This recent pull up grip question is getting a lot of comments suggesting it's somehow inappropriate to ask what muscles each exercise targets because he won't know what those muscles are. Is there some unstated rule that all questions and answers have to be done from the point of view of an absolute fitness noob?

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  • I think that's an issue one person brought up on your answer, which is separate from the issues several people have with the question. – Dave Liepmann Jul 17 '12 at 14:21
  • Sorry, "had" not "has". – Dave Liepmann Jul 17 '12 at 14:38
  • There was a related discussion on the question as well, questioning the suitability of the question by making assumptions about how the asker might interpret answers. – Robin Ashe Jul 17 '12 at 20:36

I don't have a problem with that question, as it's now written, rev3 (I didn't go examine changes from earlier revisions). Seems perfectly valid to ask what exercise X can do for me, as well as asking what exercise I can do to target Y.

For a motivating example, think about somebody whose home gym contains only a pullup bar and, say, a medicine ball. Might be nice to know what one could accomplish with just that equipment at hand.

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Its not about an assumed experience level, its about asking specific questions.

In this particular example the user (originally) asked what muscle or muscle groups he was targeting with different variations of the pull-ups.

I interpret this is as: the user wants to train certain muscle groups and wants to know whether he's using these muscles when he does said exercise. But in that case, he's inverting the problem. He should simply ask: What exercises should I do to train for [insert motion or exercise]?

A well-rounded answer to that question would tell him to do several variations of pull-ups, because doing only one would ignore several muscle groups. Or it would advice him to do other exercises to train those muscle groups, because they are more effective.

Simply telling a user what muscle he uses, without informing him why they are used like that or how to apply this information in another context would make the information useless. You could say that he could look up what effect each muscle has, to try and extrapolate the combined affect of several muscles, but if it were that easy, he wouldn't have to come and ask it here.

So no, its not about an assumed experience level. Its about asking real, specific questions, that try to solve a problem, rather than quoting a page from a medical atlas.

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  • You're making assumptions that are unwarranted. – Robin Ashe Jul 16 '12 at 22:23
  • Specifically; Problem being faced: Don't know what the exercises I'm doing actually do. Solution: Find out what they do. That's the straight reading of the question, and given you have no idea what's going on in the asker's head, the straight reading is the only one that makes sense. – Robin Ashe Jul 16 '12 at 22:30

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