KNOW YOUR LATS
The lats is a powerful muscle that attaches the arm to the ribcage. “By doing the lats pulldown, you’re working on this muscle, which will eventually give the torso its V-shaped look when it’s properly sculpted,” says Benjamin Lin, a Pure Fitness personal trainer. “In the lats pulldown exercise, you’re mainly engaging the muscle to pull the load down. In fact, any downwards pulling action definitely involves the lats.” Perfect this move and maximize your growth and strength gains.
DO THE LATS PULLDOWN
When doing lats pulldowns, you have your choice of grips . Just keep in mind that, as with pull-ups, different grips tend to incorporate different shoulder muscles.
Sit in a lats pulldown station and grab the bar with an overhand grip that’s about 1½ times shoulder-width. Your arms should be completely straight and your torso nearly upright.
Without moving your torso or leaning back, pull the bar down to your upper chest as you continue to squeeze your shoulder blades. Pause, then slowly return to the= starting position. Your upper body should remain in nearly the same position from start to finish.
Do 8 to 12 repetitions and 1 to 3 sets.
A. Switch to a wide grip as an alternative. This works your lats as well as your teres major and biceps.
B. Use a closed-grip handle for the exercise. The variation targets your lats, brachialis and trapezius.
Avoid These Rookie Mistakes
Three ways newbies can avoid getting it wrong and sabotaging their gains.
While the shoulder joint is flexible, it’s not designed for a pulling-behind-the-neck exercise. You risk injury. Such long-term shoulder work can result in problems such as impingement and rotator cuff tears.
To do this, the arms are rotated forward to help move the bar to the waist or lower rib area. This disengages the lats. What’s worse, additional shoulder stress is initiated during this part of the exercise.
Using momentum to complete the repetition is not going to work your back muscles properly. Switch to a lighter weight, so that you can control its rise and descend, as you pull and release the weight.