“Lat” is short for latissimus dorsi, the fancy name for back muscles. You can strengthen these major back muscles with lat pulldowns.

  1. Sit on the lat pulldown machine and adjust the knee pad. The pad helps keep you from being raised by the bar’s resistance.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back straight.
  3. Reach up and grab the bar with your palms facing forward and shoulder-width apart. Sit down.
  4. Don’t lean back to pull the bar to your chest; your upper body should remain in nearly the same position from start to finish. Without moving your torso, pull the bar down to your upper chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Start the movement by pulling your shoulders back and down before you bend your arms.
  5. Hold for a moment in the pulled-down position. Then while breathing in, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.

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