Exercise! - Lat Pulldown machine?

View Full Version : Lat Pulldown machine?

03-08-2002, 10:19 AM
I never feel my lats being worked out on this machine. :(
I'm trying to get rid of those diagonal flab rolls that comes around your side from your back around to side.(hard to explain)(not love handles because those are lower)The machine seems to only work my arms and shoulders no matter how far I set my arms apart or increase the weight. I never feel sore in the right spot.

The other day I saw a woman leaning back REAL far as she was using it. Is this the right way to use it? Maybe I'm doing it wrong and that's why it does nothing for me?I found this pic of the muscle, any tips on working this muscle would be great!

03-08-2002, 01:53 PM

Don't worry if you can't feel your lats being worked. They are getting a workout but it would seem that another part of your arms is less fit (it is the weakest link) and so feels the strain quicker. If this part is your lower arm (betwen wrist and elbow) you may need to check your wrist position as it can place extra strain on the forearm if misaligned.

Also you seem to have chosen this exercise to get rid of the fat stored directly over the lats! Sorry, but it really is true that you cannot spot reduce. You could work this muscle for the rest of your natural born days and never get rid of that specific fat deposit. If your body doesn't want to use the store of fat over your lats it won't, until it absolutely has to. The fat use patterns are set into you by genetics so you can't do anything about it EXCEPT - You need to burn more calories, and therefore fat, with a combination of sensible eating and a balanced exercise routine. Eventually the 'lat fat' will go!

As for the lady who leans back, she is just utilising different assistor muscles (more back and stomach) to get a different workout. She is still concentrating on her lats but is just changing things around a little. It is not wrong to lean back, but you need to have good balance of back and abs muscles to do this safely.

I hope this helps, I am always ready to help with an exercise related question! Stef

03-08-2002, 09:23 PM
I guess what I really need is a free weight excercise for the Lats then. HELP! :lol: I know I can't spot reduce, I'm looking for muscle anywhere I can get it and this is a hard place to gain muscle for me. All I really want for my lat muscles, is for it to be sore so I know that I worked it enough to cause growth in it. I havent' had the wrist/forearm problem. It mainly feels like it's working the shoulders and some bicep

My arms are pretty strong I think, but maybe not strong enough for that machine ? I do 4/12 normal curls, the standing full curl(sorry don't know what to call it) and hammer curls with 8 lb weights and I also do 4 sets of 12 tricep extentions with 15 lb free weights. This is very challenging for my arms and I can't really work them any harder at this point. That 4ths set is nearly impossible as it is.:dizzy: I wish gym free weights wouldn't up the weight by 5 pounds on free weights, it's too much of a jump for my arms. I bought a 7 and a 8 lb set for use at home.

I already use a rower for some cardio days, and that seems to mainly work my shoulder blades. I also use a machine for my lower back, and free weights for dif areas of my shoulders, so it's only the lats that I'm missing.

Keep on pumping! :strong:

03-09-2002, 06:09 PM
Do you have an assisted pull-up machine at your gym? That's a popular one at mine. Oh, and don't forget about bent over rows and the lowly pushup.

03-09-2002, 06:33 PM

Your upper body weights routine sounds OK! With the sets you describe your lats really are getting a good workout. You say you feel the pulldowns in your shoulder and some bicep! I would say that your rotator cuff (the whole shoulder joint's musculature) is your arms' weak link.

You should take it slowly when increasing weights as the shoulder is an unusual joint. There is no bone to bone connection between your arm and body, as in say the hip where there is a ball and socket joint. Arms are attached by muscle, ligaments, skin etc only, there isn't a solid joint attachment. Because of this we must be careful with the stresses we subject it to. Lifting weights that are too heavy is a really good way of causing a painful and possibly permanent injury.

I don't know how long, how often etc you workout on weights or cardiovascular workouts or how you eat but I would stongly advise caution before you increase your weights. If you workout at a gym get a qualified member of staff to take you through a new personal routine. Tell them what you want to get out of it and they should be able to show you a range of adaptations and new exercises you could try.


03-10-2002, 11:23 AM
I do one day of cardio, one day of weight training, alternating a upper body day with a lower body day with the cardio day.
I'm using the Body For Life Book as a guide for weight training and for the diet part, but I'm not taking the myoplex or the creatine stuff, as I'm not interested in taking it nor can I afford it. If my weightloss is slower without it, so be it. :)

My highest weighted shoulder thing is the shoulder shrug and I only use a 15 pounder in each hand. I've seen a tiny 4 foot woman without muscle pick up two 45's and do them. I'm feeling pretty wimpy now, ha! Most people only seem to do 1 set of 8 of those though, I've never seen anyone do more than a set of those.

I forgot about the assisted pull-up machine, I think the dips might work that area.I need to check the picture on the machine again.I can't remember at all now. I do the bent over rows, but havent tried doing pushups....I dred that evil excercise :devil: :spin:

Oh and one more question is it possible to make yourself look bigger in certains places because the muscle got bigger and pushed the fat forward? The last thing I need is bigger boobs. :D

03-10-2002, 12:45 PM
Yes, I hate pushups, too. But they're great strength builders and can be done anywhere. I'm a weakling in my upper body (routinely use 8-20lb free weights depending on the exercise). I used to watch the weights that some of the women threw around and felt totally inferior, but then I realized how much genetics (and sometimes bad form) plays into all of this. (I say bad form, because I think it's much easier to lift more weight if you're using bad form and swinging weights around.) As for genetics, if you saw me, you'd probably think I was quite strong in my upper body because of my muscle tone. In fact, I'm much stronger in my lower body - even though my thighs look quite unfit because of my particular fat distribution. I run, walk, use the elliptical, use the stairmaster, lift weights and I still look relatively flabby. Like Stef referred to, it's that "little" issue of fat-burning that's sooo difficult. Because of the flab-over-the-muscle issue, I think it is possible to make yourself look bigger with weight lifting if there isn't some corresponding fat reduction going on. It happened to me in my thighs when I first started running a few years ago. Fortunately, over time my body went through a redistribution and my thighs came back to their initial measurements, but firmer. This is where patience and focusing on the other benefits of exercise helps. :)

03-11-2002, 07:39 AM
I'm pretty strong in my legs too, it's a lot harder on my arms to weight train there, but my results show pretty fast there.I love the feeling of getting stronger and being able to open jars on my own. :)

I did some dips tonight at the gym, the pic on assisted pullup/dip machine showed both the pull up and the dip as working the Lats.
I'll have to see if my lats feel sore tommorow. It seemed to work a lot of the chest and tricep muscles. Tommorow is the dreaded cardio day. Today was leg and back day so hopefully I didn't trash my legs too bad. If they are sore I'll just use the cardio rower thing. :)

I really love weight training, maybe one day there will be a forum to talk about weight training goals because there are a lot of weight training issues that people have problems with.
I hope they add a place for that one day. :D

03-12-2002, 02:01 PM
Angelcat -

Yes, it is possible to build up the muscle and push certain things forward. Those of us who have the opposite of your problem have tried it for years. :D:

I have A cup boobs on a bloated day and have relied upon buidling up my pecs because it pushes what little I have out a small bit and gives the small illusion of cleavage. My pecs actually start above my boobs so firming them up makes my boobs seem larger.

However, my well endowed sister swears that working her pecs acts like an internal underwire and help keep hers from sagging as much.

Either way, I'm do not think you would magically go from a D to an E cup because of building a little muscle. Women cannot build the muscle mass men can without the use of drugs. Women's muscles actually get denser as they get stronger, not bigger.

And like Rupertsmom said, the lowly pushup also does a great job working your lats. Pushups also teach the muscles to work together and strengthens your core muscles, expecially if you to the "men's" version.


03-12-2002, 09:50 PM
I could sure use an internal underwire! LOL :lol:
It's funny how geneics go, I have one sister who is an A cup and anouther sister who is a C cup. Though I didn't get to C-cup size myself till I was 23 and she's only 16. Of Course the A cup sister wants to be bigger and the C cup one wants to be smaller. :D

I used to have a miracle bra when i was 20, I used to wish for a C cup and now that i'm a full overflowing D cup would love to just be a B-cup again.*I need to be more careful for what i wish for!* :dizzy: I soon learned that all the cute bras were rarer and rarer as your cup size rose and the selection was very slim.I noticed that bras that are attractive as a smaller cup look ridiculous when it's a D cup.I went to Victoria's Secret just to find they didn't carry anything bigger than a C-cup in the store. I didn't think a D-cup was that strange of a size that they wouldn't sell it in their mall stores.Where do people who get implants get bras? How about strippers? I've seen D-cups in their catalog before but I hate catalog ordering things. When I'm on the mission for the right bra for an outfit, I don't want to wait 6 weeks for it or pay a lot of shipping. :)

Anyhow the dips did make me pretty sore under the arm pit on the sides of the boobs.I hadn't worked that muscle before, so it hurts pretty good.It think it's more of a chest muscle than a lat muscle though. I will try pushups when I'm healed there.I'm going to have to skip a few arm excercises tonight because I'm so sore there. How many push ups should I go for, I'm not sure how many I can do even. Should I do them in sets or just do as many as I can? :?:

03-13-2002, 11:05 AM
At first you may need to experiment on the pushups until you find the right number to aim for. This may take a couple sessions before you find whats appropriate for you. A little soreness the next day is OK, but if blow drying your hair is painful, you probably over did it.

First time out I suggest you try old fashioned men's style pushups (trunk straight, supporting your weight on your hands and toes only). Depending on how strong your core / trunk muscles are, expect to have to concentrate to keep your trunk from sagging. Lower yourself until only your nose touches ( OK, in your case your boobs may hit first :o , touch them but do not smoosh them ) Try to do 5-10.

If you can barely do 5 regular style, then you need to build more arm strength and should switch to modified ( "women's" ) style pushups (core still straight, but supposting your weight on your knees instead of your toes). I suggest you work up to 15-20 modified style for 2 sets. Then switch to regular style after your strength increases.

If you can do 10 regular style already, then you should continue doing regular pushups. Work up to 15 - 20 reps for 2-3 sets.

After you build up strength, you can begin changing your hand placement to emphasize different muscle groups. Arms farther apart emphasizes pecs and lats, Arms closer together emphasizes your triceps more.


03-13-2002, 11:09 AM
I almost forgot, check out this site. It has a ton of info geared towards women's strength training.

Stumptuous.com - Weight Lifting Info for Women (http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html)

Venus Envy
04-25-2002, 02:51 PM
Oooh, this is a fun forum! I just started strength training in February and have been having the time of my life! It's such a great feeling. And it's done wonders for my walking speed (I'm a marathon walker).

Right now, I racewalk five days a week, 4-6 miles a day, with one of those days reserved for endurance walking (10 miles and up). I hit the gym for resistance training four days a week -- biceps and upper back; lower body; chest, shoulders, and triceps; abs and lower back. I'm also adding more low-intensity walking and cycling for fat-burning and ... well, just because I can.

I've been devouring the posts here ... can't wait to see more!