Check any of the upper body workout and you’ll definitely find a lat pulldown. This staple exercise is phenomenal as it can target your upper back like no other workout. In fact, if you wish to have a strong and chiseled back just like a bodybuilder, lat pulldown has to be in your workout.
That being said, it is important to remember that performing this workout is not an easy task. The exercise may look simple but when it comes down to actually doing it, most people will find it extremely hard. And that’s the reason only those who are extremely dedicated to the gym and their fitness try a lat pulldown.
If you are strongly interested in building your back muscles and don’t shy away from hard workouts, this is the perfect exercise. Also, to make things easier for you, we have gathered step-by-step instructions to perform lat pull down exercise with and without machines! This way you can also perform it during your home workout if going to the gym is not an option.
Don’t miss out on the FAQs that many people like you may have! So make sure you don’t stop the article in the middle and stick with us till the end. So, let’s get started by telling you briefly about lat pulldown.
What is Lat Pulldown?
If you have seen someone doing lat pulldown exercise, you know a few things about it. The workout is usually done on a machine and comes under strength training. It is quite similar to pull-ups but instead of a moving body and a fixed bar, you have a fixed body and moving weights or bars.
Lat pull down targets your latissimus dorsi (lats for short), and your biceps primarily. Other than that, the exercise also activates your forearms, biceps, deltoids, lower and upper back, core muscles.
If performed perfectly on a regular, lat pull down can give you a perfect V-looking shape for men and a sleek and slim figure for women.
Lat Pull Down Machine Workout
Lat pull down at gym is also one of the most badly performed workouts. Why? Well, people often forget about the form and technique. You’ll find them either leaning too much or yanking their chests out. This hinders the target and hence, puts too much stress of pelvic and lower back muscles.
Thus, when you are planning to start lat pulldown, make sure you first learn the proper steps. That is how you will be able to enjoy the benefits of lat pulldown.
To help you out, we have jotted down step-by-step instructions for lat pull down machine workout. Read and follow:
- Start by checking the machine to make sure the wide-grip bar is properly attached. You should also adjust the knee support so your legs are fixed and do not move during the pulldowns.
- Now sit down and grab the bar firmly with your palms facing forwards. This grip is also known as overhand grip. The distance between your arms should be about shoulder-wide.
- Lean back to an angle of approximately 20 degrees and lift your chest a bit. Make sure your torso is tight.
- Now start pulling the bar down towards your upper chest. As you do this, squeeze your shoulder blades together and ensure that your elbows move downwards and not backwards.
- Hold for a second and slowly release the bar back to its starting position. During this, make sure your arms are fully extended and you can feel your lats stretches.
Lat Pull Down Without Machine
If going to gym is not an option but you still want to do lat pulldown, here is a solution for you – go for other equipment such as resistance bands or try lat pull-down alternatives that also focus on lat muscles.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can perform lat pull down without machine:
- Attach the resistance band with your palms facing out and down.
- Now, get down on one knee just like kneeling lat pull down, holding the band over your head. If you have adjusted the band higher, you can also do the pull-down while standing.
- Slowly bend your elbows and separate your hands as you lower them down towards your chest.
- Hold for at least 2-3 seconds before returning to the initial position.
What are some modifications/variations of lat pulldown?
Here are a few lat pulldown modifications/variations you can try with the machine:
- Lat Pull Down Back: In this type, you have to pull the bar or cable to your back (behind your head). It is suggested that you should try lat pull down back exercise if you should be done by experts who have strong control over their body movements.
- Lat Pull Down Front: As the name suggests, you have to pull the bar in front of the neck. This is deemed to be more safe and effective than the back modification and this fact has also been supported by research. Seems like lat pull down front exercise is the winner!
- Straight Arm Lat Pull Down: In this variation, you have to keep your arms straight but use your hips to go up and down as per the pull downs. You should use a cable machine for straight arm lat pull down.
Other than these you can also perform kneeling lat pull down, wide grip lat pull down, close grip lat pulldown, and so on. Talk to your fitness trainer to help you with these variations.
What are some tips for lat pulldowns?
- When you are doing lat pulldown on a machine, make sure that you are the one controlling the movements and not the machine.
- To get maximum contraction, squeeze your back muscles as you go upwards.
- Your upper body should not move during the pulldowns.
- If you have any back injury or pain, avoid performing this workout.
What are some of the benefits of lat pulldown?
The benefits include:
- Strengthens and builds the latissimus dorsi muscle
- Helps in strengthening upper body muscles like the chest, shoulders, and also core muscles
- Promotes good posture
- Increases spinal stability
- Helps in getting a slim and lean figure.
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