The lat pull down is a great exercise that can be performed with the use of a cable machine with little difficulty. Though this exercise may appear intimidating, it is actually quite easy, and can produce great results. Ask for a spotter the first few times you attempt this exercise if you are concerned about your ability to control the weight.
What is the Lat Pull Down?
Before actually performing the lat pull down, it is important that you understand what muscle groups are strengthened by this exercise, as well as how strengthening these muscle groups can help you. In the lat pull down, the main muscle groups that are worked include the muscles of the upper back, as well as the biceps muscles, which are located on the front part of your upper arm. Strengthening your upper back is not only important in helping you lift and carry heavy objects, but it also provides a degree of stabilization to your torso, thereby helping in the alleviation and prevention of back pain.
Using Proper Technique in the Lat Pull Down
In order to maximize the benefits you receive while performing the lat pull down, it is essential that you use proper form and technique. Start by making sure that your seat is properly adjusted so that when sitting, your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. There is typically a bar under the seat of the cable machine that allows you to adjust the height. Next, adjust the arms of the cable machine so that they are a notch or two down from the completely upright position (ideally, they should be at around a 30 degree angle from the top of the cable machine). Once you are positioned properly, grab onto one of the cable machine handles with each hand. Make sure your palms are facing away from your body. Now, while still sitting on the seat of the cable machine, exhale deeply and pull both handles down, with your elbows coming down and towards your ribcage. Next, as you inhale your breath, relax your arms, allowing them and the handles to go back to the starting position. Do at least two sets of ten repetitions of the exercise in order to get the best results.
Preventing Injury during the Lat Pull Down
In order to prevent injury and maximize your workout when performing the lat pull down, you may want to consider using a spotter. A spotter can not only be effective in helping you to ensure you are using the right technique, but can also assist you in the event that the weight becomes too heavy, and you need some quick assistance. A gym employee will typically be more than happy to help spot you during this exercise. If no employees are available, ask a fellow gym member who appears to be knowledgeable about weight lifting.