Lat Pulldown Tips

Posted On Apr 14, 2014 By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist

lat pulldown

The Lat pulldown is a great exercise for building strength and size in your lats. It’s also a very easy exercise to screw up. Poor technique can increase the risk of injury to your shoulders and drastically reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

Here are 3 unusual tips to optimize your lat pulldown form, so that your lats get the best exercise possible.

TIP #1: STOP GRIPPING SO WIDE!

Never grip any wider than your elbows can go. When you hold your arms out and bend your elbows to 90 degrees, you have found the correct width of your widest-grip.

TIP #2: MAXIMIZE TENSION IN THE LATS

This tip will make you think about doing something you don’t actually want to happen, but the thought of it will guarantee that you are using the correct muscles.

Once you’ve established your position on the bar and with your body, DON’T think about pulling the bar down towards you! Instead, think about taking your chest to the bar.

If you focus on taking YOU to the bar you tend to not fall into bad form habits, including leaning back, jerking the bar down or curling your wrists.

TIP #3: USE THE THIGH PAD TO HOLD YOU DOWN!!!

This allows you to increase your weight (if needed/wanted), but similar to the previous tips, it allows your lats and other involved muscles to do their job to their fullest ability.

While performing the exercise, focus on keeping your core perfectly still and your butt firmly planted on the seat. The only joints moving should be your shoulder, elbow and wrists.

This is not a complete “how-to guide” for a lat pulldown. However, these three tips are pretty much universal for anyone using a lat pulldown machine.

So the next time you do a lat pulldown, use these tips to maximize your lat workout.