If you are trying to figure out a balanced workout routine and you’re looking for an exercise to strengthen and tone your upper back muscles, the lat pull down exercise can accomplish just that.
In order to perform a lat pull down you are going to need to use a lat pull down machine with an accompanying bench.
Performing the Exercise
Any strength training exercise that you perform should be done in a very controlled manner. You should have complete control over the movement at all times. To get into the starting position you need to sit up straight on a bench and grasp the lat bar above you. Your arms should be just a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, and the palms of your hands should be facing forward. To begin the move, tilt your head back just a bit and pull the bar down to your chest leading with your lats first. Arch your back just slightly while you exhale. Next you’ll slowly raise the bar back up and inhale. This is equal to one full repetition. Try to complete two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
The main muscle group you are using is your lats, or Lattissimus Dorsi. These are the upper muscles in your back. You also use your biceps and exterior deltoids.
Injuries occur more often than they should during weight training and it’s usually due to improper form or using a weight that is too heavy. To help prevent injury, use a comfortable weight that isn’t too heavy and avoid using any swinging motion. Concentrate on using your lats to complete this seated lat pull down move.
When you grow accustomed to this exercise you may want to increase the difficulty, which can be done a number of ways. One way is to sit on a stability ball instead of a bench. Another way to increase difficulty is by shortening rest periods between each set.