Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Frye

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Zabik

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the prime mover muscles used in the wide grip pull-up and lat pull-down exercises. Ten Western Michigan University students performed the 2 exercises, using a resistance equal to their body weight for 3 sets of 3 repetitions, with 2 min rest between sets. The 2nd repetition of each set was analyzed for each exercise. Research variables included phases (concentric, coupling, and eccentric), exercises, trials, and muscles. The dependent variables were relative time to peak recruitment, peak recruitment, and phase time. Findings revealed that the concentric and eccentric phases were slower for the lat pull-down than the pull-up. The relative time to reach peak recruitment was shorter for the lat pull-down than for the pull-up. The magnitude of the peak EMG was the same for the pull-up and the lat pull-down during the concentric phase. During the eccentric phase, the magnitude of the peak EMG was different for the pull-up than for the lat pull-down for 4 of the 5 muscles studied.