The neutral grip lat pulldown is a common back exercise and strength-building drill that majorly targets the lats. The upper back is also engaged heavily when performing this drill.
The forearms and biceps are also worked well since you will be using them to pull the weight. This exercise has many benefits on the upper deltoid muscles.
Also known as Grip V-bar pull down.
Targeted muscles: Latissimus Dorsi
Requirements: Cable Machine, V-bar
- Begin with a standard position. Hold the bar with a wide grasp.
- Exhale and lower the bar down until it is approximately leveled with your chin. Even though twisting a little backward is okay, ensure your upper torso isn’t moving. Keep your feet on the floor and remember to engage your abs as you pull. Be sure to halt the motion when you can’t move your elbows down anymore without tilting backward.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades to maintain square shoulders.
- With the bar parallel to your chin, return the bar gently to the starting point and control its gradual climb. Ensure the bar doesn’t crash in the weight plates.
- Repeat until you complete the desired set of reps. Have short intervals of rest then complete the sets.
- Keep your torso straight throughout the drill.
- When lowering the bar, be sure to engage your back muscles, not your arm muscles. Your arms only do the hooking.
- Extend your arms as far as they can go when returning the bar.
- Use your body weight to pull the bar down. You can add the weight as you go. This enables you to draw more pulling strength.
- You can alternatively use two single grip attachments instead of a bar.
MUSCLES WORKED BY NEUTRAL GRIP LAT PULLDOWN
Latissimus dorsi: This back muscle is the most engaged when executing the pulldown. Other muscles are also involved in the pulldown but to a lesser degree.
Traps: During the pulldown process, the traps stabilize the scapula and maintain the shoulder joints at a stationary position to complete the drill.
Posterior deltoids: The posterior deltoid is engaged throughout the drill. It moves the humorous backward and facilitates arm movements to the sides and even further behind.
Biceps: This drill engages the bicep muscles throughout the entire movement. The bicep muscles close the flexion.
BENEFITS OF NEUTRAL GRIP LAT PULLDOWN
Consistency in performing neutral grip lat pulldowns will improve the overall functionality and strength of your back muscles. The probability of injuring your back while performing other drills or normal daily activities will be minimal.
Most current jobs in the industry today are pulled using computers. These jobs will have you slouching your back behind a desk all day. With consistent lat pulldowns, you can ease this slouching posture by exercising the muscles that keep your shoulders in the right position.
Usually, neutral grip lat pulldowns engage multiple muscles at the same time to execute the drill correctly. Besides engaging the lat muscles, you will also work synergist muscles that work together with the lats such as the rhomboids and traps.
Lat pulldowns are considered the best exercises if you’re looking to widen your gain the after V tapered look.
A toned, well-built, and perfectly sculpted back will have you looking good and boost your confidence all around. Great looks go a long way!
ALTERNATIVES TO NEUTRAL GRIP LAT PULLDOWNS
Neutral grip lat pulldowns have several alternatives that you can choose from depending on your convenience.
KNEELING NEUTRAL GRIP LAT PULLDOWN
The kneeling grip lat pulldown is a great exercise if you’re looking to stretch your lat muscles fully. You can build a wider toned back through this exercise.
Your body posture when executing this drill will make it a lot easier and emphasized contracting the lats.
- Set a cable machine at an appropriate height, such that when you extend your arms fully, you can reach the bar.
- Kneel at a place that aligns with the middle part of the cable machine then stretch up your arms and grab both handles of the cable machine with a neutral grip.
- Pull your elbows to your sides and make sure your hands are close to your shoulders. Be sure to keep your core engaged.
- When you reach the bottom of the movement, squeeze your lats and gently resume the starting position.
- Repeat the drill until you get the desired set of reps.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING NEUTRAL GRIP LAT PULLDOWN
ARCHING YOUR BACK
Most poor posture mistakes begin from arching your back in non-beneficial ways to attain the added lifting motion.
Be sure to keep a straight back and push out your chest a little to put the pressure on the lats.
Beginners tend to do this mistake often because they can finish the reps easily without putting much pressure on the lats.
When you do half reps, you will not be engaging or putting the desired tension on your lats. Always ensure you execute the full motion range to get the tone back you desire.
Lifting more than your strength is a wrong technique and puts you at more risk of injury. Emphasize correcting your movement range and use weights that you are comfortable lifting as you gradually perfect your technique.
As you pull the bar down, you want to use your back strength. Ensure you engage your lats by focusing the tension on your armpits.
Also, avoid using momentum because it reduces the targeted muscle engagement.
The neutral grip lat pulldown is a versatile drill that has many variations. You can choose from any of these variations depending on your suitability.
Like all other drills, you need to warm-up well before commencing this exercise. Before you settle for this drill, ensure you do not have any wrist and shoulder problems.
Be consistent with this exercise, follow a healthy diet plan and rest well and you will get a healthier fitter body and a perfectly toned back in a short time.
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