The Lat Pull Down
Back Strengthening Exercises

The Lat Pull Down is a good back exercise for people who are unable to do pull ups.

The motion with pull downs is the same motion for pull ups. But if you are unable to do pull ups, pull downs on a machine can help to strengthen your back muscles.

Here are the instructions for pull downs.

The Pull Down Back Exercise

Starting Position: Adjust the height of the stabilizing bar so that it fits comfortably on top of your thighs. Grip the bar a little wider than shoulders width, with your hands facing forwards.

Form: Exhale and slowly pull the bar down to the top of your chest, just below your chin. Hold for a brief second and then slowly return to the starting position.

Personal Trainer Tips: One of the most common variations is to do this exercise behind the neck. Caution: Behind the neck pull downs place increased pressure on both your neck and shoulder and only offers a slightly different feel.

Most trainers and therapists, me included feel that the risk of injury with behind the neck pull downs outweighs the benefits. So I recommend, sticking with pull downs to the front.

back exercisesback exercises

During pull downs, you should also be mindful of the position of your lower back. Maintain a neutral position and pull in your abs to keep yourself stable.

Always move in a slow and controlled manner so that momentum doesn't take over.

In addition to the pull down, the seated row is another good back exercise.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles

Learn additional Back Exercises to Complement the Lat Pull Down

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