How to Widen Your Back with Lat Pulldowns
Dr. Jim Stoppani breaks down the nuances of this common back exercise to help you spark new muscle gains.
Wondering why your lats haven’t gotten any wider in years even though you religiously train back twice a week? It’s probably due to your form on major back exercises.
Back is one of those bodyparts that requires a strong mind-muscle connection to make it grow – a connection that’s not always easy to make, as assisting muscles (namely, the biceps) often take over and the lats end up being more or less an innocent bystander in a workout that’s supposed to be all about getting them to grow. This is especially common among novice lifters, who tend to be more concerned with how much weight they’re lifting than on using strict technique.
Let’s focus on the lat pulldown, a move that’s in every guy’s back routine but is often done improperly. Here’s what happens: You stick the pin into the stack at somewhere between 150 and 200 pounds, grip the crap out of the bar, lock yourself into the seat, and then pull like hell for 8 to 10 reps.
But were those 8 to 10 reps hitting the lats… or the biceps? The way most guys do them, it’s probably the latter.
Dr. Jim Stoppani is going to fix that for you. In the below video, he shows you how to do the classic lat pulldown exercise the right way to start building bigger, wider lats.
The keys to a successful lat pulldown are:
- Open grip
- Shoulder blades back and down
- Chest out and up
- Arms used as hooks
- Slow and controlled movements
Check out the video for specific instructions on how to address these areas so that your back workouts actually train the lats, not the biceps.
Find more great tips and videos like this on Dr. Jim Stoppani’s YouTube channel.
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