About Last Night…
Last night was a typical back and biceps (plus rear delts for those detail-minded) workout for me. A higher rep day full of pull-ups, rows and curls oh my! Ah yes, a strength for me. I am a puller – a strong puller and my weak points are most pushing moves. I have never been a big bencher or a strong squatter (but I’m working on it).
This is all to say that I by no means go easy or loose on pulling things. I am always searching for new and unique ways to develop muscularity and mass all the while being safe so I can return the next day stronger and wiser – and get out of bed the next morning.
Enter the ole gym favorite to millions; the lat pulldown. After finishing close-grip pull-ups and Hammer Strength rows I proceeded to the ever popular lat pulldown machine (cable pulley). To my immediate left (the other lat pulldown station) were two, um, “gentleman” performing a wide-grip pulldown with about 90% of the weight stack yanking, bending, whipping and jerking the weight down. Impressive to many… not me.
I was inspired though! I decided to change up my perspective on the move and do it a little differently that night. Sure, I try to lift big with good form to add mass just like the next guy, but I wanted to try something unique and different and give my back a wicked pump of blood.
Sit in the seat as if you are to perform a normal lat pulldown. Take a medium grip – not too wide. Grip the bar so that when you are in the “down” position your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.
With your upper body completely seated straight up, pull the bar straight down in front of your face about neck-level. DO NOT bend your upper body back or puff out your chest. Everything remains upright. It is a tough move so you may want to cut your weight by 50% OR MORE! I started LIGHT! Keep your abs tight and stay straight.
Here is the key. Even though you are using a lighter weight be sure to use wrist straps. This will help focus on the lats in this new position. Also let your elbows point slightly forward to engage the back more. The most important point is to pull with your elbows. Use your hands only as hooks (hence using the straps). This is imperative in feeling this where it needs to be felt. (Yeah I know, “That’s what she said!”) Squeeze the lats and keep your biceps out of it.
Give it a shot and let me know how you do. Yeah, you may look like a bit of a dork, but the results will speak for themselves. Oh yeah, those other guys heaving the massive weight? Well, they gave me some interesting stares and proceeded on with their back-breaking sets. Me? I had a tremendous pump of blood so I knew I did something right…