Monday, October 11, 2010

Exercise of the Week: The Lat Pulldown

I'm starting a series each week of showing you some of my favorite strength training exercises. This week we will start with the Lat Pulldown.

The lat pulldown is a great exercise for strengthening and developing the muscles in your upper back which are critical in having good posture. People whose shoulders are slumped forward most likely have under-developed upper back muscles.

First sit down and adjust the thigh pad to a position that firmly fits over your thighs. Then select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete. If this is your first time doing this exercise is may take experimenting at several weights before you find the right resistance for you. Next, grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, sit down on the seat and place your knees firmly under the pad. Start with your arms fully extended and your chest held high. This is your start position. Now, pull the bar slowly down to the base of your neck while squeezing your shoulder blades back and together. Slowly return the bar to the starting position. (It should take about 3 seconds to pull the bar down and about 2 seconds to return the bar to its starting position). Proper breathing is very important so, remember to exhale as you pull the bar down and inhale as you return the bar to the starting position.

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