Overview of the latissimus dorsi. The lat pulldown is a complex exercise that targets multiple back muscles, most notably the latissimus dorsi (Figure 1). The latissimus dorsi lies beneath the skin and extends from the base of the neck to the middle of the back. It provides support for the shoulder girdle and acts as a flexible sling for the arm. The latissimus dorsi is often referred to as the "backdoor" muscle because it opens up the chest and allows the insertion of various muscles involved in breathing and speech.
The lat pulldown is one of the main exercises used by athletes to build strength and size in the back. Such athletes include weightlifters, marathon runners, and cyclists. The exercise is performed by lying on your back with your arms at your side, outstretched. You will then pull down on a weighted cable attached to a pulley, sitting upright in a chair or standing against a wall. As you pull down, your body should form a straight line from head to toe with your arms and legs fully extended.
Technically, the lat pulldown works all the muscles of the back, but since they are a group of small muscles they cannot do much by themselves.
The lat pulldown machine is utilized for more than simply back exercise. Change from a seated to a standing posture to utilize this weight machine to develop the triceps on the backs of your upper arms. This machine offers training variety as well as intensive triceps strengthening.
This arm workout also incorporates the shoulder girdle and chest muscles. The lats are the largest muscle group used during a lat pulldown, followed by the pecs and then the shoulders. As you can see, these are all important muscles that contribute to a strong core, so be sure to include them in your weekly routine.
Use of hand weights will specifically target the triceps. As you pull down on the handles, your palms should be facing inward, away from your body. If you wish to further challenge yourself, use heavier weights than what's recommended below. However, if you're just getting started, it's best to start with lighter weights and build up over time.
There are two main exercises using the lat pulldown: the straight-arm pulldown and the alternating-arm pulldown. In both cases, you'll need one handle attached to a pulley system and another without a pulley. Start with your hands wide apart and bring them together between reps. Use enough tension on the cable to keep the weights moving but not so much that you struggle to lift them.
The lat pulldown is best used as a supplement to the pull-up; it can help you strengthen the muscles and motions you need with lesser weights when exhausted. While both exercises work the muscles of the back, only the lat pulldown also works the muscles of the abdomen and legs. The benefit of adding more muscle groups is that you can spread out the wear and tear on your body by exercising each group once a week.
The pull up uses gravity to provide resistance as you lift your body off the floor. This makes it easy to do, but may not be the most effective way to build strength. Because the weight you lift is so small, you need to do many repetitions to have an effect on your fitness level. However, with regular use you will find that you can lift this weight comfortably until you are able to increase it gradually until you reach maximum effort.
Because the lat pulldown requires that you pull yourself toward your chest, it forces you to utilize more of your upper body than the pull up. This means that you will build stronger arms and shoulder muscles than if you were just using free weights or machines to do pull ups. In addition, because the lat pulldown works several different muscles in your back, you will be less likely to suffer from injury when lifting heavy loads.
The latissimus dorsi, or lats, are the biggest of the three back muscles. You may burn calories and increase your overall strength by practicing particular exercises that target your lats. Strong lats will also help you maintain appropriate posture and enhance the symmetry of your upper body. Part 1 of 2..
How do you strengthen your lats? There are several exercises that can help build up your lat muscle mass including: barbell rows, deadlifts, and chinups. Exercise machines that work the lat muscle group include the lateral pulldown and cable crossover. A good way to target your lats while sitting at your desk is with an elastic band. Place a loop in it and then stretch out the band so that you can lift your head without bending over.
Strength training for your lats is important because it helps prevent injury and improves your posture. Maintaining strong shoulders is critical for healthy neck function. Parts 2 and 3 of 2.
The latissimus dorsi, or lats, are the broad V-shaped muscles that link your arms to your spinal column. They support and stabilize your spine while also strengthening your shoulders and back. The term "lat pull-down" refers to a common exercise for the latissimus dorsi. You can also call these muscles "backers" because they help bend your arm downward toward your body, allowing you to reach things off of shelves and into pockets.
The lat is so important in maintaining good posture that people who lack this muscle often suffer from poor back health. They may experience pain when moving their torso forward or backward because the underlying structure is not strong enough to support them. A person who lacks the latissimus dorsi may also have difficulty raising their head high because the muscles that normally help them do so are not working properly.
People usually think of the chest as the main group of muscles that lifts its owner's head and arms into the air. But it is actually the lat that pulls them upward. The triceps are the muscles in the upper part of the arm that bends the elbow and helps lift objects over one's head. However, the latissimus dorsi is the larger muscle that controls the movement of the triceps. So, instead of using the triceps, people with weak lat muscles need to use their chest to lift heavy objects.