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Old 09-29-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
Troy Kerr
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 248
Default Pullup grips for Lat Development and Front Lever Strength

The other week I found a thread on the gymnasticbodies forum that covered the role of the lats for front lever training. Here's a post from slizzardman

" The lats run from a little below the middle of your shoulder blades all the way down your back to your hip bones and out to the side of the posterior iliac crest. They are huge. Different grips will emphasize different sets of fibers. The close grips, if done properly, will emphasize the long fibers on the outside and the wider you go the more the fibers in the middle lads will get hit. That's why wide grip pull ups are popular for lat development, that's the part people have trouble with usually. For FL training you need it all, so using a variety of grips is very important. I try to maintain the same strength on every grip and it works out really well. To hit the higher fibers you really need FL rows or foot supported rows (add weight with vest as necessary). Of course these also work the traps as well, as do the various pull up variations.

There is no back muscle except the lats that pulls the elbow towards the body so if the elbows are moving relative to the body in a vertical plane it is lat work, period, but the range of motion with 2x shoulder width is fairly small by comparison to shoulder with and 1.5x shoulder width. It is also a lower leverage movement so it is harder on the lats. Something of a tradeoff there.

Can lat strength be developed more proficiently through bent arm work like pullups and rows, or does straight arm work such as front lever pulls achieve this as well?
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:20 AM   #2
Donald Lee
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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I usually don't agree with anything that slizzardman says that sounds complicated.

If you're not a bodybuilder, you don't need to worry all that much about what he's talking about. He's talking about muscle fibers being more active when they're in a better line of pull.

Lats are better developed through bent arm work. Straight arm increases the lever arm, so relative strength improvements come with very incremental improvements in time/weight. Straight arm is also hard on your elbows. This is why lateral raises and DB flyes should usually be performed with a slight elbow bend.

You need to be able to perform movements with your arms locked out with gymnastics though. I'd just focus more on the movements and their variants and not on trying to isolate a certain muscle.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
Steven Low
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If you just work both bent and straight arm work like I lay out you will get big lats.....
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
Troy Kerr
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 248

Thanks for the input. Im not so much concerened with developing size, but well rounded development to aid in gymnastics strength.
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