T Nation

Are Pull-Ups Needed?


#1

Title says all. I just don't feel like they do anything for my back. My lats are worked way better at pull downs similar to how stu does them and hs high rows. I've worked up to bw+15lbs for 12 reps and just still don't feel the same way after the two former exercises. Even bought some straps Yet I always hear how you HAVE to do them.


#2

Scap pullups as sort of an activation might help? I never really felt pullups in my back either until I started doing pullups with chains or against bands. Might also try just going heavier. +45x10 is decent and +90x10 is even better.


#3

Do what works for you. If I'm not mistaken, Sloh doesn't do pullups anymore, opting for lat pulldowns, and he's built a damn impressive physique.


#4

i find pull ups hit my lats a bit more if I concentrate on pulling my arms down instead of pulling myself up, if you see what I mean. Might be worth trying.


#5

Texas...try this and see how it works...

Wide grip pull-ups for max reps..rest 10 seconds
Medium grip pull-ups for max reps...rest 10 seconds
Medium grip chin-ups for max reps...rest 10 seconds
Close grip chin-ups for max reps....DONE!!

That's considered one cycle! Do 3-4 cycles, resting 2-4 minutes between cycles!

It's a total ass kicker, but you should DEFINITELY feel it in your back!


#6

Of course you don't HAVE TO do them. Just make sure whatever you're doing makes you grow, not just feel it. I can "feel it" with lots of back exercises, but heavy chinups lead to more growth for me.

And you can't really discard them just because BW+15 lbs didn't make you huge, just like you can't discard squats after only using 225.


#7

Like George F Jowett points out in "Molding a Mighty Back" endlessly "chinning the bar" isn't necessary. If you want great back development try the bent press. Taking all proper pre-cautions and starting with a LIGHT weight if you haven't done them before. Also many people claim the lift is inherently unsafe, so proceed at your own risk! There's a few others in "Molding a Mighty Back" for lat development if you are interested.

great book. but for over-all athletic appeal, they are still pretty awesome.


#8

Pullups are great for you. If you dont feel it play with your grip. There are a ton of variations for pullups that hit different things better.


#9

I find if I think about pulling my elbows down towards my butt gives me the right sort of movement to feel the exercise in my back more. Obviously the lats are quite a strong muscle so doing this with weight strapped to you is gonna help recruit the muscles I reckon


#10

Like most moves, if you don't feel them, you most likely aren't doin them correctly. Its hard to believe, but I see people doing pullup incorrectly at the gym all the time. Done properly, you'll deff feel them in your lats and even traps.