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Thread: Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

  1. #1

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    Today someone told me that it's much better to do pullups as opposed to lat pulldowns. Why is that?

    I can only do about 5 pullups at a time. However, my gym has an assisted pullup machine, should I use that instead of the lat pulldown machine?


  2. #2

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    personally i feel that pullups and hammer grip chins are superior to pulldowns.
    you could use the machine, but try doing 4 sets of pullups and i guarantee youll be feeling it the next day.
    and once you can do 10 or so pull ups, add some weight...

  3. #3

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    It's generally felt that any exercise that you're actually moving your body thru the air is the maximum muscle builder. Generally speaking you can move more weight with pullups (your full body weight) vs. the weight stacks on the pull downs. They do work very similiar muscles, but again I feel that pullups are superior. I think they tend to work more of the smaller stabilizer muscles..... damn, there's a link I read something about this but I can't find it for you.... I'll keep looking. I'm sure one of our experts will explain this 10 times better than I have.

  4. #4

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    I can only do about 5 pullups with proper form so I use a combination. I do a few pullups and then use the lat pulldown machine and am trying to build up lat strength with that.

    Pullups are better if you can do them.

  5. #5

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    Also, with pullups you are working against gravity which makes them more difficult than pulldowns. Your cors is being used to stabilize your body as well.

    Make sure to keep your lower body quiet(still) and use full ROM when doing pullups. I hate it when I see dudes going about 2 inches down and then thinking they are doing 20 reps.

  6. #6

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    Originally posted by RipStone:
    Also, with pullups you are working against gravity which makes them more difficult than pulldowns. Your cors is being used to stabilize your body as well.
    The stack of weights on the other end of the bar is being pulled down by gravity

    I like close neutral grip pulldowns. The way I'm doing them I do feel them working my abs muscle as well. I pull them down and in front of me to my chest. I think the two key difference is that I'm actually pulling them down rather than bending my back to bring the weight lower, also I do a little crunch at the end.

    I think the difference between the two is all in how you actually do them. Although I think it's easier to get more "weight" in a pullup since the muscles used in that exercise pull different amounts of weight.

  7. #7

    Lat Pulldowns Vs. Pullups

    The major differences arise from the closed-chain aspects of the pullup, which are neuromuscular recruitment patterns, a greater agonist/antagnist co-contraction from pullups vs. pulldowns (Antagonist co-contraction will work towards joint stabilization under load. Regarding functional movement and torque distribution about the joint, it will help to prevent potentially damaging unbalanced torques about the joint...additionally, you are simply innervating a greater amount of muscle and neural patterns, which promotes different motor unit recruitment and CNS 'training.'), and a larger number of total muscles used in body alignment and stabilization (Think core...although a pullup is not a technically weight bearing exercise in the sense that a pushup vs. lighter than body weight bench is, or a terminal knee extension vs. leg extension is, which reduces some of the applicability of the open vs. closed chain kinematic argument, for thise keeping score...)

    Small but appreciable differences, making the pullup a more functional exercise.


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