Lat Pulldown Exercise

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Stiff-Armed Pulldowns

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Stiff-armed pulldowns are an often misunderstood exercise. They are used to isolate the lats and to be most effective need to be used at the end of an entire back workout. They can really finish your lats off if you perform the movement correctly.

The problem most people have with the stiff-arms is that they approach them like any other exercise. They try to push the weight down using any means necessary. The problem is that you can incorporate many other muscles besides the lats and end up defeating the purpose of the exercise.

To properly set the exercise up do the following. Start with your back arched as much as possible. Think of how it would feel if someone put an ice cold pop on your lower back in the middle of a hot Summer day. Then bend at your waist leaning your upper body forward at about a 45 degree angle. Grip the bar just inside shoulder width apart.

When you do the movement, think of using only your lats to pull the bar down. Do the movement very slowly. Feel your lats crunching and tightening more with each rep. Take the bar all the way down until it touches the tops of your thighs and back up to just above eye level. Make sure to keep your shoulders and traps out of the movement! You shouldn't be able to use much weight after finishing a back workout. I typically will use between 45-60 pounds on the lat machine weight stack.

This movement takes a little practice and patience, but it can result in some really nice back development. Good luck!

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