Many variation of grip is possible with lat pulldown machine. Changing your hand position makes difference to muscle activation during the lat pulldown. Let’s focus on wide-grip lat pulldown this time. I normally do Wide Grip Lat Pulldown after pull ups and One Arm Dumbbell Row Loading. In Wide Grip Lat Pulldown exercise, main muscle worked is lats (latissimus dorsi). Other muscles such as biceps and middle back are involved too. Therefore, Wide Grip Lat Pulldown is considered as a compound exercise.
If you want to train the lats muscle, but you are not strong enough to do pull up, the wide grip front pull-down will help you better prepare yourself for pull up by exercising the relevant muscles. With the machine, you can increase the weight slowly until you achieve your own body weight. Another difference between this workout and pull-up is that you pull down the weight in wide grip lat pull-down whereas you lift your own body up in pull-up.
- Start with your legs positioned snugly under the kneepads of a pull down machine. You may need to adjust the seat height and leg restraint accordingly. For seat height, it should be set to the position where your upper legs are horizontal and knees are at 90 degrees when you are seated.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor.
- Grasp the wide bar firmly with the grip which palms facing away from your body.
- Your hands should be almost twice your shoulder width apart.
- Pull the bar down on top of your chest, arching your back slightly.
- When the bar reaches your chest, hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
- Focus on keeping your elbows directly below the bar.
- Slowly raise the bar back to the starting position. This stage is the phase where you back muscles are working hard.
- Perform 3 sets with 8 to 12 repetitions each set.
- Do not pull the bar behind your neck. Why? Stay tuned for my future post – Why You Should Not Do Behind-The-Neck Lat Pull Down?
- Do not lean back too far and pull the weight down using your body weight. Put the process of pulling the weight using your back, not on the shoulder muscles.
- Do not allow the weight stack to drop quickly down after reaching your chest. Maintain the tension all the way back to the start position with controlled motion.
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