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Léo Aïtoulha

Differences between pronated, supinated and neutral pullup explained by science

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Léo Aïtoulha

Extremely interesting article and report from http://www.sci-sport.com/:)
 
http://www.sci-sport.com/articles/differences-de-sollicitations-musculaires-entre-tractions-pronation-et-supination-107.php
 
For non-french speakers, just look at the histogram.
 

a10702.png

 
- Grey = pronated ; red = supinated ; green = neutral
- Muscles involved from left to right on the x-axis : external oblique - erector spine - pectoralis major - lower trapezius - infraspinatus - biceps brachii - latissimus dorsi

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Alexander Egebak

Very interesting! I thought the different emphasis would be much larger!

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Leonhard Krahé

Very interesting! How did they gather the data? My French hasn't actually been improving since high school but what I am getting from the referenced article, they used electromyography?

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Christoph Pahl

They placed "électodes de surface", surface electrodes, on each of these tested muscles - which means EMG. Same statement as Alexanders in the linked forum. However: The correlation between exerted force and EMG signal is not linear, quantitative statements have to be made with much caution! Comparing biceps with brachialis would be interesting, but one cannot put a surface electrode on this guy I think.

Edited by Christoph

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Ronnicky Roy

Interesting. I always felt neutral grip more in my lats, pronation more evenly across upper back/lats/shoulders and supination (aside from hurting) mostly in my biceps and some mid back.

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Jon Douglas

Interesting, I would have also expected a bit more divergence.

 

Now I have to wonder about rope pulls....

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Ronnicky Roy

Interesting, I would have also expected a bit more divergence.

 

Now I have to wonder about rope pulls....

What about them?

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Alexander Egebak

I think we also should be critical to how well the athletes correctly activate their muscle groups

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Jon Douglas

What about them?

How the activation distribution changes :)

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Leonhard Krahé

They placed "électodes de surface", surface electrodes, on each of these tested muscles - which means EMG. Same statement as Alexanders in the linked forum. However: The correlation between exerted force and EMG signal is not linear, quantitative statements have to be made with much caution! Comparing biceps with brachialis would be interesting, but one cannot put a surface electrode on this guy I think.

Thanks for clearing this up!

What about them?

My guess is that there is another different grip involved possibly resulting in yet another "profile" of muscle activation.

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Léo Aïtoulha

It would be absolutely great to do the same thing with all GST exercises ! Just imagine if we had scientific data and this type of histogram with Front Lever, Planche, Side Lever, Manna, Single Leg Squat, Hollow Back Press, Rope Climbing, Freestanding Handstand, Ring Support, Back Lever, Reverse Muscle Up, Press Handstand, Ring Handstand, Ring Press Handstand, Ring Planche, Iron Cross, Ring Maltese, Inverted Cross and Victorian :D

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Mikkel Ravn

I think we also should be critical to how well the athletes correctly activate their muscle groups

I've never understood this 'correct muscle activation' notion. I mean, If he/she is pulling him/herself up, how can they not activate the correct muscles? Try doing a pullup with relaxed lats, for instance. Doesn't really make any sense does it?

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Alexander Egebak

I've never understood this 'correct muscle activation' notion. I mean, If he/she is pulling him/herself up, how can they not activate the correct muscles? Try doing a pullup with relaxed lats, for instance. Doesn't really make any sense does it?

As an example I have always been doing pull ups striving to point my elbows forward. That, other than being a bad idea in terms of gaining a heathy pulling pattern, puts a different emphasis on the muscle groups involved. Therefore, results may vary from athlete to athlete in the study (have not checked it closely to see how many were tested) depending on their specific activation.

 

Another thing that comes to mind is that explosive concentrics (assuming perfect form still) generally recruits more muscle fibers. Results may yet again vary depending on the speed of the execution of the pull ups

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Ronnicky Roy

I've never understood this 'correct muscle activation' notion. I mean, If he/she is pulling him/herself up, how can they not activate the correct muscles? Try doing a pullup with relaxed lats, for instance. Doesn't really make any sense does it?

Number 1 example. Someone who flexes/tenses their face and neck. The neck does not help someone do pushups and is wasted energy on muscles that don't assist in the movement. Those muscles are hyper active and need to relax so you can focus on activating the pecs.

When doing a deadlift, if you have inactive glutes your body compensates by forcing the lower back to take the loaf which leads to injury. The well known phrase "lift with your legs, not with your back"

It means use/activate the proper musculature. When someone doesn't use particular muscles long enough the brain "forgets" how to fire them off so they become dormant or inactive. The strongest muscles (most used) in the body try to take over movements outside of their purpose. So the dormant muscles need to be switched on so the body doesn't have to compensate

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C.MARIVS

Very interesting! How did they gather the data? My French hasn't actually been improving since high school but what I am getting from the referenced article, they used electromyography?

Not related to gymnastics but a useful hint: Go to the google translator and paste the link to the article instead of the sentence/paragraph, the resulting URL will have translated article.

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Chris Hansen

I've never understood this 'correct muscle activation' notion. I mean, If he/she is pulling him/herself up, how can they not activate the correct muscles? Try doing a pullup with relaxed lats, for instance. Doesn't really make any sense does it?

I have another example. You're pulling yourself up but your lower trap on one side isn't turning on properly which causes instability and pain in the shoulder.

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Alexander Egebak

I have another example. You're pulling yourself up but your lower trap on one side isn't turning on properly which causes instability and pain in the shoulder.

Bad memories here...

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Mikkel Ravn

I have another example. You're pulling yourself up but your lower trap on one side isn't turning on properly which causes instability and pain in the shoulder.

Yes, I get it. Only, how do you figure out that something isn't ´turning on' (which is a pretty vague definition anyway)? 

 

I'll acknowledge that some people suffering from certain disorders may potentially have such issues. But the rest of us?

 

And how do you pinpoint as a layman (speaking for myself here) that one particular muscle isn't firing, among the huge number of prime movers and synergists within a complex joint like the shoulder girdle?

 

I assume that it would take a trained professional to diagnose these things?

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Chris Hansen

Yes, I get it. Only, how do you figure out that something isn't ´turning on' (which is a pretty vague definition anyway)? 

 

I'll acknowledge that some people suffering from certain disorders may potentially have such issues. But the rest of us?

 

And how do you pinpoint as a layman (speaking for myself here) that one particular muscle isn't firing, among the huge number of prime movers and synergists within a complex joint like the shoulder girdle?

 

I assume that it would take a trained professional to diagnose these things?

In my case, it did take a trained professional. Several in fact because not all trained professionals are created equal but I finally found a physical therapist that could figure out what was going on and what to do about it. Turns out several of the F1 and H1 elements are similar to rehab exercises I was given.

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Ronnicky Roy

Active muscle means a tense muscle.

Someone who doesn't use their arms much probably can't flex their biceps much at all if they tried. If you flex as hard as you can and can't feel the contraction, your muscle is "inactive" and you're relying on other muscles to do the job of the one that should be the prime mover. It's not so much that the muscles aren't working. It's that they should be the prime muscles working. Like your lats in a pullup. They should be doing the bulk of the work. Some people try to do pullups almost exclusively with their biceps, without much tension in the lats during the movement. The lats are used, but not to the degree that they should be. That's what activation is about. Getting the prime movers involved

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Connor Davies

I'd like to weigh in on all this muscle activation noise.

When I perform chinups (palms facing me) I can quite easily use my biceps to curl myself up. However, if I focus on pulling from the mid back, I come up faster and with much less energy required to boot. Moreover when I get tired I used to raise my legs up slightly to help complete the rep. Now I can get that same amount of core activation (actually, more) without piking at the hips at all.

Learning to activate the correct muscles and in the correct sequence is an incredibly important skill that only comes with practice, but makes a world of difference.

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