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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lat Pulldown

Your lattimus dorsi are the muscles running down either side of your back. Keeping them strong helps posture and core strength as well as your overall upper body strength. Using a cable machine to do lat pull downs is a great way to work these muscles for a beginner as you can start with a small weight. If you're already pretty strong you can work your lats with pull-ups.

I'm pretty new to the whole upper body workout thing so I'm using my multi-gym (bargain from Cashies) to build up my strength. For this exercise, as with most, I do a pyramid - starting at a low weight with 30 reps, I then increase the weight and go down to 20 reps, increase the weight again for 10 reps then go back down.

  • Start by sitting facing the machine and grasp the bar overhand (palms away from you) - a wide grip works the whole lat muscle whilst a close grip focuses more on the lower lat and biceps.
  • Lean back at about a 30° angle and pull the bar down to chest level. Focus on squeezing with your back muscles and not your arms, try to keep elbows directly under your hands.
  • Slowly raise the bar maintaining control and tension at all times.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat!
To stretch afterwards first cross your arms around yourself to grasp the opposite shoulder and hug tightly to feel a stretch across the whole of your upper back. Next stand with feet shoulder width apart and bend at the waist keeping your back straight. Reach forwards to feel a stretch down the whole of the back and hold for 10.

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