Pull ups

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    Pull ups


    I have seen people do pull ups wide grip and pull the bar behing them instead of to there chin. They try to touch there back, instead of there chin. Is there any advantage to doing them this way? I know it works more back, and and the range of motion is greater, so they are harder. Anything other than that thanks.

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    My understanding is that pullups to the back of the neck

    work the higher portion of the lats, right at the arm pit. I don't do them that way myself bcause I believe them to be mechanically unsound. It seems a good way to damage your rotator cuff.
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    Anything you do behind the back, be it behind the neck presses or behind the neck pull ups, are going to place more stress on the AC (Acromioclavicular) joint than if you were to do them to the front. The AC joint is the joint that fastens the acromion process of the scalpula (the top process that sort of sticks out) to the clavical. Remember, joints are strong only under certain angles. The ACL of the knee for example, which we all hear about in sports related injuries, is very strong when it's subjected to stresses going up and down, such as walking, or squatting, and so on. However, if enough stress is applied from certain angles, such as a massive football player tackling you from the side, the joint is more likely to tear, because that joint, as well as most joints, aren't designed to be subjected to huge stresses under certain angles. They're strong from top to bottom, but weak from left to right. So apply that to lifting and you'll understand why strict form in neccesary for injury prevention.

    However, changing the angles allows different regions of the target muscles to be more heavily recruited. As in, if you do behind the neck pull ups, you're going to be working the same muscles that you would be if you were doing pull ups to the front (upper back, biceps, ect..). However, by changing the angle to doing pull ups behind the neck, you're changing the angles of your muscles, therefore allowing for changes in muscle recruitment. The same principle applys to everything, with the best example being flat bench and incline bench. Both exercises work the chest as a whole, but by changing the angle as you do while doing incline presses, you're recruiting more heavily from the upper region of the chest.

    Getting to the primary question; you're not going to see any major differences between behind the neck pull ups and pull ups to the front. Yes, you are going to change the muscle and joint angles enough to work different areas of the same muscles to a degree, but personally I think there are way better exercises to chose from for total back development. You are going to put more stress on your rotater cuff and AC joint, which don't balance with the pros of this exercise, in my opinion.

    Just for the record, some of the back exercises I'm fond of chosing from include: pull ups (weighted), bent barbell rows, one-arm dumbbell rows, deadlifts, lat pulldowns, v-bar pulldowns, seated calbe rows, good mornings and hyperextensions (for targeting lower back). So my ultimate opinion is, for total back development, behind the neck pull ups are by no means neccesary.

    Hope that was of some help!
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    very imformative!

    I assume this applies equally to the lat pull down bar?
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    IMO, the best lats are obtained through pull-ups and bent bb rows. I see some guys doing the behind the back stuff and it's an unnatural movement. Like the guy above me explained, the joint doesn't like to work in that direction. As far as developement goes, the guys I see doing pull-ups to the front usually have larger lats.
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    Really good advice by several posters, nice job. As for me, nothing behind the neck ever now, cant handle the pain, and I used to do btn press with 225 for reps back in the day.
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    about 4 or 5 years ago I did these for a while, and really liked the muscle contraction that I got out of them. HOWEVER they are horrible for your AC joint, and not worth the risk of injury when you compare results you will probably get with normal pull ups. I do very strict, slow pull ups when I do do them, but still feel that I get a much better lat contraction with lat pulldown with a straight bar.
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    Your training westside? If so, normal full range pullups are the way to go. Feeling a specific contraction really doesn't mean jack, especially when you are training for strength and functionality.
    If you were just looking for an additional challenge, try chest to bar touches... I have no idea how many consecutives I could hit with those, but it would not be much!
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    Anything behind the back is awesome for your medial deltoids. Do it without weight first though so you don't get injured..
  

  
 

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