Close grip pull down is an exercise that is simple to perform with an overhand grip with hands held relatively closer than shoulder-width apart.
This hand positioning gives a wider range of motion that goes way beyond the wider grip. This works to increase duration under tension in each repetition. Close grip pull down is performed for moderate to high repetitions. The exercise works the upper part of the body.
HOW TO DO CLOSE GRIP PULL DOWN
Equipment required; a cable machine, a bench
The following is a step by step explanation on how to perform close grip pull down;
- Stand facing the cable machine then settle squarely on to the pull down bench. Ensure you are firmly seated.
- Reach out to the knee pads and adjust them against your legs. Make sure that it has a snug fit to prevent your body from being raised in the course of performing the exercise.
- Extend your hands and get hold of the close grip cable with a close underhand grip keeping your arms less wide compared to your shoulder width.
- Ensure that your toes are leaning backwards at an angle of thirty degrees with your chest sticking outwards. This is your starting position.
- Exhale and pull the cable downwards towards your chest. As much as possible, try to use your upper arms and shoulders to pull the cable closer to the chest without touching it.
- Squeeze your lats and muscles of the back. Ensure that your torso is stationary with only your arms moving about.
- Inhale and gently release the cable back to the starting position until your arms are fully extended and lats stretched.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CLOSE GRIP PULL DOWN DO?
Close grip pull down exercise works the following muscles;
1. THE LAT
The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in the upper body which is responsible for, among other things, adduction, extension, transverse extension, flexion from an extended position as well as rotation of the shoulder joint.
It extends to reach the sides and behind the arm. It is covered by traps in the middle line. The lat is essential in the performance of the close grip pull down exercise.
This is a muscle that is found on the front part of the upper arm.Biceps comprise of long head and short head that works one. The biceps is attached to the bones by tough tendons.
When they contract, the forearm moves upwards. Biceps also facilitate rotation of the arms outwards.
CLOSE GRIP PULL DOWN BENEFITS
1. PROPER POSTURE
Improper positioning of the spine in an unnatural way is a clear indication that you have a poor posture and this eventually affect the back muscles.
Close grip pull down exercise can effectively help you assume a proper posture as it works to strengthen the major muscles that forms the bulk of your back.
An improved posture gives a relief to the built up pressure on the back tissues.
2. PREVENTS BACK PAIN
If you struggle to sit up straight or feels pain as you bend your back then you should consider doing close grip pull down exercise to work your core muscles.
The exercise will strengthen the muscles around your back.
3. HIGHER CALORY BURN
Performing close grip pull down requires more oxygen which burns more calories.
The exercise also leads to excess post exercise oxygen consumption which enables your body to further burn calories way after you finish working out.
This translates into your metabolism staying elevated for long after the vigorous session of the exercise.
4. WEIGHT LOSS
Burning of calories to a higher degree and an elevated metabolism will greatly contribute to loosing of weight more quickly.
5. IMPROVED HEART HEALTH
Close grip pull down is an intensive exercise that offers low chance of cardiovascular events even in those with heart diseases.
The exercise helps improve diastolic blood pressure, aerobic capacity as well as control of the blood sugar.
ALTERNATIVES TO CLOSE GRIP PULL DOWN
1. CHIN UP
This is a strenuous exercise that targets your biceps, lat, and deltoids. If done properly, chin up can improve the strength of your arms, middle back, upper body, and shoulders.
It works as a perfect alternative for close grip pull down.
This is an isometric exercise that is performed with an intention of strengthening the entire torso, especially the core.
It is a simple exercise that can be performed across different levels of fitness. However, for better result, it is important to observe proper alignment and positioning.
3. BRIDGE POSE
This is a versatile backbend exercise that works to stretch the hip flexor and opens up the chest and the shoulders.
Performing bridge pose helps to improve on the body posture, general strength of the body, overall relaxation as well as facilitating proper circulation in the body.
4. PULL UPS
This is an exercise that helps strengthen the body especially the lats.It can effectively work your back thus helping in solving back related problems.
CLOSE GRIP PULL DOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID
Below are some of the mistakes that people make which eventually reduces their chances of realizing optimum benefits from close grip pull down exercise;
1. SITTING POSTURE
Whenever you perform close grip pull down exercise, always ensure that you keep your lower body fully locked.
Your body will move upwards with the attachment in case there is room to move between your pads and knees.
Correct this by changing the knee attachment pads so that there is no space left between your knees and pads.
Besides that, your heels should be raised so that your feet is not strongly grounded. To best engage your lats, keep your back slightly arched to enable upper chest move freely.
It is important to assume the right grip of the attachment when performing close grip pull down. It is not advisable to have an overhand grip on the attachment.
Underhand grip is recommended. Given that it is a close grip exercise, ensure the grip is as wide as your shoulder width.
3. EXERCISE MOMENTUM
You need to take into account the momentum as you perform the exercise especially when returning the attachment to its starting position.
As you begin, you must exhale and after maintaining the position for a while, inhale and return to the starting position at a slower speed so that the eccentric part gets delayed.
This is helpful in developing connection between mind and the muscles.
4. WORKING WITH LIGHT WEIGHT
Some individuals perform close grip pull down with lesser weight with a view of completing the exercise with minimal or no soreness.
It is worth noting that doing this with a maintained faster speed is likely to give upon you.
For that reason, it is advised that you go for a weight that you are comfortable with and increase your chances of maximally working your lats.
Close grip pull down is a simple and interesting exercise that you should consider incorporating into your routine workouts if you target to improve on the performance of your lats and biceps.
Find lternative exercises herein too. For best results, follow the instructions.
Stop the exercise if you feel discomfort or pain as that indicates a miss on the procedure.