Nowadays, it is commonly heard that weight machines in the gyms are no longer helpful or functional when it comes to losing weight; rather, such machines contribute to causing muscle sprains or imbalances. While I agree that several machines do little to assist you to train in effective movement and strengthen the stabilizing muscles, there are some that offer a well-rounded training program and one such is called the cable or lat pulldown exercisers.
It offers a technical mechanism, and when performed correctly, lat pulldown machines can be (tremendously) beneficial to form upper body strength, mass, and keep your shoulders healthy.
The lat pulldown exercisers, chiefly, target the latissimus dorsi or ‘lats’ muscles, along with the lower trapezius, the rhomboids, and the serratus anterior. In addition to, render the motion for pull-ups, the lat muscles also serve as powerful spinal stabilizers for defining a body posture during exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, as well as various athletic movements. Without a doubt, having a strong back is an essential key to gain overall strength and fitness.
There are some techniques and tips while carrying out lat pulldown exercise. It comprises:
- Keep your chest high and bring it to the bar
- Always keep your elbows pointed and straight down
- Squeeze your lats while pulling it from your arms
- Keep it below your chin
- Grab it a little wider
- Also, it is suggested to use the ‘V-grip’ handle
There are some common techniques errors that are surely needed to be considered and rectified.
- Pulling the bar behind your neck must be avoided at all costs. It shortens downs the range of motion of your lats and misses the vital part of the exercise.
- Pulling down below your chest does not only undo your lats but will cause your shoulder to anterior glide. It can even lead to causing some irritation and persistent pain to emerge.
- Using body momentum will affect the angle you are pulling to and make it a mid-back exercise rather than lat pulldown.
- There is no need going too wide as this can diminish the range of motion and for those with irritable shoulders this is a sure way to crank the joint. Thus, it is highly recommended to grab the bar above or just outside your shoulders.
One of the most reliable among the lot is the half-kneeling one-arm lat pulldown exercise. It does not only target the lats but becomes an effective core exercise as well. By following a half kneeling stance and pulling, you can brace your abs to protect your back from arching.
In short, adopting these tricks will surely help you improve your lat pulldown technique and keep your shoulders healthy! Go ahead and try them without fear!