Lat training tips
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
The wide grip pull down is an exercise that I really like. If you perfect the technique you get an awesome stretch from it, as well as the ability to pull wide and get a big contraction in your lower lats.
The problem many people face is that they start lat training with very internally rotated (rounded shoulders). As soon as they sit on the machine they immediately pull their elbows back as they pull down, rounding their back and failing to contract the lats fully. As you can see in the image the origin of the lats is down at the iliac crest (pelvis) and lumbar vertebrae (lower spine). So if your goal is to train your lats through their entire range, you need to be able to pull your elbows out and then down whilst keeping your chest up.
Until my clients have developed their flexibility, thoracic mobility and muscle control, I often leave this exercise out. I start with exercises such as the semi supinated grip pull down (palms facing each other), seated close grip row and the single arm dumbbell row. This allows my clients to feel the muscles that I want them to use, before progressing.
It's important for you to know where a muscle originates from and where it inserts. This way you can appreciate where you should be feeling each muscle contraction.
Optimal development comes from working a muscle through it's full range. This is often why you see guys with thick upper lats and very poor lower lat development (the rug carrier look).
If you want to pick up some of my training programmes, you'll find them in my 8 Week Muscle ebook. Click the button below to find out more