STRONGER BACK SERIES:
Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! Today we are continuing with the Stronger Back Series by learning how to properly strengthen our back muscles with a Standard Wide Grip Lat Pull Down. I’m calling this a Standard Lat Pull Down because there are oodles of variations on the basic Lat Pull Down, and I plan on outlining those variations in later videos/blogs, but for today I wanted to teach you how to do this basic foundational movement.
Additionally, this exercise is perfect for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation, as it will not spike our heart rate during the movements. Just be careful getting down onto the ground and back up again if you have severe AFib, or problems with your blood pressure. Remember, slow and steady wins the fitness race!
Why Do a Standard Lat Pull Down?
- A Standard Lat Pull Down will work a majority of back muscles, with a focus on the Latissimus Dorsi (also known as “lat” muscles. The lat muscles are vital to back health because they connect the spine, pelvis, ribs, scapula and upper arm. These muscles work by adducting, rotating and extending the arms through a full range of motion. They are also responsible for moving the arms back and down towards the hips.
- The lat muscles act as stabilizers in many other exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses. Our lats also protect our spine during exercises such as these.
- By performing this exercise you can work: the Teres Minor, Infraspinatus, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, middle and lower Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis and Brachioradialis. That’s a whole mouthful of muscles! So put simply, the Standard Lat Pull Down will work almost all back muscles and some muscles in your arms. Working all of these muscles at once will give you a big bang for your buck in terms of maximizing the efficiency of your upper body workouts and making sure you are hitting many different muscles during this compound movement to improve your holistic fitness lifestyle.
- By increasing our muscle mass and lowering our body fat we reshape our back’s landscape. Reshaping the upper body in this manner can make us appear slimmer because the “V” shape starts at the back by being widest near the shoulders and tapering in at the waist. This is useful in creating that hourglass shape so many women want; and that “V” shape creates the desired shape so many men are after.
How to Perform a Standard Lat Pull Down:
- Sit on the machine with knees hips width apart and feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Grab onto the bar with your palms facing away from the body and your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart.
- Sit up nice and straight with your shoulders rolled back and down, away from your ears.
- As you exhale, engage the lat muscles and use them to slowly bring the bar to your chest. PRO TIP: It’s perfectly normal to feel tension in your arms, they are working to grasp the bar and the biceps are secondary movers in this exercise.
- Once the bar is at your chest, slowly raise the bar until your arms are straight and back in the starting position.
- Repeat this motion 12-15 reps for 3 sets.
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