Lat pulldown: get the form right
I like the “narrow grip” lat pulldown because it is easier for most people to get the form correct than the wide grip. This is usually because tight pectoralis and levator scapulae muscles cause poor form in the wide grip. Using poor form will prevent the correct muscles from being engaged, like the lats and rhomboids. Poor form may also lead to further shoulder and scapula dysfunction. Before starting the lat pulldown, I recommend stretching and/or using the Rumble Roller.
Lat pulldown exercise protocol
- First, always wrap your thumbs around the grip of the bar attachment.
- In a seated position, begin from a “dead hang” arm position. Lean back slightly, and keep the chest up throughout the exercise.
- When initiating movement during the lat pulldown, engage the shoulders and scapula in a down and backward motion. This should be done before you have any bend in the elbows.
- Next, pull the attachment to the upper part of the chest, and do not break the motion in the wrists! The wrists should be in a straight line with the forearm. In this phase of the exercise, you will exhale slowly.
- Pause, keeping the chest up, squeezing the shoulder blades together and lats tight.
- Release the attachment back to the starting position while inhaling. Make sure this is done with control, letting your back do the work.
- Finish the desired amount of reps. To build your back size and strength you want to select a heavy weight that you can do 8-15 times, but never compromise form. A drop set is a great way to progress weight.
Remember, to get the most out of any workout, vary your exercise selection, tempo, and grip. This will make you a more well-rounded and developed athlete!