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  1. #1
    Registered User Regality's Avatar
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    What is the best exercise for strengthening wide grip pull-ups besides the obvious?

    So besides the exercise itself, what's best? I've always been pretty weak here. Am I right that this exercise is an intermediate to advanced exercise? I remember when I was a kid I could at least do the bicep pull-ups relatively easily. I think I would get close to 10 reps or more when I was in elementary school. I guess times are so civil now. I bet my body has not advanced physically as nature intended it to. Anyway, I don't know many back lifts besides deadlift, row, and lat pulldown variants. I have to get a gym membership soon. I just started lifting again so I'm lifting at home, doing a 3 month Athlean-X program. It will be done in a month and then I think I'll get back in the gym. Every time the program called for wide grip pull-ups I would just replace them with a back exercise, hoping that sometime down the line I would be a bit stronger and attempting the pull-ups won't be a waste. I can't even do a single one right now.

    As I type this I'm about to do a workout with wide grip pull-ups. I will actually attempt them or do ****ty ones just to get some experience in. But it won't be much.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    wide grip uses a different part of the lat because its shoulder adduction (arms out to the sides)- whereas for example, a row or closer grip pull up is more shoulder extension (elbow in front of you).

    I don't know what other exercises would train this movement - if you have a lat pulldown, you could get some volume in using higher rep wide grip pulldowns, squeeze at the bottom, maybe even do it behind the neck.
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    Originally Posted by Regality View Post
    I bet my body has not advanced physically as nature intended it to.
    Weight gain may be as much of a factor as lack of muscle development. Try just doing the negatives or assisted pullups in addition to lat pulldowns.
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    You can also do lat pulls with exercise bands. They are about 10 bucks for a set of 3 bands (light, medium, heavy) and a handle. I've got one anchored to the top of my deer gambrel and can do one handed lat pulls with it. It would also make one heck of a slingshot.
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    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Any chance you could post a video showing your form?
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    wide grip uses a different part of the lat because its shoulder adduction (arms out to the sides)- whereas for example, a row or closer grip pull up is more shoulder extension (elbow in front of you).
    I've wondered about this. For a proper wide-grip pull up, must the elbows necessarily be completely flared? With a sufficiently wide grip, they will have to be somewhat, but is it bad form if they pull forward slightly, provided that your palms are still forward and your hands are positioned wide apart?
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I've wondered about this. For a proper wide-grip pull up, must the elbows necessarily be completely flared? With a sufficiently wide grip, they will have to be somewhat, but is it bad form if they pull forward slightly, provided that your palms are still forward and your hands are positioned wide apart?
    I wouldn't say it was bad form - but you would be favouring a different part of the lats which might be stronger. If you are intent of focusing on the adduction movement then just do the best you can I guess.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I've wondered about this. For a proper wide-grip pull up, must the elbows necessarily be completely flared? With a sufficiently wide grip, they will have to be somewhat, but is it bad form if they pull forward slightly, provided that your palms are still forward and your hands are positioned wide apart?
    It's kind of a matter of the moment angle your arms hang from. If you raise your scapulae jointly with the upper traps and rhomboids and also align your teres major and triceps long head then you can pull straight down with flared elbows.
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    Originally Posted by Regality View Post
    So besides the exercise itself, what's best? I've always been pretty weak here. Am I right that this exercise is an intermediate to advanced exercise? I remember when I was a kid I could at least do the bicep pull-ups relatively easily. I think I would get close to 10 reps or more when I was in elementary school. I guess times are so civil now. I bet my body has not advanced physically as nature intended it to. Anyway, I don't know many back lifts besides deadlift, row, and lat pulldown variants. I have to get a gym membership soon. I just started lifting again so I'm lifting at home, doing a 3 month Athlean-X program. It will be done in a month and then I think I'll get back in the gym. Every time the program called for wide grip pull-ups I would just replace them with a back exercise, hoping that sometime down the line I would be a bit stronger and attempting the pull-ups won't be a waste. I can't even do a single one right now.

    As I type this I'm about to do a workout with wide grip pull-ups. I will actually attempt them or do ****ty ones just to get some experience in. But it won't be much.
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