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exter
08-10-2011, 05:05 PM
Hey coach
Could you shed some light on semi supinated pull ups ? what is the difference as to the muscles involved ? they are easier so i guess they work more muscles.
Thanks.

Mark Rippetoe
08-11-2011, 06:19 PM
They are probably easier because you are using a shorter ROM. Supination of the forearm requires the biceps, pronation does not. So chins (supine) uses biceps while pullups (prone) does not.

frosty-g
08-11-2011, 06:42 PM
Sorry if this is a dumb question but what is a semi supinated pull up? I get the difference between supinated and pronated but not the semi bit in this instance. Cheers.

Mark Rippetoe
08-11-2011, 06:52 PM
Neutral, or hammer grip. Is what he means.

frosty-g
08-11-2011, 07:03 PM
gotcha, thanks!

bruce
08-12-2011, 10:50 AM
The neutral grip provides a mechanical advantage over the other two positions which should make pull-ups easier for most people in that position, especially with a narrower grip. Don't think that disagrees with anything Rip says about the benefits of chins over pull-ups.

gape
08-12-2011, 01:08 PM
They are probably easier because you are using a shorter ROM. Supination of the forearm requires the biceps, pronation does not. So chins (supine) uses biceps while pullups (prone) does not.

At the gym I go to the neutral grips are closer than the standard chin up/pull up grip like in this picture:
http://neolacommcenter.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/cable_crossover.312113907.jpg

So in that situation the ROM is longer for the neutral grip, but I still find them easier to do than standard chin ups. That just may be me though.

Roy
08-12-2011, 01:18 PM
Hey Coach,

Speaking of alternate grip pull-ups do you think there's any good reason for doing pull-ups/chins on rings such that you so that you start like a pull-up but end like a chin-up? I feel like it's just easier to concentrate and load on chin-ups, but I recently read an article on t-nation with somebody saying that the rotating pull-up was better for your joints. Do you have a take on that, or have you ever tried these out?

Mark Rippetoe
08-12-2011, 02:20 PM
So in that situation the ROM is longer for the neutral grip,

I don't see an obvious explanation for this.


do you think there's any good reason for doing pull-ups/chins on rings such that you so that you start like a pull-up but end like a chin-up? I feel like it's just easier to concentrate and load on chin-ups, but I recently read an article on t-nation with somebody saying that the rotating pull-up was better for your joints. Do you have a take on that, or have you ever tried these out?

I have tried them, and I see no advantage to the instability. I have always considered that joints should adapt within their ability to do so as a part of the exercise.

exter
08-12-2011, 05:44 PM
The neutral grip provides a mechanical advantage over the other two positions

Does this mean that they are more efficient ?

I have no proof/reasoning but we always seek advantageous mechanics in the main lifts (bar close to the legs for the deadlift , for instance)

bruce
08-13-2011, 03:28 PM
Does this mean that they are more efficient ?

I have no proof/reasoning but we always seek advantageous mechanics in the main lifts (bar close to the legs for the deadlift , for instance)

Not so much more efficient, just different. The muscles of the upper back and the elbow flexors are, as a unit, in the most effective position and neutral grip pull-ups are therefore slightly easier and/or you can lift more weight. But looking at the elbow flexors individually, the biceps do a little less work when compared to a supinated grip. So it depends what you want to get from the exercise.

Re ROM, it should be similar to the supinated grip version so all I can think is that either you are slightly stronger in the top range with the neutral grip or you have limited shoulder flexion with a supinated grip and are therefore unable to hang completely straight at the bottom.

mrflibble
08-14-2011, 12:31 AM
The muscles of the upper back and the elbow flexors are, as a unit, in the most effective position and neutral grip pull-ups are therefore slightly easier ...

This is a big call, made, I suspect, in the absence of any real understanding of basic musculoskeletal anatomy. Which upper back muscles? What do you mean, as a "unit" (As opposed to what? A dissected cadaver?) Most effective position? What does this even mean?

A neutral grip pull up is achieved with the forearm midway between pronation and supination. You could then argue that brachioradialis more effectively aids elbow flexion, but with less biceps involvement as you mention above - but you cannot assert with any certainty that this would make for an overall stronger flexion of the elbow.

This brings me to the overly general "muscles of the upper back". Just how do you think they are involved in supination/pronation of the forearm? Or more specifically, which upper back muscles do you think insert upon the radius and or ulna?

gape
08-15-2011, 01:57 AM
I don't see an obvious explanation for this.

Is it possible that my biceps are just weaker than my other two elbow flexors and so neutral-grip is easier than supinated? Even when my workout was mainly curls and push ups as a teenager I would always do hammer curls and I would use the neutral grip on the pull up bar I had at home.

bruce
08-15-2011, 08:04 AM
This is a big call, made, I suspect, in the absence of any real understanding of basic musculoskeletal anatomy. Which upper back muscles? What do you mean, as a "unit" (As opposed to what? A dissected cadaver?) Most effective position? What does this even mean?

A neutral grip pull up is achieved with the forearm midway between pronation and supination. You could then argue that brachioradialis more effectively aids elbow flexion, but with less biceps involvement as you mention above - but you cannot assert with any certainty that this would make for an overall stronger flexion of the elbow.

This brings me to the overly general "muscles of the upper back". Just how do you think they are involved in supination/pronation of the forearm? Or more specifically, which upper back muscles do you think insert upon the radius and or ulna?

In the interests of civility I'll resist the temptation to answer that with a simple 'fuck off'. I have no desire to get into an argument about what is, as you say, merely an opinion, albeit a little more informed than you seem to think. It appears that in my attempt to keep things simple I have gone a little too far for your liking, although how the fuck you took certain things from my post I have no idea.

By the muscles of the upper back I would have thought it was obvious that I meant those muscles of the upper back involved in a pull-up. Please tell me you don't want a list. And which bit of my post gave the impression that I think any of these muscles might attach to the bones of the forearm?!

As I'm sure most people on here already know, individual muscle recruitment in this and most other movements depends on a number of factors, in this case including the hand position. Internally/externally rotating the humerus will affect recruitment of the upper back muscles and pec major, while pronation/supination will affect recruitment of the individual elbow flexors. When I talked about a 'unit' I simply meant looking at the overall contribution of the various muscles involved, so while the biceps may work harder with a supinated grip, the lats with a pronated grip and pec major with a close grip, my belief is that a neutral grip just outside shoulder width provides the best combination. I can't say it with any certainty, and differences are likely to be small, but that's just how I see it. This is a pointless argument anyway as, in all likelihood, a variety of hand positions is probably ideal; if there is a best one, it'll only be the best for a short time.

Mark Rippetoe
08-16-2011, 01:07 PM
Is it possible that my biceps are just weaker than my other two elbow flexors and so neutral-grip is easier than supinated? Even when my workout was mainly curls and push ups as a teenager I would always do hammer curls and I would use the neutral grip on the pull up bar I had at home.

Stef points out that the main advantage is probably mechanical: a neutral grip results in a chest position during the movement much closer to the bar, i.e. a shorter moment arm between shoulder and grip. She is much smarter than I am, and possibly pays closer attention to pullup mechanics.