Lat Pulldown Technique Tips

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How to Improve your Pulldowns

There is a simple exercise technique that you can utilize to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of lat pulldowns.

The pulldown is a great exercise that works the latissimus dorsi muscles of your back, also known as the lats. The little known fact of this pulldown exercise is that you can increase the efficiacy of this exercise by performing one simple movement before you do each rep of the pulldown.

Most people in weight training have a difficult time feeling their lats working when they do pulldowns-the biceps have a tendency to take over the movement and most people don't feel any workout in their back at all. This little trick can change that.

The secret tip movement is simply to drop your shoulders. Even though that seems like a relatively small thing, it has a huge impact on your weight training and pulldowns.

Start by sitting in a pulldown machine with moderate weight. Take a close grip on the bar with the palms of your hands facing towards you (a reverse grip). Do a few reps using your normal technique.

Now, let your arms go straight and let your shoulders raise as though you were shrugging so that your shoulders are up by your ears. Now, drop your shoulders in an opposite movement and pull the weight down as you do. The range of motion for the pulldown is small-only a few inches. Repeat this drop and raise a few times to get a feel for the movement-you should feel your shoulder girdle moving up and down with the pulldowns.

Now, we'll do a rep with the shoulder drop movement. Start off in the stretched position with your shoulders by your ears. Drop your shoulders down and lean backwards slightly then do your pulldown. Keep your lower back arched and puff out your chest to meet the bar as it comes down. You should feel your lats working quite hard now.

When you come to the bottom of your pulldown, squeeze hard as if you are trying to get your shoulder blades to touch together and then let the weight back up slowly. Do the shoulder drop at the start of every pulldown exercise rep or just keep your shoulders down and locked throughout the set. By dropping your shoulders like this, your lats are locked into the movement and it also minimizes the biceps involvement in the pulldowns. You should find that you get a much better lat workout this way.

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