Determinant factors of pull-up performance in trained athletes

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 Jul-Aug;56(7-8):825-33. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


Background: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship among pull-up and lat pull exercises and different anthropometric dimensions in trained athletes.

Methods: Twenty-five males were evaluated for maximum number of pull-ups, one-repetition maximum lat pull (1RM Lat Pull), lat pull repetitions at 80% 1RM (Lat Pull at 80% 1RM), lat pull repetitions at a load equivalent to body mass (Lat Pull at BM-load), and different anthropometric variables. Furthermore, the subjects were divided in higher (HPG, N.=12) and lower pull-up performance (LPG, N.=13) to compare the differences in the variables analyzed between both levels.

Results: Pull-ups were significantly correlated with Lat Pull at BM-load (r=0.62, P<0.01) but neither with 1RM Lat Pull (r=0.09) nor with Lat Pull at 80% 1RM (r=-0.15). Pull-ups showed a significant (P<0.05) negative relationship with body mass (BM, r=-0.55), lean body mass (LBM, r=-0.51), and fat mass (FM, r=-0.52), while BM and LBM were significantly correlated with 1RM Lat Pull (r=0.55, P<0.05). HPG showed significantly (P<0.05) lower BM (0/3/97%), FM (1/3/97%) and LBM (1/4/95%) than LPG. Furthermore, HPG attained significantly (P<0.05 - 0.001) greater performance in Lat Pull at BM-load (100/0/0%) and 1RM Lat Pull/BM (96/3/2%) than LPG.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that pull-up and lat pull exercises have common elements. Moreover, the anthropometric dimensions seem to influence differently on both exercises, depending on the strength indicator evaluated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Sports / physiology*