Close Grip Lat Pull Down|
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Build a Broader Back in Less Time

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
August 24, 2017
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It's Thursday. You've passed hump day. You've hit your arms, and legs and even your chest. It's time to target the part of your body that gets the least attention from you in the gym: Your back. This won't be easy, but results rarely are when you're working out. Today's flavor? You're going to love hating it. It's the Advanced Close Grip Lat Pull Down.Lat pull-downs are a common exercise, but you can add a bit of intensity to them and shift the emphasis from your lower back to the center of your back with one easy trick: Your hand positioning. Why shift the emphasis? The center of the back is usually a weak and underdeveloped area for many lifters. This could be because you can’t see your back when you work out, and you often have to rely on how a movement feels while performing back exercises. Or maybe it's due to a lack of proper lifting form (you know who you are). Bottomline: You must also perform specific exercises, pay attention to your body positioning, and use specific angles while completing pulling exercises to target your middle back and most workouts avoid this at all costs. Not here. Not now. Not ever.What it boils down to is that your middle back needs as much attention as your upper and lower back for complete development. So, how can you use the lat pulldown machine to target the middle back? Instead of locking your feet under the knee pads, sitting, and leaning back for the lift, you will position your feet behind you while your torso stays completely erect. Your legs will be in a kneeling position, and you will use the knee holder to stabilize your torso. Your stomach will actually be resting on it, and you’ll be in a semi-sitting position on the front portion of the seat pad. Your down-pointed toes will be touching the ground and will be your points of contact to the floor.

How To Do The Exercise:

  • Secure the lat pulldown machine, and load it with the V-grip handle.
  • Set the weight, and sit toward the front of the seat.
  • Sit straight up and place your feet behind you (in kneeling position). Your toes will be pointed toward the floor and will secure your body into position. Your torso will rest on the knee pad.
  • Keep your chest tall and a slight arch in the lower back.
  • Keep your elbows pointing straight downward and keep your arms close to your body.
  • Pull the V-grip handle all the way down to your middle chest. Hold for one count.
  • Return to starting position in a controlled manner.

Trainer Tip:

  • This position is a bit more demanding than traditional lat pull downs. You may need to lower your maximum weight just a bit.
  • Focus on squeezing your middle back as you pull. Hold for one count at the bottom of the movement while you squeeze.

--Sarah Chadwell, CPTRead more fitness articles here.

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