T Nation

Pulldowns And Pullups


#1

hey all just wondering how come i could easily do 80kg 4x8 on lat pulldown (not the dodgy one with about 50 pulleys, the one with 2 pulleys and perfect form) at a bodyweight of 65kg and struggled to do 4x6 pullups without any weights?


#2

well for one the lat pull down at 80kg is probably not 80kg, all the machines vary and are probably not the weight they clainm to be, more a reference point. and believe it or not with the pull ups you are using a lot of bicep, compared to the pull down.


#3

cause pullups are harder and build more muscle.


#4

You can do more Pulldowns because it's a better movement! Why are you wasting your time with Pull-ups anyway?

Look at all of the top bodybuilders. They don't do pull-ups they do pulldowns!


#5

One reason pull ups are harder is because you have to stabilize your body as it moves up and down.


#6

You're working opposing muscle groups with pull ups/downs. I find it a lot harder to do pull ups because I have a right shoulder impingement effecting my anterior deltoid. Pull downs are easy as cake, though. So clearly that muscle group is not being worked for the pull downs.


#7

what? it's the same movement. One you're moving your body thru space, the other you're moving an object thru space, still the same movement though.


#8

SpynkayMunkay,
A lat pulldown will isolate that muscle group and is a good exercise,but it is not a true weight.Pull ups,chin ups will take your back strength to the next level.It will help your overall body strength as well.


#9

damn imaginary weight


#10

They may seem like the same movement, but they're not. Pull/chin-ups are a closed chain exercise, while pull downs are an open chain exercise. In an open chain exercise, your body is stationary, allowing you to isolate a muscle or group. In a closed chain, you move your bodyweight, which allows for less isolation since you have to use a larger group of muscles to get through the exercise.


#11

I understand that, but you're still incorporating the back/biceps in both movements. And while one might be slightly more beneficial to say that a pulldown is inferior and not worth doing (as it seems to have been said), is just not true.


#12

Gotcha. Personally, I don't think pull downs are inferior. It's just hard to tell exactly how much you're pulling due to the mechanical advantage of the pullies, inaccuracies in weight plates, etc. I think any well rounded routine would have both pull downs and pull-ups.

I do 'em till I puke. :slight_smile:


#13

So exactly what muscle group are you saying that pull-downs isolate?


#14

I wouldn't call it isolation, per se, but the pull down allows you to focus more on your lats than a pull-up does. They still involve biceps and traps, but not to the extent that a pull up does.

I mean, I see these huge guys at my gym that can completely load the pull down rack and knock out 5 or 6 reps, but can't do a single chin.


#15

That could also be because they are not used to performing chins. You usually get better at what you practice regularly.


#16

Hilarious!Yeah it's done with mirrors!


#17

Good point!


#18

still though, I find that pullups trasnsfer to pulldowns but not vice versa


#19

Grip and forearm strength come into play much more in pull-ups.


#20

i'm of the opinion that pullups are better than pulldowns. Pullups have different recruitment patterns. They allow your body to take a more natural path than pulldowns and my lats respond much better to them and the aesthetic results i see generally reflect my pullup performace. If your having trouble it might be a forearm/bicep strength issue. When i decided to start doing more pullups than pulldowns i noticed all of my strength was in the plane i did pulldowns in and i couldn't really keep balanced outside of that, it disapeared over time. If your numbers are shit just keep at it with your body wieght. I found i could do them two or three times a week without overtraining. vary your grip, and what you pullup on and your numbers will improve.