I am having trouble feeling an isolation in my lats during the lat pulldown. I feel more of a burn in my biceps before I feel anything in my lats. I am doing it right,but still dont feel the pump. Any suggestions?
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- Use wrist wraps or wrist hook and take your grip out of it (which will lessen bicep involvement).
- Follow the advice from Charles Glass and do them w/ your body upright and keep your elbows just a tiny bit more forward then your wrists.
- Initiate the movement with a squeeze of the shoulder blades rather then a pull of the arms.
- Make sure to get a full stretch before you start each rep.
- Try slow negatives (6 even 8 second negs).
- Try reps where you have a 1 second pause at the contraction.
- You can train yourself to put the emphasis on the back by doing scapula retractions (i.e. body upright and as you pull down make it inline with the middle of your skull so that the shoulder blades are squeezed together...move the head back slightly so the bar can continue toward the chest...on full contraction pop the shoulder blades back out and do the negative portion with shoulder blades apart).
- Structure your back width routine so that you get some exercises that focus on heavy weight and slower eccentric reps; and some that focus on heavy weight w/ a longer pause under tension & controlled eccentric - these done to induce fiber damage. Then finish off with an exercise(s) that saturate the fibers with blood (and the nutrients/aminos you've previously ingested)...this will be an exercise w/ reps of 30+ done in piston like fashion which will engorge your back muscle with both a burn & blood.
You will feel your lat muscles from a FD/FS routine...the point is whatever routine you use think of the entire routine as hitting & exhausting those lats rather than just a single exercise.
Do weighted Pullups instead. This takes away any influence your lower back might have on the motion (which with some bodybuilders can be a lot). You will also feel more badass doing pullups with weight rather than a girly lat-pulldown machine with a pin stack.
Another thing a lot of people don't always do (especially with pullups) is to lock the elbows and relax the shoulders at the top position. This extra little bit of ROM gives you a much fuller stretch and makes a whole world of difference in not only difficulty but results as well.
I had the same problem before too so now I just do pullups.
The gym should have a belt attachment with 2 metal loops on each end. I put that on, then set the cable crossover attachments at the bottom and clasp each one to the side of the belt and put the pins in the according weight, then do pullups in the center. The lat pulldown works for some people, but i don't get much stimulation from it.
visualize and concentrate on bringing the elbows down (datb made a similar point); that always works for me. in other words, drop the weight a lil, and pull from the elbows.
Arch your back and either pull the bar to your chest or pull your chest up to the bar. Keep your back arched throughout the motion.
A closer grip (palms facing your body or neutral) also has it's benefits. IMO, the concept of "the wider your grip, the wider your back" is a little idealistic.
Anybody ever lean forward slightly,tilt your head down, and pull down to the back of your neck with you elbows tucked in like your holding the bar in a back squat? I can feel the squeeze hard at the bottom doing it this way.. but I would imagine any type of shoulder problem or impingement would prevent alot of people from doing it this way
Last edited by Red Dog; 02-15-2008 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Wording
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use your arm as a hook and pull with your back, concentrate on your lats instead of your arms pulling it down
To reiterate what others have said, to work the back well you really need to focus your mind muscle connection, close your eyes to feel it if you have to. If you have a buddy there have him place fingers on the working muscles so you can develop the connection in your mind.
1. Use your hands as hooks and take your grip out of it.
2. Use wrist straps.
3. Focus pulling from the elbows.
4. Use light weight until you have the movement down and reps for 15.
5. Don't go too heavy too fast.
6. Pullups are king!
7. Deads / Rows ftw!