Description: Begin holding the bar slightly wider than elbows. Lean back slightly with a neutral spine (no rounding). Do so by anchoring the body using the core muscles (abdominals and paraspinal muscles) to stabilize the spine. Aside from the arm movement, the body should remain stationary throughout the exercise without using momentum to complete repetitions. Pull the weight down to center of chest (sternum) and drive the elbows down. Then slowly release the weight in a controlled manner to the start position.
Modifications: There are several modifications to the lat pull down that can keep your workouts fresh. Two handed and single arm pull downs with handles (shown on right), and standing pull downs with straight arms (shown below).
Common Mistakes: The most common mistake is pulling the bar behind the head. By pulling behind your head you risk neck and shoulder injuries such as shoulder impingement, rotator cuff problems or anterior shoulder instability. Another common mistake is using too much weight (quality over quantity), using momentum instead of muscle and arching the back. As with most exercises never sacrifice form for weight, you will get a better workout with better results and less chance of injury by using appropriate weight.
Target Muscles: Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Rhomboids.
If you have any questions ask one of the Wellness Center staff and we will be glad to assist you.