One Simple Movement Can Double the Effectiveness of Pulldowns By Nick Nilsson
Pulldown is a brilliant strength exercise to develop the widest muscle of the back. This muscle is also known as “Latissimus Dorsi” or “lats”. Pulldowns are similar to pull-upsbut they use some external resistance (weights). The common mistake made by people while working their lats is that they tend to pull the weight using their biceps rather than using their back muscles. Although this works the biceps, it beats the whole purpose of the exercise, since you will not feel any effects on the back muscles.
The efficiency of this workout can be greatlyimproved by incorporating a simple movement before performing each repetition. The shoulder drop is a simple but effective movement that will help you to focus all your efforts to work the back muscles. A shoulder drop is a simple shrug and drop movement of the shoulders. This needs to be done before each repetition of the pulldowns.
In order to practice this movement, start by bringing your arms straight up. Shrug your shoulders such that the shoulders are near your ears. Hold this position and then slowly bring your shoulders down as if you are pulling a weight down. This might feel bit uneasy at first, but stay with it. Focus on the slow movements to fatigue the muscle using gravity. Repeat this movement several times to get used to this.
Once you are comfortable with this movement, it is time to incorporate it in the pull downs exercise. Start by selecting a desirable weight on the pulldown machine. Position yourself on the pull-down machine and grab the bar with an underhand grip, with hands being shoulder width apart.When your arms are straight up, shrug your shouldersup to your ears.Drop the shouldersas you pull down the weight to your chest. It is important to keep your back flat and chest out, in order to protect your lower back. Pause at this position and envision bringing your shoulders close to each other. Then, slowly release your shoulders and let the barrise up. Repeat this movement and feel how effectively your back muscles are working now.
Breathing is also very important in this exercise. Exhale deeply and retain arms straight but not locked as you pull the bar down towards the front of the thighs.Next, you should inhale slowly return arms back up to the starting position to complete one repetition.
The shoulder drop helps to lock the shoulders down, throughout the exercise.This minimizes the involvement of biceps in this exercise, making this workout more efficient and effective.