An electromyographic study examining the effects of various grips on muscle contraction was reported by a group of researchers from the University of Miami. In the study a group of men used three grip positions for lat pulldowns: wide-grip front pulldowns; wide- grip rear pulldowns;
and dose- grip pulldowns with palms facing.
The subjects averaged 12 reps per set, using about 70 percent of their maximum weights for resistance. The results showed greater power output and muscle activity with the wide-grip versions. The researchers concluded that wide-grip pulldowns are better overall than close-grip variations for working the entire lat area, with particular emphasis on building lat width.