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Pull Up Vs. Lat Pull Exercises

When a pull up bar isn’t available, lat pulls on a cable machine seem like the obvious alternative for building up your back. Science weighs in on the question with a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness where these two exercises were compared using subjects with resistance training experience.
 
On separate occasions, 25 men did as many pull ups as they could and performed lat pull reps to failure using 80% of one rep max (1RM). They also banged out reps of lat pulls with a load equivalent to body weight. Pull up performance was significantly correlated to lat pulls using body weight. Subjects who completed the most pull ups also had higher 1RM on lat pulls.