The latissimus dorsi muscle is one of the widest in the human body and the largest in the upper body. In fact, that’s exactly what its name means in Latin: “the broadest of the back.” More commonly referred to as the “lat,” this flat, triangular muscle is responsible for multiple motions of the arms and critical to upper body strength. If you would like to improve the strength and functioning of your upper body, looking for a lat pulldown machine online may be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Lat Pulldown Exercise?
There are several types of exercises you can do to work out the latissimus dorsi with the goal of improving upper body strength. Among the most common are chin-ups and pull-ups. However, these exercises are difficult to start out with because they involve elevating the weight of your entire body with your arms alone. If you are just starting your strengthening regimen, you may not yet have the ability to do this.
The lat pulldown works the muscles of the upper body the same way that pull-ups and chin-ups do. It is the same motion only in reverse. You bring your arms down, which causes the weight to rise up. This gives you the ability to control how much weight you pull, allowing you to increase strength gradually.
If upper body strength is your primary goal, a lat pulldown machine will probably serve your purpose well. However, if you would like a more comprehensive workout, you may want to look for a functional trainer online instead.
How Do You Perform Lat Pulldown Correctly?
You should start out by setting the weight to a level that will give you a good workout without overexertion. When in doubt, it is better to set a weight that is too light rather than too heavy. You can compensate for a lighter weight by performing more repetitions of the lat pulldown to ensure you get the full workout.
Sit up straight as you reach up to the horizontal bar and keep your torso still as you start pulling it down. If you lean back while pulling, you cannot get the full benefit of the exercise, and you also set yourself up for serious injury of the neck, back, or shoulders.
As you pull down on the bar, be sure to bend your elbows. Stop the pull when the horizontal bar is parallel with your shoulders. If you stop before that point, you won’t get the full benefit of the exercise, and if you try to pull down farther, your elbows will start to move backwards rather than straight down.
Half of the benefit of the lat pulldown comes from the release, so be sure you maintain control as you put your arms back up. Releasing with control also helps prevent damage to the machine. Just as you bend your arms completely when pulling down, be sure that you extend them completely in the other direction. Pay attention to completing each move.
If you’re serious about strength training, home gym machines offer a lot of advantages. Find out how easy and convenient it is to order them online.