Everyone can benefit from implementing a lat pull down into their workout routine. Why? Well, Lat pull downs don’t just strengthen our latissimus dorsi muscles (the ones that sit on either side of our back) but many other upper back muscles and the rear shoulders are engaged too. Today many people have postural issues, such as rounded hunched shoulders, which creates over stretched and weaken back muscles. A lot of these issues are down to leaning over a desk for long periods of time, driving and/or just being on our phones too much. Having stronger back muscles can correct such postural issues when carried out over a period of time. From an aesthetic point of view building your back muscles will also create a smaller looking waist which is appealing in both men and women.
Of course you want to ensure that you are performing the exercise correctly, so here are a few key things to remember:
- Place hands nice and wide ensuring that both hands are of equal distance from the centre.
- Open out your lats (latissimus dorsi) by getting a good stretch before pulling down the bar.
- Just before pulling down, depress the shoulders (bring them down) so that the back muscles are being used to pull the bar to the chest.
- Led with the elbows to avoid over gripping and straining the forearms.
- Keep your head poised, DO NOT tilt your head back which will only just scrunch up your neck, causing unnecessary strain.
This is just a few tips when performing a basic lat pull down. Once you have got this exercise down you can then play around with many other variables such as a close grip, under grip or taking the bar behind the head. If you’re really unsure whether you are performing the exercise right then ask someone who is qualified to check your form.