Connect
To Top


A Simple Movement to Lock in Your Lats for Pulldowns


The Pulldown is an excellent exercise for working the Latissimus Dorsi muscles of the back (also known as the lats). It is a little known fact but there is a way you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of this exercise by performing one simple movement before each rep.

Many people have a hard time feeling their lats working when they do pulldowns. The biceps may have a tendency to take over the movement. Some people just don't feel anything in their back at all. This little movement trick can change all of that.

The movement is simply a shoulder drop and even though it may seem like a SMALL thing, it can have a HUGE impact on your back workout.

To demonstrate this movement, start by sitting in a pulldown machine with a moderate weight on the stack. Take a close grip on the bar with your palms facing you (known as a reverse grip). Do a few reps using your normal technique so you have a gauge to measure against.

Now we will add the shoulder drop. Let your arms go straight and let your shoulder girdle rise up as though shrugging. Your shoulders should be up by your ears. Now drop your shoulder girdle down in the opposite movement to the shrug, pulling the weight down as you do so. The range of motion is small, being only a matter of a few inches. Repeat this drop and raise several times to get the feel for the movement. You should feel your entire shoulder girdle moving up and down.

We will now do a rep with the shoulder drop movement. Start in the stretched position with your shoulders up by your ears. Drop your shoulders down, lean slightly back then do a pulldown. Be sure to keep your lower back arched and your chest puffed out to meet the bar on the way down. You should feel your lats working harder than usual.

Squeeze hard as though trying to touch your shoulder blades together as you come to the bottom then let the weight back up slowly. You can repeat the shoulder drop movement at the start of every rep or you can simply keep your shoulders down and locked in that position throughout the set.

Dropping your shoulders down like this serves to lock the lats into the movement and helps to minimize the biceps involvement in the pulldown. You should find that you get a much more effective lat workout using this technique.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Blog Post

  • Why Your Big Toe Is Your Key To Great Calves!

    If you're looking to really build your calves, this one little piece of advice will help tremendously. Yet you rarely, if...

    Nick NilssonApril 6, 2016
  • Create Big-Ass Shoulders With Mike Rashid

    His motto “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” may test your muscles and your mind.

    Iron Man MagazineMarch 21, 2016
  • The Workout and Happiness

    Happy New Year—a perennial cliché!  Can anything or anybody make you happy? To paraphrase a well-known line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,...

    John BalikFebruary 11, 2015
  • New Year Resolutions

    January first, the birth of a new year.  Time to reflect on the old and plan for the new! Historically, January...

    John BalikJanuary 15, 2015
  • Do You Know Squat ?

    Have you heard any of the following recommendations? “Don’t let your knees go over your toes when you squat, because it’s...

    Doug BrignoleDecember 30, 2014
  • Another Rewarding Olympia Weekend

    A couple of weeks ago I was at the Mr. Olympia competition, the 50th rendition of that iconic event. What started...

    John BalikDecember 15, 2014
  • Muscle Beach Breakfast Club

    I have been a part of Muscle Beach Venice since competing there in the mid ’60s. Much has changed in the...

    John BalikNovember 15, 2014
  • The Science Behind My 2 Week Body Transformation into a Mythological Minotaur

    Sometimes getting in shape can mean perfect timing.  In order to make a 2 week body transformation, science can play a...

    curtis.fisherNovember 14, 2014
  • Bodybuilding: Art or Mass Appeal

    With increasing frequency, we’re hearing a segment of the bodybuilding fan base speaking out against the trend toward ever more massive...

    Doug BrignoleNovember 13, 2014