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lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?
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Author:  medic002 [ Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:29 am ]
Post subject:  lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Hi, I do wide grip lat pulls weekly, but as the weight increase I find that I have a lot of trouble gripping the bar, my grip fails even though I can handle the weight. The bar being the standard one: straight mid bit and downward angled bits either end.

So instead I changed to a different bar, the intended one is completely straight but with proper handles either end that are at 90 degrees to the bar (if that makes sense) but I was wondering, how does this effect the workout efficacy for the lats?

Thanks

Author:  Stephen Johnson [ Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

@medic002:

When you do the lat pulldown with the straight bar that has handles, do your forearms form a 90 degree angle with your upper arm? With the traditional bar, the forearms are at a wider than 90 degree angle.

The different bars probably have more effect on your grip and elbow flexor muscles than they do on your lats. However, the lats would be affected if you can't bring your elbows as close to the torso with the straight bar as you could with the traditional bar at the bottom of the movement

Author:  Oscar_Actuary [ Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

You can pull weight down for reps that you can't maintain grip ? That seems like weak grips or amazing lats to me.

Author:  medic002 [ Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

I am currently a bit above my bodyweight (10-15kg) but I do have a weak grip, but that is slowly improving.

I think the arms are more like 100-110° and it is going down as deep as before, so the lat workout should be just as good correct?

Author:  Stephen Johnson [ Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

medic002 wrote:
I think the arms are more like 100-110° and it is going down as deep as before, so the lat workout should be just as good correct?


Based on what you said, there shouldn't be any difference in the amount of work that the lats get. And with the improved grip, you'll make more progress faster.

Still, you should eventually graduate from pull downs to pull ups. Pull ups are tough to do, but there is no better exercise for the upper back.

Author:  robertscott [ Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

i find i feel the neutral grip pull down bars much more in my lats

Author:  Dub [ Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

I would remember reading that different grip affects the bicep/lat activation in some manner. Overhand being the best for lats, and underhand being more on biceps. But there are also studies claiming that underhand would be most beneficial for lat development, that's just a bit less usual. So a complicated subject.

The major thing to take here is shoulder health. Different grip and thus rotation of the arm work different ways on the rotator cuffs and the muscles thereabout. Many trainers recommend neutral or overhand grip only, and feel that they are the safest (Neutral being the best). Many critisize underhand grip as it would eventually wreck your shoulders.

Author:  Jungledoc [ Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Underhand is easier on my shoulders than overhand! Could you have this backwards?

Author:  Stephen Johnson [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Jungledoc wrote:
Underhand is easier on my shoulders than overhand!


Same here. The only time my shoulders really complain about pulling movements is when I do wide grip chins. And that's with an overhand (pronanted) grip.

More people screw up their rotator cuffs because of pressing movements rather than pulling movements, anyway. More on that here

Author:  Virgil Starkwell [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Lifting straps can help with maintaining a grip.

Author:  medic002 [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Stephen Johnson wrote:
medic002 wrote:
I think the arms are more like 100-110° and it is going down as deep as before, so the lat workout should be just as good correct?


Based on what you said, there shouldn't be any difference in the amount of work that the lats get. And with the improved grip, you'll make more progress faster.

Still, you should eventually graduate from pull downs to pull ups. Pull ups are tough to do, but there is no better exercise for the upper back.


I do pull ups and chin ups as well but I like doing the lat pulls, I do them on different days obviously. That's great, thank you.

Author:  medic002 [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

This is the most similar bar I could find http://www.gymequipment.uk.com/store/im ... nt_Bar.jpg

Author:  Jungledoc [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Virgil Starkwell wrote:
Lifting straps can help with maintaining a grip.

Thanks.

If you need help with grip on chins or pulls, I'd suggest doing some focused grip work for a while.

If you have the strength to do the chins, but grip fails first, then, yes, using straps part of the time would be helpful, but I'd get away from them as quickly as you can.

Author:  Dub [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Jungledoc wrote:
Underhand is easier on my shoulders than overhand! Could you have this backwards?

No, I didn't. This is an old phrase thrown around by several strength and condition coaches (Jason Feruggia, Chad Waterbury), but now that you have sparked my interest; No, there is not much scientific background to support this claim. There are talks of different acromion types affecting the effect of the grip, but that is more reasoned in pressing, and has bigger support. Say close to neutral overhead pressses or bench presses vs. pronated or supinated grip [Even tho nobody does supinated grip pressing] presses. But when considering that the involving muscles and movements are just opposite, could it have an effect?

The other word against supinated grip comes from the fact that it puts the shoulder joint in a very disadvantaged position: To the front of your body. Instead of a proper pull-up or neutral it should wind up more on the sides. It's also claimed that supinated chins cause huge stress on the elbow joints (Given the logic used before).

Author:  Stephen Johnson [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: lat pull bars - how much difference do they make?

Dub wrote:
It's also claimed that supinated chins cause huge stress on the elbow joints.


That I agree with.

When I was learning pull ups, the temptation was to use a supinated grip to involve the biceps more. My sticking point was at the top of the movement, where elbow flexion comes into play. But after a while, my elbows started to complain. Using a neutral grip was the work-around. A pronated grip pretty much disables the biceps.

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