- 1 Lat Pulldown Benefits
- 1.1 What Is Lat Pulldown Machine?
- 1.2 Lat Pulldown Benefits
- 1.3 Lat Pulldown Machine – The Brief History
- 1.4 What Is The Lat Pulldown Machine Used For?
- 1.5 Tips For Lat Pulldown
- 1.6 How To Do A Lat Pulldown?
- 1.7 Some Mistakes When Doing Lat Pulldown
- 1.8 Which Muscles Do Lat Pulldowns Work?
- 1.9 1 – Back group
- 1.10 2 – Front Body
- 1.11 3 – Other Muscles
- 1.12 What Exercises Can Do With Lat Pulldown?
- 2 Conclusion
Lat Pulldown Benefits
Lat pulldowns are one of the most common exercises that people do in the gym. But many people don’t know about all of the benefits that this exercise can provide. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key benefits of lat pulldowns and how they can help you reach your fitness goals.
We’ll also provide tips on how to perform this exercise properly to maximize its effectiveness. So if you’re looking for a new way to improve your strength and physique, read on!
What Is Lat Pulldown Machine?
The Lat Pulldown machine is a weight training workout equipment that helps you to improve your arm, upper body and back strength. In the gym, you will find this machine in most of the workout areas. The main motive of this machine is to perform pulldowns for strengthening your arms and shoulders. By using the lat pulldown machines, you can do both high and low pulldowns with different variations. It has an overhead pulley system attached with a seat and handle bar used for pulling down the weight plates towards your chest area or chin/face area. With so many varieties available in this exercise tool, you might get confused during choosing the best one for fitness purpose! So here we are explaining about some features along with their benefits which will make it easier for you to choose the right one.
Lat Pulldown Benefits
While doing pulldowns, you need to know that mainly three muscle groups are targeted that will help you in getting better fitness results. These muscles are lats, posterior deltoids and biceps. With using different variations of this exercise tool you can target these muscles with the desired workout motion.
Lat Pulldown For Back Muscles (Lats) – When you use an underhand grip, your lats get contracted which make them stronger for the upcoming workouts! This is considered one of most effective workout tools for people who want to strengthen their back muscles naturally without spending hours in gym.
– When you use an underhand grip, your lats get contracted which make them stronger for the upcoming workouts! This is considered one of most effective workout tools for people who want to strengthen their back muscles naturally without spending hours in gym. Lat Pulldown For Biceps – In this exercise, you will be targeting your biceps and brachialis while training them from different angles! You can get a complete arm workout while doing pulldowns on lat machine.
– In this exercise, you will be targeting your biceps and brachialis while training them from different angles! You can get a complete arm workout while doing pulldowns on lat machine. Lat Pulldown For Shoulders – This is another great benefit of using pulldowns which involves your shoulders by performing pulling motion against resistance (weight). The whole muscle gets engaged when doing wide grip pulldowns which make it an essential workout tool to build up wider lats naturally.
Lat pulldown with wide grip is the best exercise in the fitness industry! It is considered as one of most effective workout tools that can help you in developing your back muscles, biceps and your shoulders in the safest way possible!
Lat Pulldown Machine – The Brief History
Back in 1891, Arthur Saxon developed a way to do pulldowns as his own variation using an EZ bar attached with a dumbbell at the top of the machine. In those days, this equipment was less popular and used by mostly professional weight lifters. Today, almost every modern gym has this device where trainers use them for variety of workouts. Nowadays many fitness enthusiasts prefer this exercise tool because it can help you to improve upper body strength along with other benefits that we will discuss later. So here we are going to mention some important features and benefits which will help you in choosing the best lat pulldown machines for your home gym.
What Is The Lat Pulldown Machine Used For?
In the early days, this exercise tool was just used for professional weight training. But now a day’s many fitness experts and trainers recommend it because of its benefits and wide range of uses. There are different variations available in pulldowns which you can do with your desired grip to strengthen different muscles group like lats, arms, shoulders and back. Below we have mentioned some common types that will help you to understand the workout areas:
Lat Pull Down (High And Low) – This is the most common form of pulldowns where you need to perform pulling movements towards your chin area. Afterward, the bar is brought back to the starting position.
– This is the most common form of pulldowns where you need to perform pulling movements towards your chin area. Afterward, the bar is brought back to the starting position. Front Lat Pull Downs – You can do this exercise for developing your front side lats and anterior deltoids. This motion of this workout tool will help you in building wider shoulders naturally with reducing extra fat from shoulder areas around your armpits.
– You can do this exercise for developing your front side lats and anterior deltoids. This motion of this workout tool will help you in building wider shoulders naturally with reducing extra fat from shoulder areas around your armpits. Close-Grip Pulldowns – This is an advanced variation of lat pulldowns where you need to bring your hands together than your normal gripping position. As you hold the bar, inside shoulder width limits, it will work on developing different fibers for better strength and mass.
– This is an advanced variation of lat pulldowns where you need to bring your hands together than your normal gripping position. As you hold the bar, inside shoulder width limits, it will work on developing different fibers for better strength and mass. Reverse Grip Pulldown (Behind The Neck) – Just like its name this workout tool helps you in doing pulling motion to the back of your head area rather than chin area. If this exercise gives you trouble while performing use a wide grip instead!
Tips For Lat Pulldown
To get better lat development results follow up workouts are recommended which includes chin ups, pull ups, deadlifts & bench presses. Another important tip for beginners is to use proper form while doing this exercise because poor form will not produce any desired results at all! So always use good breathing techniques so that you can work out on full capacity with less stress on joints and muscles as well as reducing chances of injuries. Try different variations until you develop a comfortable and effective workout!
The Lat Pulldown is a great tool for building mass and strength. It’s not enough to just go through the motions, though. If you want to get the most out of your Lat Pulldowns, follow these tips:
1. Do NOT neglect forearms/grip training
This is not only important for being able to hold on to the bar throughout your workouts, but it will also assist you in maintaining proper form during the exercise itself. This is especially true if you are using weight that is close to your 1RM (1 Rep Max). If you are looking for assistance with this area of your fitness regimen, I would suggest checking out my Forearm Training article or grabbing one of my Resistance Band Workouts.
2. Use a wide grip
This is the best way to target your lats during this exercise. While you can get some stimulation from using a close grip, you’ll get the most out of it by getting your elbows closer to your torso rather than flaring them straight out. Additionally, if you are looking for maximum growth of your lats, hit both the inner and outer sections of your back. The best muscles for this are called “teres major” and “latissimus dorsi”. They run down along the side/rear portion of your back – usually just below where a wider grip will start hitting another lat muscle known as the “rhomboid” – which runs along your spine. As you gain more experience with the Lat Pulldown, you’ll find that some angles are better for working these muscles than others. A great way to learn what works best for you is to test the waters by trying different grip settings over time.
3. Keep abs tight
What most people don’t realize is that this will assist with keeping proper form when doing exercises like Pulldowns or Rows. This reduces strain on the lower back and the chances of getting injured while working out. If you can’t do this, when you start getting fatigued, it’s likely that your hips/legs will start kicking in really hard just to keep yourself up in position. While this may not sound too bad, there are two problems with this. The first is that it will force the lower back muscles to start working harder than they normally should, which can lead to injuries.
4. Vary your grip
You don’t have to always use a wide grip; sometimes narrow or neutral will be more appropriate for you. By testing out which feels best at any given time, you’ll find yourself able to work the muscle in different ways and keep things fresh, reducing chance of injury. Also, if you do decide on using narrow or neutral grips, make sure that your hands aren’t too close together; doing so may cause strain on the wrists/elbows (depending on how far apart they are). It’s better if your hands are shoulder width apart.
5. Use good form
This should go without saying, but it’s always better to use proper form when doing any exercise starting out rather than trying to copy your friends in the gym or using the same form you saw in a video online! If you are new to this exercise, drop down slowly and allow yourself time to adapt before graduating to heavier weights. Many people try to speed up the motion which causes bad habits that will lead to injury further down the road! Start with lighter weights where you can focus on making sure each rep is done properly.
6. Keep your head straight
It might sound odd at first because most people don’t think about what their head positioning is during an upper body workout. But by doing this, you’ll ensure that your back muscles (specifically the lower and mid) aren’t strained and you’ll also avoid any unnecessary neck strain!
7. Ensure proper breathing
This may sound like it’s coming out of left field – after all, we’re talking about a Pulldown machine – but the more tension on your body, the harder you have to breathe during any exercise. This is true with every movement though so even if you are experienced with using machines such as these, it’s always good to take a breath between reps to help keep yourself from getting fatigued too soon or straining anything unintentionally. After all, everyone knows how annoying it can be when a person nearby keeps grunting!
8. Don’t be afraid of a little pain
This is not to say that you should go into the gym thinking this workout will hurt. There are a number of people who don’t pay attention to their form on certain exercises which may lead to injury, but there’s nothing wrong with taking things up a notch once in awhile if you feel like the weights you’re using aren’t enough anymore! If your form starts suffering, just put the weight down and start again when you can focus more on working out than how much it hurts at that moment.
9. Keep workouts fresh
If you want results, it’s important for both your mind and body to keep yourselves focused. This means approaching each exercise with new tactics and having a goal in mind to motivate you. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a workout plan, but sometimes it can be fun to switch things up and try something new!
During this point, it may seem like we’re contradicting ourselves because we’ve been mentioning the importance of pushing yourself. But as long as you take care of yourself by following all of these rules, recovery time should not be an issue for those who are at the beginner stage or beyond! After all, that is what beginners do best – follow those simple rules which will help them avoid any serious injuries; they simply don’t know how to push themselves yet. They focus on proper form and gradually increase weights little by little until they’re ready to go to the next level.
For those who want to work out more, you can add in cardio-vascular training such as using a rowing machine sometimes or even going for a brisk walk after your main workout is completed. Remember that recovery time is just as valuable as working out so do not skimp on it! If you’re feeling worn out by your current workout plan, try cutting down your time in the gym and focus on giving proper attention to each exercise rather than rushing through everything without thinking too much about safety precautions.
In any case, remember these simple rules and have fun at the gym! All of this advice should be followed if you want to avoid injury so stay focused and always put 100% of your effort into each exercise. Before you know it, those tired arms and sore backs will be a thing of the past!
How To Do A Lat Pulldown?
There are a lot of exercises that you can do to target your back muscles, we will focus on the pulldown. Pulldowns are a great exercise because they work a wide variety of muscles in the upper body and core, including: biceps, triceps, brachialis muscles, latissimus dorsi muscles, trapezius muscles, deltoid muscles, rhomboid muscles, pectoralis major muscles, pectoralis minor muscles, subclavian muscles, abdominal external oblique or rectus abdominis.
Most people are familiar with pulldowns done with a wide grip to target the latissimus dorsi muscle better. With these, you stand and hold the bar at your waist with arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. You lean forward and keep your back straight and bend your elbows to pull the bar down to chest level.
You can also use a close grip to exercise the biceps or brachialis muscles better. You also stand up, but hold the barbell slightly closer than shoulder width with palms facing down and elbows pointing out. Bend your elbows as you come forward, keeping them bent throughout this exercise (it is like you are hugging something). After bringing it as close as possible to your chest without moving trunk off of bench, extend arms back up using same hand positioning on barbell during whole movement; breathe in as you do this.
With a wide grip, the long head of the triceps is also used. With this, you sit on a bench and hold the bar over your head with arms extended straight up and hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and bring it down towards your forehead then extend back up again using same hand positioning on barbell during whole movement. Breathe out as you do this.
You can also perform pulldowns while standing on a chair or stepper to add an element of instability, forcing more muscle fibers to contribute by stabilizing balance. While holding the bar in front of you at chest level with palms facing forward, lean back slightly so that shoulders are off from being directly under bar (creates angle) and bend elbows so bar comes near chest. Extend arms back up to original position; breathe out as you do this.
If you want to work your lower lat muscles, hold the bar at shoulder level with palms facing down and pull it down behind your head (bar behind neck) then extend back up again using same hand positioning on barbell during whole movement; breathe in as you do this.
With all of these variations, make sure to maintain proper form by keeping shoulders low and elbows pointed toward ceiling throughout the exercise’s range of motion (when bringing the bar inward towards chest or chin). Also it is important not to swing or sway trunk when pulling weight down or pushing it back up. Make sure that core stays tight since this will engage more muscles and prevent injury.
Some Mistakes When Doing Lat Pulldown
Bad technique can result in injury, and sometimes in a very embarrassing fashion. Here are some common mistakes made when doing lat pulldown exercises.
1) Bouncing at the bottom of the pulldown movement. Many people lower themselves down too quickly during the course of their repetitions, causing momentum to take over instead of muscle strength. This is called “bouncing” at the bottom of the exercise. It is a big no-no because it puts your rotator cuff and elbow muscles in jeopardy of injury, and that’s no joke!
2) Too wide or too narrow. According to certified strength and conditioning specialist Jim Smith, owner of Diesel Strength and Conditioning, Inc., grip width can affect muscle activation in different areas. For example, if you hold the bar with your hands spaced more than shoulder width apart (so that your thumbs are pointing away from each other), you activate key muscles such as lats, traps, deltoids and biceps. If you use a closer grip (thumbs pointed toward each other), this activates triceps, latissimus dorsi (side back), pecs, biceps and forearms.
3) Moving your whole body. If you are using momentum to move the weight instead of pure muscle strength, then you are making a mistake by moving your entire body instead of just moving at the targeted muscles. Make sure that you can feel the biceps doing all of the work, not your back or shoulders pushing the weights up yourself. Let’s say you start with your hands in an underhand grip (palms facing toward you). Tilt your elbows forward slightly so that they are roughly pointing down towards the floor. From here begin pulling downward until you feel a stretch on your lats, but without straining them too hard yet. Keep holding this position for 1-2 seconds while concentrating on the stretch. After that, bring the bar down and touch your chest near the bottom of your pecs, and then immediately go back to holding the stretched position for 1-2 more seconds. Repeat this process until you have reached failure or your targeted number of reps is completed.
4) Using momentum to get through a rep. This might be okay for some exercises such as biceps curls, but it is not okay when doing lat pulldowns. You should feel all of the stress on your muscles rather than using momentum to get through an exercise. If you cannot feel anything except your forearms moving up and down quickly during lat pulldown, then you are making a mistake by swinging too much pulling the weight downward.
Be sure that you are allowing the biceps to do all of the work.
5) Leaning back too far. Pulldowns are meant to target your lat muscles, not your lower back! Many people will lean way back when doing this exercise, placing lots of stress on their backs unnecessarily. If leaning is unavoidable due to a sticking point in your range of motion, then it’s okay to lean slightly backward for a split second if need be. However, remember: The goal is not to strain and overwork various other muscle groups; the goal is to target and develop your lats, which can be done without putting unnecessary strain on other muscles such as your lower back, hips and hamstrings.
6) Not fully extending at the top. If this is done, then it’s a sure sign that you are performing the exercise incorrectly and will not derive as much benefit from it as possible. Make sure to extend all the way at the top of your pulldowns, and squeeze those lats together tightly!
7) Rounding or hunching shoulders forward. This would only place unneeded stress on your neck and upper back muscles. Make sure that you keep your head up high, chest out and shoulders pulled down and straight throughout the entire movement by maintaining proper posture.
8) Letting momentum help lift or lower weights. When using lat pulldown exercises with free weights, remember that they should always be under control during every inch of every repetition rather than being allowed to swing the weight up or down. This will ensure that your muscles are doing all of the work rather than momentum.
9) Not holding peak contraction. You should actually hold the peak contraction for 1-2 seconds to fully feel each rep in your lats, without having too much fatigue early on during a set by not doing this.
10) Using an overhand grip when your biceps are strong enough to use an underhand grip with heavy weight. Many people think that they need to perform lat pulldown s using an overhand grip because it’s easier, but you would be surprised at how many people can actually do one using an underhand grip if given enough time for their biceps and forearms to build up enough strength to do so.
The reason many people end up using an overhand grip for lat pulldown s is that the biceps and brachialis (two forearm muscles) are stronger than their lats, which results in them being able to do more reps with a heavier weight when doing lat pulldowns with an overhand grip as compared to those who use an underhand grip.
However, those same people can actually train their lats very well if they perform lat pulldown exercises using an underhand grip, because by doing so they can better activate the brachioradialis, the third main forearm flexor alongside the biceps and brachialis. This means that you can eventually build your forearms up enough to be able to handle heavier weights when using an underhand grip for lat pulldowns, which will allow you to train the lats much more intensely.
This is why I recommend switching from an overhand grip on lat pulldown exercises to an underhand one if your forearms happen to be stronger than your lats and/or you cannot feel yourself doing a proper lat workout with barbell rows and cable rows using an overhand grip. If this happened, then it’s not that big of a deal at all, as you can still build up your lats well by doing cable row exercises with an underhand grip!
Which Muscles Do Lat Pulldowns Work?
1 – Back group
Lat pulldowns are an effective exercise for strengthening the muscles in your upper back. These include your latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids and trapezius. The biceps brachii runs along the front of your arm but is not involved in this exercise.
2 – Front Body
Your latissimus dorsi is a large, fan-shaped muscle that runs from the middle of your back to your pelvis. The teres major runs along the outside edge of your shoulder blade and wraps around to the upper arm. Your rhomboids keep your shoulder blades flat against your ribs during movement and stabilize them when you sit or stand up straight.
In addition, this exercise targets your trapezius muscles. These long muscles extend from the base of your neck down to the mid-back region. They work together with your scapula (shoulder blades) in order to move and rotate the shoulder joint.
3 – Other Muscles
Although a lat pulldown targets several major muscle groups in your upper body, it’s not a very well rounded exercise. For example, when using a wide grip, this exercise does not work the smaller muscles in your arms and shoulders — such as the biceps brachii, triceps brachii or deltoids. In addition, it does not exercise any muscles in your lower body. For a more well-rounded workout routine that uses many of these same muscle groups, you might want to check out our article on multi joint exercises.
What Exercises Can Do With Lat Pulldown?
Exercise 1: Chest Supported Row
The chest supported row is a variation of the row where you place a bench behind your back and pull a weight towards the upper chest.
Exercise 2: Wide Grip Cable Row Pulldown
To do this exercise, attach a single handle on to the pulley at full stretch (while lying face down, with stomach on an abdominal board). Then, using a wide grip as if you were performing a lat pull down, row the handle towards your stomach.
Exercise 3: Inverted Body Row
This is done by attaching a bar or band to a high point on the wall and then placing your feet against the ground with shoulders under your hips. Then row up until shoulders are just above elbows. You should be looking straight ahead throughout this exercise.
Exercise 4: T-Bar Row
This exercise works the same muscles as the bent over dumbbell rows but with an added benefit of extra work helps to develop back thickness because you reduce range of motion which puts more stress on upper part of the lift. It also helps keep stabilization core during movement which reduces chance for injury during other compound lifts. To start, set up a barbell in a landmine machine or use a T-Bar row machine and face away from the weight stack.
Exercise 5: Seated Lat Pulldown
This is done by sitting on a bench or seat attached to the lat pulldown machine and then pulling down on the cable to your chest as you would with a standard back row movement. Make sure not to lean too far forward as this will take strain off of the upper body and place it squarely on the lower back. This is referred to as doing a “chest supported row” instead of a “back row”.
Exercise 6: Seated V-Grip Cable Row
This is done almost the same as the seated lat pulldown. However, you grab a single handle attached to the cable machine at full stretch (while sitting on an abdominal board) and then row towards your upper chest. Make sure not to lean too far forward as this will take strain off of the upper body and place it squarely on the lower back. Instead, try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when pulling the weight toward you.
Exercise 7: Standing One Arm Cable Row
Attach a D-handle or straight bar attachment to a low pulley cable machine, take one step away from the weight stack and use one arm to pull the handle toward your stomach. Then switch arms and repeat for reps before switching sides.
Exercise 8: Standing Cable Row
Attach a straight bar or D-handle attachment on to a high pulley cable machine, take one step away from the weight stack and then pull it towards your chest as if rowing on an exercise bench (keep core braced and back flat throughout movement). This can be done with both hands at once for extra resistance or single armed at time for resistance in each arm independently.
Exercise 9: Seated Angled Lat Pulldown
This is identical to a standard lat pulldown but instead of pulling to the front, you pull to an angled position. It is important to note that this exercise has been known to strain the shoulders so proper form and stabilizing exercises must be done before proceeding with adding weight.
Exercise 10: Resistance Band Pulldown
This is performed by attaching a band (or bands) around a high point on the cable machine and then wrapping it around your back at shoulder blades level and performing a rowing motion as you would with any other cable or dumbbell row. Make sure to keep core braced throughout movement and use both arms simultaneously. However, because this movement uses just one arm at a time, it will increase stabilization demands especially if using heavier resistance.
Exercise 11: Prone Incline Row
Lie face down on an incline bench with a dumbbell or cable attachment hand and row up towards your chest keeping elbows tucked in to sides. It is important to make sure that you don’t arch your back during this exercise as doing so may put unwanted strain on lower back muscles.
Exercise 12: Reverse Flye
Standing upright, select two light dumbbells and hold them at arms length. Then bring the weights just short of touching each other in front of you while engaging core and posterior shoulder muscles to pull the weights out and away from your body until hands are just short of being in line with shoulders (this should be around degrees). Finally, slowly return the weights to the starting position.
Exercise 13: Seated Cable Row – Wide Grip
This is done almost exactly like a seated cable row except you will grasp the attachment with palms facing away from you (toes pointing towards weight stack). Make sure that you lean back slightly and pull your shoulder blades together as you lift the weight towards your chest. Keep traps braced and back flat throughout movement.
Exercise 14: Seated Cable Row – Close Grip
This is a variation of a standard cable row where instead of gripping at full width, you will do a close grip row pulling towards your stomach. It is important to keep core braced and back flat throughout movement as leaning too far forward can take strain off of the back and place it squarely on the stomach.
Exercise 15: Seated Cable Row – Reverse Grip
This is done almost exactly like a standard cable row except you will grip the attachment with palms facing towards you (toes pointing away from weight stack). Just as with a wide grip, make sure that you lean back slightly and pull your shoulder blades together as you lift weight towards your chest. Keep traps braced and back flat throughout movement.
Exercise 16: Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
Start by sitting with one leg bent so that foot is flat on the floor and other leg extended out for support (you can lift extended leg slightly to make sure you have a solid base). Start this one using an underhand grip at full arm’s length holding dumbbells over a loaded bench or sticking them in between bench press pads depending on where they are stored. Then smoothly lift weights until they touch the top of the bench touching your side. Then lower weights back down. If using heavier loads, you may want to limit range of motion to just below parallel with the floor.
Exercise 17: Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Start by leaning slightly forward over a bench supporting yourself with one hand planted on top of bench and other reaching towards dumbbell about two feet in front of you (or as close as your reach allows). This is done almost exactly like a standard bent-over row except that you will complete reps for one arm then switch arms and repeat before going on to the next exercise. Make sure to keep core braced throughout movement and use both legs simultaneously. However, because this movement uses just one arm at a time, it will increase stabilization and use your core and posterior shoulder muscles more than a barbell row will.
The lat pulldown is a great exercise for targeting the muscles in your back. It can help improve your posture and make you stronger overall. If you’re looking to add this exercise to your routine, be sure to start slowly and use proper form. As with any new workout, consult with a trainer or doctor if you have any questions or concerns. What are some of your favorite exercises for working your back?