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Posted: 8/17/2010 1:30:37 PM EDT
I am trying to do a chin up...never done one before. (mid 40s, low-to-moderate level of fitness)

I've watched some of the YouTube videos, they recommend different things (helper bands, horizontal pullups, support one leg on a chair, etc) but I've also seen recommendations to do lat pull downs (sit on a weight machine, grab the bar overhead, and pull down to your chin)

"They" say it's a good exercise to build up your lats for a chin up....but it seems to me that it works different muscles.

Does it? Is a lat pull down good for chin ups? And, is there a good site you could refer me to so I can learn more about muscle locations/mechanics?

And of course, any other help is greatly appreciated.

Thx!
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 1:58:36 PM EDT
Can't really recommend lat pulldowns, although it will probably help some I think there are better ways- namely the ways you already listed, plus a couple others: negatives- start with your chin over bar and slowly let down. Jumping pullups- just like what it sounds like, just be careful as it's easy to overdo it with these.
Using these methods and the ones you mentioned my wife went from 0 pullups to 30. No need for a pulldown machine IMO.


Link Posted: 8/17/2010 2:01:30 PM EDT
pull downs will help you to do a chin up,it works most of the same muscles

if you cant do a chin up now doing the pull downs is a great way to get you started in the right direction

check out this book, its great
http://www.amazon.com/Strength-Training-Anatomy-3rd-Sports-Anatomy/dp/0736092269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282082163&sr=8-1
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 2:11:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Can't really recommend lat pulldowns, although it will probably help some I think there are better ways- namely the ways you already listed, plus a couple others: negatives- start with your chin over bar and slowly let down. Jumping pullups- just like what it sounds like, just be careful as it's easy to overdo it with these.
Using these methods and the ones you mentioned my wife went from 0 pullups to 30. No need for a pulldown machine IMO.




Excellent advice.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 2:58:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By diggerwolf:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Can't really recommend lat pulldowns, although it will probably help some I think there are better ways- namely the ways you already listed, plus a couple others: negatives- start with your chin over bar and slowly let down. Jumping pullups- just like what it sounds like, just be careful as it's easy to overdo it with these.
Using these methods and the ones you mentioned my wife went from 0 pullups to 30. No need for a pulldown machine IMO.




Excellent advice.


I cant really recommend them either as they tend to be an exercise people do to replace the chinup/pullup and then never work in the chinup/pullup. Depending on grip, it does (for the most part) work the same muscles...the problem lies in the fact that youre doing less weight so form becomes an issue. A lot of people will end up messing up their rotator cuff because they come too far down to the chest using their intrinsic shoulder muscles to rotate downwards, which tends to damage them at those wieghts.

And unless youve got a background in anatomy and muscle phys i cant think of a reference you would understand, or the need to know that anyways...
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 4:39:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By smithc6:
Originally Posted By diggerwolf:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Can't really recommend lat pulldowns, although it will probably help some I think there are better ways- namely the ways you already listed, plus a couple others: negatives- start with your chin over bar and slowly let down. Jumping pullups- just like what it sounds like, just be careful as it's easy to overdo it with these.
Using these methods and the ones you mentioned my wife went from 0 pullups to 30. No need for a pulldown machine IMO.




Excellent advice.


I cant really recommend them either as they tend to be an exercise people do to replace the chinup/pullup and then never work in the chinup/pullup. Depending on grip, it does (for the most part) work the same muscles...the problem lies in the fact that youre doing less weight so form becomes an issue. A lot of people will end up messing up their rotator cuff because they come too far down to the chest using their intrinsic shoulder muscles to rotate downwards, which tends to damage them at those wieghts.

And unless youve got a background in anatomy and muscle phys i cant think of a reference you would understand, or the need to know that anyways...


Which is better...wide grip pull downs, or narrow? "Do both!"?

No background in anatomy (beyond high school stuff)...but would like to know what the terms all mean ("Lats", "delts", etc.) There are many muscle, and muscle areas that I'd like to know what they're called just to know them. Not going to be a dr. anytime soon (and most of you aren't, either, I assume) so don't need the Physician's Desk Reference...
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 5:30:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
Originally Posted By smithc6:
Originally Posted By diggerwolf:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Can't really recommend lat pulldowns, although it will probably help some I think there are better ways- namely the ways you already listed, plus a couple others: negatives- start with your chin over bar and slowly let down. Jumping pullups- just like what it sounds like, just be careful as it's easy to overdo it with these.
Using these methods and the ones you mentioned my wife went from 0 pullups to 30. No need for a pulldown machine IMO.




Excellent advice.


I cant really recommend them either as they tend to be an exercise people do to replace the chinup/pullup and then never work in the chinup/pullup. Depending on grip, it does (for the most part) work the same muscles...the problem lies in the fact that youre doing less weight so form becomes an issue. A lot of people will end up messing up their rotator cuff because they come too far down to the chest using their intrinsic shoulder muscles to rotate downwards, which tends to damage them at those wieghts.

And unless youve got a background in anatomy and muscle phys i cant think of a reference you would understand, or the need to know that anyways...


Which is better...wide grip pull downs, or narrow? "Do both!"?

No background in anatomy (beyond high school stuff)...but would like to know what the terms all mean ("Lats", "delts", etc.) There are many muscle, and muscle areas that I'd like to know what they're called just to know them. Not going to be a dr. anytime soon (and most of you aren't, either, I assume) so don't need the Physician's Desk Reference...


Wide normal grip to simulate pull ups...reverse narrow grip to simulate chin ups.

If all you want to know is names, any online anatomy resource will do you fine.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 6:00:36 PM EDT
Wide normal grip to simulate pull ups...reverse narrow grip to simulate chin ups.


Thanks for the help....I'm not sure of the difference between "pull ups" and "chin ups." Could you clarify?
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 6:08:29 PM EDT
Pullups = palms away from you
Chinups = palms facing you

If you are too heavy / weak to do chinups get the bands and use them until you are strong enough to do without them.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 6:30:47 AM EDT
One thing that I'll add it that using a lat pull machine is "easy" to do. Doing pull-ups or chin-up is an actual skill that your body will learn to do. If you can do a ton of pull-ups or pull-ups with extra weight hanging off a belt, you can do lat pulls well. The reverse isn't as true.
Link Posted: 8/20/2010 10:41:52 AM EDT
Close grip will focus more on your biceps. Wide grip focuses more on your lats and shoulders.

If you want to do pull downs on a cable machine, pull all the way down to your sternum, just below your collar bone, not to your chin. When you extend, raise your shoulders, then pull your shoulders down and pull the bar into your chest. This helps hit the lats and bottom of your shoulders.
Link Posted: 8/20/2010 2:55:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JonnyVain:
Close grip will focus more on your biceps. Wide grip focuses more on your lats and shoulders.

If you want to do pull downs on a cable machine, pull all the way down to your sternum, just below your collar bone, not to your chin. When you extend, raise your shoulders, then pull your shoulders down and pull the bar into your chest. This helps hit the lats and bottom of your shoulders.




This is exactly why we DONT recommend lat pull downs. Its that exact movement that is causing shoulder injuries in people. A lot of untrained/clueless individuals think that that extra movement is helping hit a certain muscle group when in fact it is that movement that is causing the injuries to their rotator cuff. Internal rotation happens at the shoulder when pulling the weight to the chest, and at the higher weights that the exercise is typically performed with they cause major issues to the smaller intrinsic muscle/soft tissue groups.

This is also why untrained individuals (i.e. someone whos just worked out in a gym their whole life with no background or training) should not be giving lifting/exercise advice.
Link Posted: 8/20/2010 5:37:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By smithc6:
Originally Posted By JonnyVain:
Close grip will focus more on your biceps. Wide grip focuses more on your lats and shoulders.

If you want to do pull downs on a cable machine, pull all the way down to your sternum, just below your collar bone, not to your chin. When you extend, raise your shoulders, then pull your shoulders down and pull the bar into your chest. This helps hit the lats and bottom of your shoulders.




This is exactly why we DONT recommend lat pull downs. Its that exact movement that is causing shoulder injuries in people. A lot of untrained/clueless individuals think that that extra movement is helping hit a certain muscle group when in fact it is that movement that is causing the injuries to their rotator cuff. Internal rotation happens at the shoulder when pulling the weight to the chest, and at the higher weights that the exercise is typically performed with they cause major issues to the smaller intrinsic muscle/soft tissue groups.

This is also why untrained individuals (i.e. someone whos just worked out in a gym their whole life with no background or training) should not be giving lifting/exercise advice.


Zing!
Link Posted: 8/20/2010 6:07:40 PM EDT
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?
Link Posted: 8/20/2010 8:01:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2010 9:02:22 AM EDT by smithc6]
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?


No you want to pull down isolating your shoulders and back, (pinching you back muscles together) you just dont need to pull it down too far. To the chin is just fine.
Link Posted: 8/21/2010 9:52:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?


Elbows should touch your ribs at full contraction.
Link Posted: 8/21/2010 3:28:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?


Elbows should touch your ribs at full contraction.


What if you have big lats and they cant?
Link Posted: 8/21/2010 3:52:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By smithc6:
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?


Elbows should touch your ribs at full contraction.


What if you have big lats and they cant?


A person asking for advice on the internet about pullups/pulldowns doesn't have that issue.
Link Posted: 8/21/2010 7:09:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By smithc6:
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By Red_Pill:
So, if I'm reading that exchange correctly....when doing lat pull downs (especially with heavy weight), do not move the shoulders; all movement should be the arms only?


Elbows should touch your ribs at full contraction.


What if you have big lats and they cant?


A person asking for advice on the internet about pullups/pulldowns doesn't have that issue.


LOL

Too true, too true.

Really, my physical fitness journey is just starting...I've been a bus driver for many years, and I have the body to prove it. I'm starting slow, making sure I don't injure myself while gaining flexibility and loosening up the muscles and joints...

I can do 5 pushups (back straight, down to "fist height" off the floor), I can do a couple sets of 10 reps (pull downs) when the weight is set to "6" (60 lbs)....the reps drop to a single set of 10 + second set of about 8 when the weight is set to "7".

I am also doing other things to help out (walking + "trotting"; light sets of weights x 2 reps; watching what I eat, etc).

So no, I don't have "big lats getting in the way" just yet...and that's probably why I can't do any pull-ups yet, either.



Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:32:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 3:39:45 PM EDT by Red_Pill]
I've read some comments that those rubber band things can be used in place of pull-ups/chin-ups....I wouldn't think they're as effective as the real thing, but how would one use the bands as a...psuedo-pull-up? Mount a hook on the ceiling, sit on the floor and pull down, or....?


Sample product
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:56:55 PM EDT
Keep trying to do pull ups. I bought a pull up bar earlier this summer and pull ups are now my favorite exercise. It's done wonders for my back and my posture. I used to have back pain from time to time, but not anymore.

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