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  1. #1
    Registered User richardnich's Avatar
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    will dumbbell rows help improve pull ups?

    At the moment Im awful at pull ups, and want to increase the amount I can do. As well as doing negative reps, will dumbbell rows help build up the strength and endurance required to do loads of pull ups?
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  2. #2
    AR-15 User AdamBombed's Avatar
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    not really, your best bet (outside of just doing pull ups) would be wide grip pull downs
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  3. #3
    Registered User Realityy's Avatar
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    The only way to do more pull ups is... to do more pullups lol. If you can't do many with bodyweight, use the assisted pullup machine until you get stronger, and eventually you can move to bodyweight ones, and then finally move to weighted.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Back4u's Avatar
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    Getting your back and biceps stronger will help you get better at pull ups, as well as maybe dropping a bit of weight. But as everyone is saying to get better at pull ups you gotta do pull ups.
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  5. #5
    Registered User tomsfish's Avatar
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    as long as you are trying to do pullups or the assist pullup machine,anything else couldnt hurt.i do alot of chinups during the week,and on those last few that are hard to do,sometimes i feel my bis bringing me over the bar or my forearms and grip will get me over the bar.sometimes being a little stronger on some other muscles involved will help you get a couple of reps more.
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  6. #6
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    I'm just starting out doing chin-ups, which isn't exactly the same... but I started out doing just one at a time between sets of other exercises. I could only do 1 rep at a time.

    Then I just kept doing them until failure about once a week. This week I got three sets: 5 reps, 4 reps, and 3 reps.

    The answer really is to do pull-ups!

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  7. #7
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    Emphasize the eccentric portion of the lift to get stronger on the concentric, meaning, do negatives. Throw yourself up on your bar and lower yourself down slowly. Try to maybe do 20-30 reps over however many sets maybe 3 days a week.

    If you finally get to do a few, maybe implement a Grease the Groove technique. If you have a pullup bar in your place, every time you walk under it do as many pullups as you can without going to failure. Do this a few times a day. As long as you don't go to failure, you'll gain some strength and be able to keep doing pullups with the fatigue of going to failure.
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  8. #8
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    They could possibly, but probably not significantly due to the difference in direction of pull. It would most likely help you near the top of your chin, not so much when your elbows are straightened with humeri flexed overhead because rows don't pull from that position.
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  9. #9
    Registered User mattpdm29's Avatar
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    Workout with the lat pulldown and do static holds...that help me go up pretty fast over 3 months from 3 to 17.
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  10. #10
    With my 89 vision Epilerik's Avatar
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    No, the hardest part about pullups initially is the constant time under tension and your grip. DB rows won't help with either of that
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  11. #11
    Registered User Flexitout's Avatar
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    Do some lat pull downs or more pull ups or negatives like most people have been saying. Rows work a specific portion of the back, and pull ups work a specific portion of the back. If rows help at all... it would be very little.
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  12. #12
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    yeah, negatives or the assisted pull-ups machine would be my suggestion.
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  13. #13
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    No.

    Rows pull weight/resistance toward a fixed target (you) generally at a horizontal angle. Pullups pull yourself towards a fixed target generally at a more vertical angle. Different exercises requiring different pulling mechanics.

    OP, like stated above, the real secret to improving pullups is to practice them religiously and grind them out, one at a time if you have to. Over time you will improve if you put in the hard work. That's it. No magic or special tricks, only hard work and time.
    Last edited by SquatTilYouDrop; 03-07-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    No.

    Rows pull weight/resistance toward a fixed target (you) generally at a horizontal angle. Pullups pull yourself towards a fixed target generally at a more vertical angle. Different exercises requiring different pulling mechanics.

    OP, like stated above, the real secret to improving pullups is to practice them religiously and grind them out, one at a time if you have to. Over time you will improve if you put in the hard work in. That's it. No magic or special tricks, only hard work and time.
    totally agree with this
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by Epilerik View Post
    No, the hardest part about pullups initially is the constant time under tension and your grip. DB rows won't help with either of that
    dumbbell rows do help with grip... but not necessarily for the pull up grip.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by richardnich View Post
    At the moment Im awful at pull ups, and want to increase the amount I can do. As well as doing negative reps, will dumbbell rows help build up the strength and endurance required to do loads of pull ups?
    One thing I do that has made pull ups almost obsolete for me is muscle ups. When you get muscle ups down, pull-ups are something you do after you can't do anymore muscle ups. I wanted to upload a video of me doing muscle ups, but I can't get it to upload? I don't know I will try again later. I like muscle ups. They are cool. After you get to where you can do muscle ups, when I see some guy doing boring ass pull ups, I will work in and do like 8 muscle ups. They usually are just shamed into walking away.
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  17. #17
    Registered User ichidkiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ichidkiller View Post
    One thing I do that has made pull ups almost obsolete for me is muscle ups. When you get muscle ups down, pull-ups are something you do after you can't do anymore muscle ups. I wanted to upload a video of me doing muscle ups, but I can't get it to upload? I don't know I will try again later. I like muscle ups. They are cool. After you get to where you can do muscle ups, when I see some guy doing boring ass pull ups, I will work in and do like 8 muscle ups. They usually are just shamed into walking away.
    To help your pull ups, I think that pulling very hard up with a kip and a swing is the way to improve. Pull Explosive as high as you can. Try to pull the bar all the way to your hips. EXPLODE for 10 or 15 hard reps, rest a few then 10 or 15 more. I don't like those stagnant slow pull ups, boring. I like to swing and I do muscle ups all the way up. it has really helped my back, grip and core.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by ichidkiller View Post
    To help your pull ups, I think that pulling very hard up with a kip and a swing is the way to improve. Pull Explosive as high as you can. Try to pull the bar all the way to your hips. EXPLODE for 10 or 15 hard reps, rest a few then 10 or 15 more. I don't like those stagnant slow pull ups, boring. I like to swing and I do muscle ups all the way up. it has really helped my back, grip and core.
    Are we trying to develop back muscles here or do circus tricks?

    By all means, let's swing and jerk the body up using momentum taking back muscles out in order to get more reps.

    How can reducing back muscle activation help produce better back musculature?

    I'll take slow controlled weighted pullups which place a premium on lat pulling strength over over wild swinging and numbers any day which don't. The goal is a better back and optimal use of time, not how boring an exercise is or is not.

    Weighted "controlled" pullups give your lats the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Other questionable variations may be more fun but not as effective.
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  19. #19
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    I think you should do everything. Fast, slow, narrow grip, wide grip,...
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    Are we trying to develop back muscles here or do circus tricks?

    By all means, let's swing and jerk the body up using momentum taking back muscles out in order to get more reps.

    How can reducing back muscle activation help produce better back musculature?

    I'll take slow controlled weighted pullups which place a premium on lat pulling strength over over wild swinging and numbers any day which don't. The goal is a better back and optimal use of time, not how boring an exercise is or is not.

    Weighted "controlled" pullups give your lats the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Other questionable variations may be more fun but not as effective.
    Not everyone is some phaqqot bodybuilder wanting cobra lats that only look nice. Some care about, you know, strength, endurance, and power.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by supmannn View Post
    Not everyone is some phaqqot bodybuilder wanting cobra lats that only look nice. Some care about, you know, strength, endurance, and power.
    So you callin' everyone in here phaggots who do exercises dedicated to lat development, brah?

    Continue.

    Oh and nice thread U started...

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=132409933


































    Lencho.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by supmannn View Post
    Not everyone is some phaqqot bodybuilder wanting cobra lats that only look nice. Some care about, you know, strength, endurance, and power.
    I lol'd
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    Originally Posted by im2manly View Post
    I lol'd
    Talkin' to yourself.


    Brilliant.
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    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    Talkin' to yourself.


    Brilliant.
    STYD you shouldn't be so paranoid, it could lead you down a dark and lonely road.
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    Originally Posted by im2manly View Post
    STYD you shouldn't be so paranoid, it could lead you down a dark and lonely road.
    Too late.
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    1. Whatever you do, don't get frustrated.
    2. Just 4 years ago I was only able to do two pullups max.
    3. Now I am able to shell out 15 bodyweight pullups with ease, 20 pullups and fatigue sets in.

    What I did is emphasize my pull up form even if I only did 2 reps per set. I made pull ups my first exercise every back day. I kept my diet in check. Within 1 month I was doing 6 reps per set. The first time I did 10 reps per set I was on top of the world. Whatever you do Don't Let Frustration Set In! Also do not stray away from form and end up doing those swinging/jerking pull ups you see many people do. I am amazed those guys haven't torn a bicep.
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    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    Are we trying to develop back muscles here or do circus tricks?

    By all means, let's swing and jerk the body up using momentum taking back muscles out in order to get more reps.

    How can reducing back muscle activation help produce better back musculature?

    I'll take slow controlled weighted pullups which place a premium on lat pulling strength over over wild swinging and numbers any day which don't. The goal is a better back and optimal use of time, not how boring an exercise is or is not.

    Weighted "controlled" pullups give your lats the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Other questionable variations may be more fun but not as effective.
    Lets see you do a muscle up. Go ahead and try. no way you can do one. so go ahead and talk dude. Post your video. I would like to see you do one. There is no ****ing way you can do one. After gou get to the point that you can do muscle ups a chin up feels "incomplete." Like sex with out an orgasm. 1 muscle up, for a 200 pound guy is =to 15 strict chinups/pullups. the muscle ups have helped, my back, lats, grip, forearms, triceps, shoulders Pecs and abdominals. I get a ferocious burn in my lats/ back when I do the muscle ups to pull ups. Muscle up is a core/explosive move. My powercleans have gone up 40 pound improvement since I started doing muscle ups and my back/christmas tree looks markedly better. I am going to post some more recent pics and videos of muscleups and powrcleans.
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    Originally Posted by ichidkiller View Post
    Lets see you do a muscle up. Go ahead and try. no way you can do one. so go ahead and talk dude. Post your video. I would like to see you do one. There is no ****ing way you can do one. After gou get to the point that you can do muscle ups a chin up feels "incomplete." Like sex with out an orgasm. 1 muscle up, for a 200 pound guy is =to 15 strict chinups/pullups. the muscle ups have helped, my back, lats, grip, forearms, triceps, shoulders Pecs and abdominals. I get a ferocious burn in my lats/ back when I do the muscle ups to pull ups. Muscle up is a core/explosive move. My powercleans have gone up 40 pound improvement since I started doing muscle ups and my back/christmas tree looks markedly better. I am going to post some more recent pics and videos of muscleups and powrcleans.
    LOL, so progressively adding weight to pullups won't improve one's lats/back either. I've moved well beyond bodyweight manipulation exercises. More of a warm up than anything else.

    Eventually all body weight exercises plateau and one needs to add resistance to progress.

    Hard to safely add weight/resistance to jerky parlor tricks like muscle ups or kips.

    Also you sound very angry for someone 52 years of age. Maybe someone spiked your Viagra with something.
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    Originally Posted by Epilerik View Post
    No, the hardest part about pullups initially is the constant time under tension and your grip. DB rows won't help with either of that
    Yes they will, you can row heavy dumbbells for long periods of time under tension, this can strengthen the grip. Especially if you use thick dumbbells or something. Fat gripz ftw

    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    No.
    Wrong, too absolute. The benefits are limited so there's criticism of using it for desiring a transfer but 'no' is too dismissive.

    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    Rows pull weight/resistance toward a fixed target (you) generally at a horizontal angle. Pullups pull yourself towards a fixed target generally at a more vertical angle. Different exercises requiring different pulling mechanics.
    Whether it's moving towards you or you towards something is irrelevant. There are bodyweight rows that involve pulling yourself towards something and lat pulldowns that involve pulling something to you, and these would transfer, and so would their counter parts opposite in the open/closed chain dichotomy.

    The difference in horizantal/vertical angle is the most significant difference that deserves focus. Another key difference is the range of motion used. Rowing should help with locking out a pull up because it does hit that upper 1/2 range. It doesn't involve pulling the lats down from overhead, that's the key weakness that rows can't significantly help pull ups with, and where moves like pullovers can help, just like pullovers wouldn't significantly help with the lockout.

    Ugh actually, terms like 'lockout' are probably confusing since the elbow is bent at the top of a pull... I mean like, the top of the movement, the termination of concentric movement into eccentric lowering. Not the bottom where the elbows are straight/locked.

    In line with Epi's point, grip can also be strengthened I guess.

    Originally Posted by quikieemart View Post
    dumbbell rows do help with grip... but not necessarily for the pull up grip.
    Perhaps not, but is the a significant difference? It's all finger flexion and traction on the wrist joint. I don't see any major difference between that of pull ups, rows or deadlifting, there should be a high rate of transfer.

    It'd be different of course if people were doing different stuff like mixed grips, straps, hook grips, or that big overhand flexed-wrist grip people do for muscle ups.


    Originally Posted by ichidkiller View Post
    One thing I do that has made pull ups almost obsolete for me is muscle ups. When you get muscle ups down, pull-ups are something you do after you can't do anymore muscle ups. I wanted to upload a video of me doing muscle ups, but I can't get it to upload? I don't know I will try again later. I like muscle ups. They are cool. After you get to where you can do muscle ups, when I see some guy doing boring ass pull ups, I will work in and do like 8 muscle ups. They usually are just shamed into walking away.
    If you have the air space to do them, sure. Some of us just got our girly doorway bars =( Also: do you do muscle-ups with weight? I don't think a guy doing weighted pulls would be shamed if you were doing BW MUs.


    Originally Posted by ichidkiller View Post
    Lets see you do a muscle up. Go ahead and try. no way you can do one. so go ahead and talk dude. Post your video. I would like to see you do one. There is no ****ing way you can do one. After gou get to the point that you can do muscle ups a chin up feels "incomplete." Like sex with out an orgasm. 1 muscle up, for a 200 pound guy is =to 15 strict chinups/pullups. the muscle ups have helped, my back, lats, grip, forearms, triceps, shoulders Pecs and abdominals. I get a ferocious burn in my lats/ back when I do the muscle ups to pull ups. Muscle up is a core/explosive move. My powercleans have gone up 40 pound improvement since I started doing muscle ups and my back/christmas tree looks markedly better. I am going to post some more recent pics and videos of muscleups and powrcleans.
    A muscle up does require more lat strength than a BW pull up, I'll give you that, but only because you need to generate momentum with it so that you can gain some air time to move your elbows over the bar to do the dipping-like motion.

    It's impressive, just like those clapping pull ups that Ross Enamait can do, but I don't think it's a basis on which to insult those people who do solely pull ups with strict form and prefer to increase difficulty via adding weight rather than speed. These are all legitimate forms of training suited to different environments. Weighted pulls are suited to strong bars with low ceilings and accessible weights, explosive airborn pulls are suited to BWish bars with high ceilings and no weights around. In some environments one can clearly do both. Those of us with door bars with low ceilings and 300lb limits are limited from either =P

    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    You sound very angry for someone 52 years of age. Maybe someone spiked your Viagra with something.
    Hey, that type of ageism is uncalled for, we're better than that, aren't we? You've got legs too big to stoop to insulting people like that =P
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Yes they will, you can row heavy dumbbells for long periods of time under tension, this can strengthen the grip. Especially if you use thick dumbbells or something. Fat gripz ftw

    Wrong, too absolute. The benefits are limited so there's criticism of using it for desiring a transfer but 'no' is too dismissive.

    Whether it's moving towards you or you towards something is irrelevant. There are bodyweight rows that involve pulling yourself towards something and lat pulldowns that involve pulling something to you, and these would transfer, and so would their counter parts opposite in the open/closed chain dichotomy.

    The difference in horizantal/vertical angle is the most significant difference that deserves focus. Another key difference is the range of motion used. Rowing should help with locking out a pull up because it does hit that upper 1/2 range. It doesn't involve pulling the lats down from overhead, that's the key weakness that rows can't significantly help pull ups with, and where moves like pullovers can help, just like pullovers wouldn't significantly help with the lockout.

    Ugh actually, terms like 'lockout' are probably confusing since the elbow is bent at the top of a pull... I mean like, the top of the movement, the termination of concentric movement into eccentric lowering. Not the bottom where the elbows are straight/locked.

    In line with Epi's point, grip can also be strengthened I guess.

    Perhaps not, but is the a significant difference? It's all finger flexion and traction on the wrist joint. I don't see any major difference between that of pull ups, rows or deadlifting, there should be a high rate of transfer.

    It'd be different of course if people were doing different stuff like mixed grips, straps, hook grips, or that big overhand flexed-wrist grip people do for muscle ups.


    If you have the air space to do them, sure. Some of us just got our girly doorway bars =( Also: do you do muscle-ups with weight? I don't think a guy doing weighted pulls would be shamed if you were doing BW MUs.



    A muscle up does require more lat strength than a BW pull up, I'll give you that, but only because you need to generate momentum with it so that you can gain some air time to move your elbows over the bar to do the dipping-like motion.

    It's impressive, just like those clapping pull ups that Ross Enamait can do, but I don't think it's a basis on which to insult those people who do solely pull ups with strict form and prefer to increase difficulty via adding weight rather than speed. These are all legitimate forms of training suited to different environments. Weighted pulls are suited to strong bars with low ceilings and accessible weights, explosive airborn pulls are suited to BWish bars with high ceilings and no weights around. In some environments one can clearly do both. Those of us with door bars with low ceilings and 300lb limits are limited from either =P

    Hey, that type of ageism is uncalled for, we're better than that, aren't we? You've got legs too big to stoop to insulting people like that =P
    Oh geez, You are over analyzing this. The OP simply asked if dumbbell rows will realistically help out in some way towards improving at pullups.

    The best real world answer without getting too technical is no. Again, different exercises - different dynamics.

    Sure anytime someone moves a dumbbell in someway, it can improve gripping strength but most likely not in a way that may benefit pullup performance.

    Hell, I don't even think about grip strength when doing pullups. I use my hands like hooks and pull with the back. Seriously, I see little carry over with your grip theory. Just has never been my experience.
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