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What is a Lat Pull Down Machine?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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A lat pull down machine is one of several common fixed weight machines in gyms and health clubs. A lat pull down machine is built for seated activity. The user sits on a seat or bench and grabs a bar that is attached to a weighted cord, pulling down against the upward resistance of that cord, where pulleys route the cord to stacked weights. Free weight training for lat pull downs is not an option, because the resistance of the lat pull down machine is upward resistance, against gravity vectors, where free weight exercises use gravity for resistance.

A lat pull down machine helps trainers to exercise and isolate specific arm muscles that don’t get used with some other fixed weight machines. Lat pull downs are often one station in a menu of fitness activities that professional trainers recommend for clients. Lat pull down machines often have variable weight options, so that users can do progressive weight training by slowly adding more weight to the activity.

Professional trainers give lat pull down machine users some common general tips about how to get the most out of this piece of equipment. It’s important to adjust the seat correctly before starting lat pull downs. It’s also important to hold the handle of the machine properly.

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In addition to these tips, form is also very important with a lat pull down machine. It’s important to keep the back as straight as possible, so that when the user brings the bar down, the body is relatively close to its path of descent. Lat pull down machine users should bring the bar down to the top of their chest, not the bottom. It can help to angle the head back to give the bar room to meet the upper chest area.

A proper form for the lat pull down machine can be awkward and uncomfortable for some users. Each individual fitness enthusiasts should understand why a proper form is important, and think about whether they want to include lat pull downs in a workout. Trainers should note that even with the wide range of fitness materials now available on the fitness market, there are not a whole lot of alternative options that will work are muscles in the same way that Lat pull down exercises do. Personal trainers can provide more information about whether the muscle work included in the lat pull down exercises is crucial to strength or core training for a specific individual.

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