Lat Pulldown Techniques for You

Lat pulldown exercise, also known as cable lat pulldown is one of the very effective compound exercise, which is designed to work the latissmus dorsi muscles. These muscles are responsible for extension, adduction, horizontal adduction, etc. It is a compound exercise, as there are two joints, the shoulder and elbow joints that are moved, while doing this exercise. Muscles worked are bicep muscles and the muscles located in the middle of the back. If you do not exercise in the gym and are looking for alternative to this lat, then chin ups and pull-ups are the best exercises, as they work on the same muscles.

It is an excellent back exercise, for beginners to work the back muscles. It is also beneficial for a person, who finds it difficult to do the chin ups.

Technique 1: Front of the Neck

Woman Doing Lat Pulldown Exercise
Man Doing Lat Pulldown Exercise

Here is the right technique to do this exercise. Sit on the bench of lat pulldown machine and place your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands at a little more than shoulder width distance on the overhead bar in a pronated grip, also known as overhand grip. If the distance between your hands is too much, then the range of motion will be compromised upon. Now slowly pull your shoulders straight down towards the floor, as you pull the bar smoothly downwards. When you do this movement, concentrate on bringing the shoulder blades together at the back and the elbows as far as you can, towards the floor. Arch your back in the middle and complete the movement, by touching the center of the bar to the collarbone area or the upper chest. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then slowly, in a controlled manner return the bar upwards, until your arms are straight. Now move the shoulder blades wide and shoulders up high, as though you are going to shrug and allow the pull of the bar to stretch the muscles in your back. Relax in this position for a couple of seconds, before you repeat the exercise.

Technique 2: Behind the Neck

Man Performing Lat Pulldown Exercise Behind the Neck
Woman Performing Lat Pulldown Exercise Behind the Neck

There is a controversy, that surrounds the lat pulldown behind the neck. It is important to note, that if there are no existing problems and proper technique is followed, then it can be done very safely. Since, excessive external rotation is required to do this exercise, it can be potentially harmful to the shoulders. Hence, you will have to take utmost care, when you are doing this exercise.

To do this exercise, grasp the lat machine bar with an overhand grip a little wider than shoulder width. Sit on the bench, place your knees under the pads and place your feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso a little backwards from the hips, retract the scapulas and pull the bar down to the back of the neck. Hold in the position for a few seconds and then in a controlled motion, return the bar back upwards.

If you suffer from shoulder pain or back pain, then this is not an exercise for you. While doing the exercise, if you are not sure, then it is recommended, you take help from your trainer. If you notice any pain, then stop doing the exercise and talk to your trainer about the same immediately.