Weight Training Research: Wide-Grips Exercise for Wider Lats?

Wide Grip Exercises

Proper Exercise Execution and Smart Results

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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.

More Scientific Exercise Analysis

Common wisdom states that you should use three toe positions when training your calves: out, in and straight. The thinking is that the toes out position focuses on the inner calf head, while toes in works the outer calf. Curious researchers from the Human Performance Lab of the University of Miami, Coral Gables, tested this assumption on seven women and eight men, ages 18 to 50, in another recent study that made use of electromyography.

The subjects used the three toe positions while doing calf raises on a Smith machine- but with electrodes attached to their calves that fed information to a machine that recorded electrical activity in the muscles. The results showed significant activity in the lateral, or inner, calf heads during toes-in and toes-out calf raises, hut there were no significant differences in the medial-calfs head from any particular toe position.




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