with the branch going behind their head) that puts undo stress on the shoulder are reasons not to do it.
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bench press, calf raise, calf raises, chest muscles, grip bench, grip bench press, heavy bench, human body, incline curl, incline curls, inner thigh, lat pull, lat pulldown, lower chest, muscle stimulation, power lifter, power lifters, preacher curl, shoulder press, wide grip, wide stance




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