Opening a drawer or refrigerator door figures in our everyday living. On a picnic, playing tug-of-war or flying a kite are fun activities that are enjoyable and amusing! Doing pull-ups on a monkey bar or gym gives a sense of accomplishment and pride! Pulling our own body or something towards us is the common event occurring in all these activities. And the muscles that cause the pulling movement is the large muscle of the back – the latissimus dorsi. A Lat Pull Down machine is a fixture in all gyms. It works to strengthen this muscle, contributes greatly to becoming functionally fit and strong.
Follow these instructions to have an effective and safe workout for your back:
- Select a resistance level you can do for just 12-15 repetitions.
- Sit down on the machine and first adjust the thigh brace. The roller pads should press you down. Keep the feet pressed down to help you generate force. Heels should not lift.
- Take a pronated, palms face away grip, slightly wider than your shoulders, wrapping your thumbs around the bar. Maintain an upright posture, keeping your spine in neutral alignment.
- With the bar over your head, press your shoulder blades down and inhale.
- Pull the bar down towards your collar bone; your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor. Now move the bar up with control and exhale.
Don’t pull the bar behind the neck. Your neck and upper back will bend and could injure your spine or rotator cuff muscles.
An alternative way of doing the Lat Pull Down is by using the Supinated Grip. Supinated means that your palms face you. Your grip is shoulder width, the rest of the set up remains the same. Inhale. Pull the bar down. Move the bar up with control. Exhale.
- Don’t allow the weight to pull you up and stretch your muscle.
- Prevent it by controlling your elbows. Don’t lock your elbows out. Stop just before it reaches lockout.
Once you are able to do 15 reps comfortably, it is time to progress by selecting a slightly heavier resistance.
Senior Faculty (Exercise Science)
K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences
Fitness Icon Kaizzad Capadia