T Nation

Pull Up vs. Lat Pull Down

Hey Guyz!

I don’t have access to a pull-up bar but I do have a lat pull-down machine. I was wondering the disadvantages of using lat pull-down rather than doing pull-ups.


As I’ve recently been converted to pull-ups and chin-ups after years of pull downs… maybe changing things up is good from one to the other. But I really get a kick out of pulling body weight. After 50 reps, try doing anything else. Great for biceps development, too. Much more than pull downs. Good luck.

The difference between chins and pull downs is like the difference between leg extensions and squats.

Sure, lat pull downs can be great if worked in to your routine, but chins should be the foundation of your back routine, and will give much better gains.

And you should be able to find some way to get access to a chin bar- whether it’s one of the ones that fit into a doorway, a smith machine locked in the highest position or whatever.

The difference lies in the recruitment patterns. I think lat pull downs are fine but try and incorporate chins and pullups somewhere… don’t have a bar? who cares, pull up on anything you can hang from, if you’ve got some thick beams exposed in you basment use those, it’ll help with gripstrength too…

You don’t need a bar unless you’re doing weighted pullups-- even then it’s not mandatory, only helpful. If I’m in a gym without a bar I’ll pullup off anything possible. The mixed and awkward hand positions improve both grip as well as the primary muscles themselves --like mixed grip pullups do. I’ve used smiths, power racks, the top bar holding the pulley on lat pulldown machines, the bar itself on the pulldown machine (with the weightstack set above my BW), and all sorts of other crap. For stuff with room for only one hand you can try one arm eccentrics, depending on your strength. Seriously, just monkey up random shit and you’ll be set.

Thanks Guyz!

I’m going out tommorrow to buy one to put on my door.


Alternate pull ups with the lat pull downs. you’ll hurt tomorrow. Keep to WIDE arms on both for your lats…

[quote]retailboy wrote:
Thanks Guyz!

I’m going out tommorrow to buy one to put on my door.


Hmmm, door… this could be a bad idea unless you didn’t mention that its the door to a vault or that you only weigh 80 pounds. I personally would rip the hinges out of the studs in the jam if i tried this.

Yeah, get one of the expandable ones with screw in mounts. I have had up 270 on it so far and it hasn’t budged in the least.