stretch and load on lats

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by faz, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. faz

    faz Active Member

    at the moment i am doing wide grip lat pulldowns palms facing away from body...would i get a better stretch doing close grip palms towards body.
    also i let my arms lock out at the top for a better stretch does anyone keep there arms slightly bent and why. :D
  2. I prefer narrow grip palms facing me. Full ROM of the lats plus it allows heavier work on synergistic muscles. IMHO one of the best compounds around. Especially since you don't need anything fancy, a bar, dip belt, some plates and your done.
  3. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    The only reason I couldn't do that so I'm still stuck at wide grip lat pulldowns is that the bar for pull-ups is far from my gym equipment (I work out at home). The bar is actually in one end of the hallway inside our house, while my equipment (bench, lat machine, free weights) is outside. I'm lazy so I dislike going inside the house and to the end of the hallway where I can disturb my bros. Have you tried lat pulldowns with a little over your bodyweight??! I have to jam my knees (well, thighs actually) against the guard so I don't lift myself up and instead pulldown the bar. If I did the close grip like I used to, I'll be dealing with even more weight, so I'll end up either ripping off the guard with my thighs as I try to pull down the weight, or one day injure my thighs somehow.

    Hahaha, worrying about a problem that could be solved simply by getting off my lazy @$$ [​IMG]
  4. robefc

    robefc New Member

    For some reason wide grip pull downs facing away always seem to be considered better, I've heard people say it gives a better stretch but I've never understood why that would be (seems to make more sense that a close grip would give a better stretch) and I've never heard any other justification, just heard that its 'better'.

    Have you got any idea why people think this? The only thing I can think of is that with a wide grip the arms come down the side of the body whilst for underhand or palms facing each other the arms are in front of the body....

    Not trying to hijack the thread but hopefully it should increase the discussion about why different grips are different/better etc which obviously leads to the original question.


  5. In shoulder extension (arms raised above head without any shoulder rotation) the Lats are allowed full ROM and are somewhat stronger.

    In shoulder adduction (bringing elbows to the side) they are stronger if the shoulders are rotated but this doesn't allow full contraction as the traps start picking up when your hands begin to reach your chest level.
  6. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Full ROM would imply more
  7. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

  8. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    So this is why we do chins palms away and over :D
  9. So basically what we all considered as the early macho biceps exercise... "how many times can you pull up", is actually the better for lats??

  10. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Well actually, palms away - as in you can see the back of your hands.

    But yeh, any chin/pull-up variant is going to use the lats as the primary movers.

    Think of the weight being moved. Can you do bicep curls with 150, 200, 250 lbs?
  11. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    I'm currently doing wide-grip pullups, palms facing away. It seems that I'm affected too by misinformation out there... I thought it was better because it doesn't use the biceps as much. Sure, I'm much stronger with narrow-grip, palms facing me, but I thought it was only because of more work being done by the biceps...

    So, narrow-grip chinups are actually better at hitting the lats? I can definitely use more weight this way. Anyway, Dan suggests palms facing in, while Jester said palms away. Can someone explain why?
  12. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    I think DK uses the close grip underhand because you can lift much more weight and therefore recruit more muscle fibres.
    I personally feel that this exercise as close grip underhand hits a different lat area than at a wide grip overhand.

    But here's the real story in terms of which muscle get used where and how:

    There indeed a difference, although not so great! But I think the biceps involvement in the close grip is the thing, as it helps out a great deal, this is a no-brainer if you have done it before!
  13. No it's not that the difference is because it hits different areas of the lats. It's more about shoulder mechanics. The lat inserts on the humerus so any movement that straightens the humerus stretches the lat. Wide pronated grip chins do not extend the humerus to the same extent. During the contraction once the bar starts coming close to your chest the lats are no longer the primary mover your traps pick it up. For overall effectiveness they are probably equal. But for isolating the lats either close grip (pronated or supinated both will allow full extension of the humerus) or pullovers work better.

    That looks vaguely familiar :D
  14. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    Thanks, I also somwhat prefer using the close grip underhand grip as you can pick up a lot more weight.

    The other day just to try, I picked up 2 x 15 Kg plates instead of my son, a difference of about 1 Kg, but man it felt a whole lot heavier.

    Anyway sure got DOMS for a while after that.

    Vaguely familiar? - I drew up the table from the site on latissimus dorsi exercises - ie chin ups.
  15. faz

    faz Active Member

    fausto sorry mate but i cant seem to get any of your attatchments up going to try close grip palms toward body next dan said more weight plus better stretch got to be better..i wanted to run it by you guys because i always felt like it gave a better stretch..but everone seemed to recomend wide grip...also does everyone let arms lock out at the top.
  16. I did the same thing a while ago and posted it somewhere around here.

    Faz, once the elbows get past parallel with the body the lats becomes less activated. If you truly want to isolate the lats then pullovers do this better than anything else. Since pullover machines are hard to come by in home gyms some people use straight arm pulldowns(Gironda type) or decline pullovers. Decline pullovers always tweak my shoulder so I gave them up a while back and I stick to Pull ups/Downs. Gironda straight arm pull downs are hard on the elbows also. He also had another variation that encompasses the begining movement used in row on the concentric but then switched to a straight arm on the ecentric, tricky to get the grasp of it but seems effective. I tried for about a month but could never get the movement down just right so I went back to plain Jane pull ups.
  17. robefc

    robefc New Member

    Do you mean this exercsise Dan?

    I used to alternate chins and rows and use pullovers as stretch point but I've been using this recently instead of rows, feels really good.

    So where does all the discussion above leave palms facing each other chins?! [​IMG]
  18. The grip width makes more of a difference than the hand position. But it all boils down to the differnce between them is miniscule, maybe wide grip are better for general back with an emphasis on lats while narrow emphasize the lats even a little more. JMO

    BTW the link didn't work
  19. robefc

    robefc New Member
    hopefully should work now.
    I think I might utilise narrow and wide grips, I'm doing 2 sets so I can do one of each, hopefully that way I've got everything covered!
    What's your view on grip width for rows? I'm thinking that a narrower grip restricts the range of motion as you can't move the arms back as far (because the handle hits your stomach). I've also heard a narrower grip is for the middle of your back and a wider one focuses more on the lats (no idea if that is right or not though!)
  20. robefc

    robefc New Member

    ok, works if you copy & paste...god I'm pc illiterate! [​IMG]

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