Having trouble feeling the mind-muscle connection when doing lat pull-downs? Zane Hadzick shows you the best way to engage the back muscles and how to do the lat pull-down correctly.
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Lat pull-down exercises are a powerful tool in building a strong back with that V-taper definition. Try applying this tip to these 5 lat pull-down variations in your next workout.
| Single-Arm Lat Pull-Down |
If you've ever done a lat pull-down, you've probably used both hands at once. This traditional bilateral lat pull-down maximizes the amount of weight you can lift and makes great use of your time if you need to get in and out of the gym in a hurry.
Yet it would be a mistake to discount the value of the single-arm lat pull-down. When it comes to feeling the mind-muscle connection and maximizing the squeeze at the bottom of the lift, nothing beats the single-arm lat pull-down.
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| Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down |
The wide-grip variation is an excellent choice if you're looking to increase the width of your back and want to improve overall strength. This variation will also help you with your pull-up strength, allowing you to work your lats with good form through the entire range of motion.
As you perform the wide-grip lat pull-down, think of squeezing and retracting your shoulder blades for optimal muscle activation. Avoid leaning too far back while performing this exercise. The momentum you gain from leaning back takes away from the benefits this exercise has to offer.
| Behind-The-Neck Lat Pull-Down |
One pull-down variation often overlooked is the behind-the-neck lat pull-down. Many believe this variation places too much stress and strain on the body. While this may be due to lack of shoulder flexibility for some, many can comfortably incorporate this movement pattern into their workout without pain, and are able to take full advantage of the benefits it offers.
Most people who can do behind-the-neck lat pull-downs find they feel a stronger overall contraction using this range of motion, making it beneficial for building lean muscle mass. That said, proceed with caution: The risk of injury is higher with behind-the-neck lat pull-downs. Start with a lighter weight and higher reps.
| V-Bar Pull-Down |
When it comes to lat pull-down variations, don't underestimate the benefit of choosing a different attachment. The V-bar pull-down is an excellent option to improve the center of your back, while still targeting your lats.
| Reverse Close-Grip Lat Pull-Down |
Finally, the last variation to include in your improved workout routine is the reverse close-grip lat pull-down. This move is great for targeting your lower lats, and will also help to activate your biceps by mimicking the action of a chin-up.
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