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?