Often, it’s that aesthetic but elusive goal of the V-taper; a combination of wide and broad shoulders with a narrow waist that conjures images of classic physiques from the golden age of bodybuilding. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and Sergio Oliva just to name a few.
So, how do you even get that look? One of the main things is getting a wide back, and that means working on your latisimmus dorsi muscles, commonly known as your lats. If you want to know how to train them the right way, you have to know the right grip, rep range, and weight to use, as well as the proper form.
Gordan Tay, MH Cover Guy 2018 finalist and Anytime Fitness Bukit Timah personal trainer, knows a thing or two about building a good physique, and that includes getting a V-taper. Follow his tips to get the basics of the lat pulldown right. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be spreading those wings in no time.
Gordan’s Lat Pulldown Pro Tips:
The lat pulldown builds the latissimus dorsi and helps prime the back for several other compound back moves. It’s also a good alternative to pull-ups if you are unable perform one yet.
- Grip bar slightly wider than shoulder width
- Engage your scapulae (shoulder blades) before pulling down to focus on the lats
- Keep body upright & avoid using momentum
Reverse (supinated) grip lat pulldown
- Has a greater range of motion to target lower part of your latissimus dorsi
- Only attempt if you have good shoulder mobility to avoid injuring yourself
- Helps target middle upper back region
When to go heavier?
- 8-12 reps recommended for hypertrophy
- If you can do more, increase the weight
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer