Put Your Back In To It, Part 2: WIDE GRIP LAT PULLDOWN

Have you ever had lower back pain? It sucks and is definitely something you’ll want to avoid.  Lucky for us, we can take preventative measures today for a healthy back in the future. Despite thinking it may be best just to “ take it easy” the better decision is to exercise regularly AND incorporate core and back exercises in order to strengthen the muscles around your spine area.  Increased strength in your back is a great way to support your spine and see results in that midsection. In week three of our Living Your Fit Everyday (L.Y.F.E) Series featuring James Edward Earl of Ready Heroes Fitness,  he hips us to the proper way to do Wide Grip Lat PullDowns.  Seeing that James is a CERTIFIED personal trainer and has a list of clients whom have used his services in capturing their healthy living, lifestyle - I figured you’d be more inclined to pay attention. Before you get started, I challenge you to try the workout and let us know how they worked for you!  Challenge accepted? Good.



1. Sit at the pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.

2. Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip.

*Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

3. With both arms extended above your head, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.

4. As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back.

Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.

5. After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched, inhale.

Note:  A majority of back exercises fall into the category of pulling motions. In any pulling motion the biceps are involved. In order to keep your biceps from completely taking over the exercise and to ensure you are working your back, employ a thumbless grip on all back exercises. With a thumbless grip, you simply keep your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers, as opposed to wrapping your thumb around the bar.

As with any exercise, it’s important to ensure your safety by perfecting the correct form. If you’re unsure about your workouts, I encourage you to contact James at  Ready Heroes Fitness to supply some professional help as you tackle your personal fitness needs.  And as always, eating right is an essential component in seeing the results you’re looking for. Don’t forget that  FitXBrit has you covered with custom meal plans. Check back next week for more exercises courtesy of James Edward Earl of Ready Heroes Fitness Camp!