The Lat Pulldown is a core mechanic of most back and lat workouts. Try not to cheat by using your body weight to aid you in lifting the weight down. Instead, try to focus on squeezing your lat muscles, and drawing your power from your entire back region. Alternative grips such as, narrow grip and underhand grip, are possible, start with a slightly wider than shoulder width stance when starting out.
- Main Muscle Group Used: Back, Lats
- Secondary Muscle Groups Used: Biceps, Shoulders
- Experience Level: Beginner
- Exercise Type: Strength
- Equipment Required: Cable; Narrow or Wide Grip Bar
To perform the Lat Pulldown exercise:
- Adjust the thigh pad, so that your knees will not raise during the lift.
- Grasp the bar with an overhand grip at slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Holding the bar, sit down on the machine. This should take the weight off the thin stack.
- Slowly pull the bar down to your upper chest.
- Continue looking up, and move the bar down to the V in your neck.
- Stop when the bar is an inch from touching your chest.
- When finished, slowly stand up and allow the weight stack to return.
Plenty of athletes and celebs use lat pulldowns at the core of their back workouts:
- The Rock Workout uses both wide and narrow lat pulldowns. Dwayne Johnson uses a pyramid workout routine.
- The Kobe Bryant workout routine uses lat pulldowns to work his arms, back, and shoulders, as part of his 666 workout.
- The Ryan Reynolds workout uses Cable Lat Pulldowns during his Green Lantern Workout.
- The Albert Pujols workout uses the reverse-grip version of lat pulldowns to focus on his biceps.
- The Jessica Biel workout uses Lat Pulldowns as part of her strength circuits. She has the option to do Lat Pulldowns or Pull-ups.
- The Magic Mike Joe Manganiello Workout uses lat raises to build back definition.
If you are away from the gym, then standard body pullups are a good alternative. All you need is something up high that can support your weight. If you can’t perform standard pullups, than use a chair to help aid you in the process.
To switch things up, try using a grip that is almost twice shoulder width apart, reverse grip, or narrow grip.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown Exercise
Narrow Grip Lat Pulldown Exercise
Here’s a look at the narrow grip lat pulldown. They’re using the narrow grip extension for this back exercise:
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