1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

lat pulldowns - doing them wrong?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by tammy, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. tammy

    tammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been doing the lat-pulldown for my back days, but I don't really feel it in the back at all. I feel it mostly in the arms, but also in the shoulder and the chest. I've tried to follow the directions on the exercise sites so I don't get what I could be doing wrong.

    Is it possible that I need to reposition my hands? The max-ot site said that you don't have to place your hands on the ends so I feel the most comfortable putting them about shoulder width apart. I know it's hard to tell without seeing it in person, but does anyone know any common mistakes that could be causing this? Or is it normal to not really feel it working in the back?
     
  2. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    2
    It should be working your lats which is the muscle kinda between your chest and mid-back. I personally take a bit more than shoulder width grip. Usually I put my hands right before where the lat bar has the bend at the ends. Try to sit up relatively straight and use your lats to pull the bar down. If you lean back or "muscle" the bar down, you will be using other muscles to complete the motion. Perhaps try lowering the weight so you can slowly go through the motion and concentrate on contracting your lats each time the bar is coming down.
     
  3. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    0
    You should start with something called scapular retractions to learn how to properly bring your back into the exercise.

    Take your arms and hang them comfortbly by your sides. Start with about this width. Outside of that will be wide grip, inside of that will be narrow grip.

    Grip the bars at normal width to begin with. Now, here is the key. Instead of pulling all the way down, instead, focus on keeping your arms STRAIGHT and simply contract your back (mainly your lats and the scapulae, or the muscles between your shoulder blades) - in other words, pull the bar down as far as possible WITHOUT BENDING YOUR ARMS (I don't want your arms locked out, but don't excessively bend them, either). Your range of motion will probably be just a few inches, and that's fine. This is what is called scapular retraction.

    Try doing a few of your sets only doing this - only involving the back.

    After you are used to that and how it feels, then start to pull the bar all of the way down. However, don't think of bending your arms to get the bar down, although they WILL BEND ... instead, think of pulling from your back, like there is a string that starts in your back and runs through your arms to the bar, and you are pulling that string to bring the bar down.

    See how that makes you feel.

    Jeremy

     
  4. tammy

    tammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot guys. My next back day I'll lower the weights and practice just using the back muscles. I think it's probably a combination of leaning back a little bit and trying to "muscle" it through.

    I think I might actually just add a sort of 1/2 routine of back exercises next week because I think I've been doing the same things wrong for all my back exercises so basically I ended up working my shoulders/arms more than my back.
     
  5. billy_everette

    billy_everette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    When your pulling down, concentrate on pulling down with your elbows. When I concrentrate on pulling with my elbows, I feel it in my lats.
     
  6. angel_b

    angel_b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you *so* much Jeremy. I've been having the same problem and have meant to post about it but tammy beat me to it.

    I tried your suggestion here at work, and I could feel the muscles that need to perform the pulldown.

    Thanks again - you're awesome! :nod:
     
  7. angel_b

    angel_b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, billy. I'll try your suggestion too :)
     
  8. joecan

    joecan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is what makes this site so great. I was wondering the same thing and here Tammy ask the question and it helps a lot of us. I was also going to ask about triceps until my workout last night. Whatever I had been doing in the past, I fixed, because my triceps let me know last night I was working them. I never thought I would be happy when a body part hurt and was completely worn out, but I sure was.

    So thanks Jeremy and Billy :tucool:
     

Share This Page