So you think you know the lat pull down? It is a pretty popular exercise used by gym goers on the reg! For body builders its assists with creating that “X” shape …so important in the back pose, but body builders aside, it is a great movement to build posterior strength and correct posture. AND to my fellow lady friends… it can create the illusion of a smaller waist.

HOWEVER…a majority of the time it is done incorrectly due to poor form and the Latissimus Dorsi in turn does not get used effectively. The most common issues I see with form include: 
- Initiating the motion using the front part of the Deltoid (shoulder) and Pectoralis Major (top part of your chest). They then continue to pull the bar straight down in front of them as opposed to just below the clavicle (collar bone). This internally rotates the shoulders, potential consequences include strain/injury, enabling poor posture even more and not working the intended muscle properly. You need to work and contract the correct muscle properly for the exercise to be successful and promote growth.
- Are your forearms aching after a lat pull down? To a certain extent they may fatigue but if they are burning out it is likely because again you are recruiting force from the brachioradialis (forearm) muscle instead of focusing on pulling down the weight using your lats and surrounding posterior muscles.  

Okay, so how do I get it right then? 

1) Sit close enough that your abdomen is only a couple inches from the leg pads. CHEST UP this will create a nice little curvature in your lower back (just enough to keep your core strong)
2) With your arms just over shoulder width apart on the bar. “Hooking” your hands and not wrapping your thumbs around the bar. Relax your shoulder blades so that they separate and lift up towards your ears. 
3) Engage your lats maintaining straight arms (tricky i know). ONLY when the lat is engaged do you bend at the elbows and pull the bar to just below your clavicle.
4) Control the weight on the way up maintain a steady tempo.
Repeat in your head for each rep: Straight arms stretch, Lats, then elbows. 

CAN ALSO APPLY THE TECHNIQUE TO ASSISTED PULL UP MACHINE! – hence the pic not of a pull down :')  

TIP: If you are using the forearms so much that they burn or using your shoulders to “shrug” it down I would suggest dropping the weight down and focusing on contracting the correct muscles for the motion. – no need for ego lifting with poor form, just smart mind muscle connection.

Thanks for reading my long as heck caption and enduring the combo technical and general jargon, no go grow yourself some wings!

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