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Pull up (or lat pull down) question

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  • Pull up (or lat pull down) question

    In regards to the lat pull down (or the pull up) do y'all think that it helps drive up the weight of the big 4 (squat, bench, standing over head, or deadlift)? I'm asking because I've come to the conclusion that it is my favorite assistance exercise- i am considering programming it differently.

  • #2
    Generally, no. There is some Lat involvement in the Deadlift, keeping the bar in the proper bar path.

    I’m partial to dumbbell rows myself.
    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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    • #3
      Lat pulldowns and pullups do not make you a better deadlifter, squatter, bencher ect... However they are good excercises for the upper back developement and maybe you should do them if you like

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      • #4
        Probably won't help your lifts any, but it'll make you feel like a beast and you can play Stallone in Rambo part 2 and film yourself tying a bandanna around your head from the back.

        If you like them, you should definitely do them.

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        • #5
          Interesting. I always assumed that if your ability to pull were better, your ability to push would also improve. I guess my perspective on it was incorrect.

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          • #6
            Personally, find that the better 'connection' I have to my lats, the better I perform the big 3. Squat for example - I squat much better when i tighten my lats - it seems like my positioning is better and my back stays tighter. Same with bench and deadlift. I don't know enough about all this to say whether or not there is direct involvement, but my guess is that strengthening the back musculature will help all of your lifts in some way or another.

            I don't think you will find very many high level lifters with small, undeveloped backs...right?

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            • #7
              As others have said, it may not directly affect any other exercise outside of other back-focused movements. However, maintaining depressed/retracted scapulae during the pullup has made pinching them during the bench press or deadlift a mindless task that I can maintain during the whole set, so there's that.

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              • #8
                If you are prioritizing the big 4 then a good chunk of your training stress should be spent of the big 4 and their variations. nonspecific exercises are mostly useful if they are giving you a lot of hypertrophy for a muscle that's important to the big 4. Lat Pulldowns have a good fatigue:stimulus ratio (Pull ups maybe not so much) and the lats play a role in deadlifts. But it's a small role so I still wouldn't do a lot of lat pulldowns unless: you like them, you have training resources to spare (beginner programs, deloads), you find that your big 4 #s respond well to them, and/or you're worried about maxing out the muscular strength potential of your lats when you deadlift.

                This feeling the lats thing is probably easy to accomplish with even less fatiguing exercises (straight arm pulldowns, or is it pushdown...I still don't know) and doesn't require any hard sets, nor continuous training. For pinching your scaps, which I don't even think is really done by the lats, it would probably make sense to go with reverse flies/band pull aparts. Lastly, It probably doesn't matter if you feel the muscle as long as you're in the correct position.

                If I was writing a program for someone who said their only goal is increasing the big 4 (and it was appropriate for them to specialize) and they like lat pulldowns, you better believe I'm giving them lat pulldowns.

                Mike T has talked a little about how valuable it is get athlete buy in and how dumb it is to ignore someone saying they just like an exercise.

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