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  1. #1
    gbrice75's Avatar
    gbrice75 is offline AR's Diet Pimp! ~HOF~
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    Grips: Wide vs. Narrow vs. Medium (various exercises)

    I'm looking for information on how muscle groups are targeted (differently) while using different grips. For instance, flat/incline bench press - 'standard' grip (just outside of shoulder width) vs. very wide grip (hands touching the rests when racking/unracking).

    How about back? Very wide grip lat pulldown/pullup vs. 'standard' grip vs. close grip.

    And finally, rows. Tbar row with barbell in a corner, using a V-handle attachment (very close grip) vs. standard row grip, vs something like a Pendlay row grip (wide).

    Note I'm looking for scientific feedback, physiology. Not something you've read on a board (this or any other) or magazine, or what your 'brah' told you in the gym.

  2. #2
    rollingthunder's Avatar
    rollingthunder is offline Associate Member
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    from "starting strength" by mark rippetoe:

    "if your primary interest is in moving the heaviest weight, as a powerlifter needs to do, the widest grip legal for the meet is the one to use. if your interest is in the greatest amount of muscle stressed to cause an adaptation, a medium grip is most useful. and if you need to get more triceps work, a close grip is useful for that."

    there's more, but i don't feel like transcribing 2 to 3 pages of text!

  3. #3
    Dpyle's Avatar
    Dpyle is offline Productive Member
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    Don't know about others, and don't really have any scientific evidence other than personal experience. I usually incorporate a variety of grip widths in my routines. I look at it as just a different angle to target a muscle group. That and some days I just don't get the same "feel" or "pump" from what worked the week before so I switch until I find what's gonna do it that day.

  4. #4
    basketballfan22's Avatar
    basketballfan22 is offline Senior Member
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    Hey gb, with all of the information and help you provide, it would be my pleasure to supply you with some scholarly articles. Here is an abstract on one particular study. I have access to the entire article through my university; so if you would like the full article, I will be more than happy to give it to you.

    The Influence of Grip Width and Forearm Pronation/Supination... : The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research

  5. #5
    basketballfan22's Avatar
    basketballfan22 is offline Senior Member
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    Here is another one:

    The Affect of Grip Width on Bench Press Performance and Risk... : Strength & Conditioning Journal

    The misspelling of "affect" in the TITLE has me concerned however. Even "scientific" studies can be questionable.

  6. #6
    tigerspawn's Avatar
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    The Science of Lat Pulldowns: Does a Wider Grip Build a Wider Back?
    http://www.burnthefatinnercircle.com..._Pulldowns.cfm

  7. #7
    tigerspawn's Avatar
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    “What did the researcher do?
    The researcher wanted to clarify the effect of grip width on muscle activity during the bench press. He also wanted to see how the reverse grip bench press differed from the standard grip. Therefore, he recruited 12 males with at least 6 months of resistance training experience. He recorded the EMG activity of the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major, clavicular head of the pectoralis major, triceps brachii and biceps brachii muscles during isometric bench press holds with 5 different hand positions. The weight was the same for each subject in each trial and was set as 12RM for the supinated grip at 100% of biacromial breadth.
    The 5 different hand positions were: 100% of biacromial breadth (standard grip), 100% of biacromial breadth (reverse grip), 200% of biacromial breadth (standard grip), 200% of biacromial breadth (reverse grip), and 1-hand width grip between hands (standard grip).
    What happened?
    The researcher observed the following:

    Pectoralis major (clavicular head) – a reverse grip led to greater muscle activity compared to a standard grip.
    Pectoralis major (sternocostal head) – there was no difference between a standard and a reverse grip. A very narrow grip led to a significant reduction in muscle activity.
    Triceps brachii – the very narrow grip led to the highest muscle activity but there was no significant difference between standard or reverse grips.
    Biceps brachii – a wide grip produced greater biceps brachii activity for both standard and reverse grip widths. A reverse grip increases biceps brachii activity in comparison with a standard grip.
    What did the researcher conclude?
    The researcher concluded that a narrower grip width does lead to greater triceps brachii activity at the expense of the activity of the pectoralis major (sternocostal head). He also concluded that the use of the reverse grip leads to greater involvement of the biceps brachii without reducing activity to other muscle groups.”

    The study: Electromyographic activity and 6-RM strength in bench press on stable and unstable surfaces, by Saeterbakken and Fimland, in in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2012

  8. #8
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    Now n again i go std to olympic inner collar grip presses. N.try to really flex the chest to get it up on both.exercises. wwide grip feels like a better stretch. But thats personally.

  9. #9
    Shadow530i is offline Junior Member
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    I don't know how to give you scientific answers (so maybe this post won't be helpful) but close grip lat pulldowns works your lats far more than wide grip. There's tons of YouTube videos on it but I still can't post links.

  10. #10
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    But on a wide grip.pulldown. IF u can get a connectiin to "just" ur lats. Not rear felts n biicepsu can hit em hard.
    Try alternating between different muscles only working one at a time. Youll feel it more

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