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Frequently Asked Questions
If pull-ups are known to develop your whole upper body muscles, lat pulldown exercises focus primarily on your back. The latissimus dorsi is a pair of back muscles responsible for your arm movements. These muscles are the primary focus of this exercise, hence the name. Aside from this, a lat pulldown machine can help you perform exercises that also affect other upper body muscles and joints like the scapulae (traps and pecs) as well as your elbows and arms.
- Narrow gip underhand pulldown
- Wide grip underhand pulldown
- Narrow grip neutral pulldown
- Narrow grip overhand pulldown
- Lat pulldown in front of the body
- Lat pulldown behind the neck
Like any other weight training exercises, there are certain movements or steps within the routine that may cause injuries or accidents to happen. Here are the common errors that beginners, and even experienced, gym-goers commit when doing lat pulldowns.
Using the wrong body parts for weightlifting. Some people, in their desire to complete a rep or set, use other body parts and their tension when pulling the bar. For instance, using the forearms of arms to add pressure and fight the weights on the cable lat pulldown machine can strain your arms. You should always allow your back muscles to provide the tension that your body needs to perform the pulling down. This error can affect the development of your back muscles and cause unnecessary muscle fatigue or strain to your arms and elbow joints.
Pulling down too fast or hard. If you forcefully pull down the handlebars without care and with haste, it will stress your shoulder and elbow joints. Whether you are doing an underhand, neutral, or overhand grip to your hanging bars, the tension and force that you present to your upper extremities can injure you instead of help you work out safely.
Losing control when doing lat pulldowns. As you pull down and reach back up, the repetition of movements should be calculated and down with care. Controlling your actions will help your muscles contract and relax rhythmically, preventing stress and strains. However, many gym-goers, even experienced ones, somehow forget releasing the bars slowly and carefully, making themselves vulnerable to increased chances of injury or accident.
Now that you have an idea of what can go wrong with hasty lat pulldowns, we are here to give you more reminders on what to do and what not to do when doing your upper body exercises, like using your lat pulldown machine.
- Make sure that you limit the weight you will exercise with. If you are a beginner, settle for a lighter load that you can advance bit by bit as you become used to the exercise.
- Control your breaths as you carefully pull down and release the bar handles.
- Keep your trunk and spine relaxed and in the neutral position, your back straight, and your elbows close to the body.
- Your thighs should be fixed and braced to the machine in a relaxed sitting position, your feet flat o the floor.
- Start high on the weights as this may cause you unnecessary injuries.
- Lose your grip on the handlebars when letting it back up.
- Rise and go off the seat while you return the bar.
- Lose your form and posture during the workout to enable the routine to hit the right target muscles.