REAR LAT PULL-DOWN
Also Works: Biceps
Grip: Overhand, a few inches outside shoulder width
Training Tip: Again here, straps can be helpful to help power up your grip and extend sets past the point where your forearms start to give way. They are especially valuable for back—since the back muscles are larger and much more powerful than the smaller forearms, they’ll tend to last longer and be able to handle much more weight. You don’t want forearms to be the limiting factor in the stimulus you’re providing to your back.
STEP BY STEP
- Grasp the bar a few inches past the point where each side angles downward.
- Sit in the seat with your legs tucked underneath the kneepads. Your feet should be flat on the floor, elbows extended (but not hyper- extended), with the selected bars of the weight stack lifted at least an inch or two.
- With your core tight, chin down (but not tucked), and torso slightly angled forward, pull downward to bring the center of the bar attachment down to the back of your neck. Bend your elbows and bring them downward so they approach your flank.
- Once the bar lightly touches your neck, squeeze the muscles throughout your upper and midback for a count and reverse the motion, allowing the bar to again slowly rise to the starting position. Don’t let the weight stack touch down between reps.
SEATED CABLE ROW
Targets: Lats, midback muscles (rhomboids, teres major, teres minor)
Also Works: Traps, rear deltoids, biceps
Grip: Neutral, close, using a V-handle attachment
STEP BY STEP
- Attach a close-grip V-bar handle to the seated row cable machine and sit upright on the bench, facing the weight stack.
- Place your feet against the foot platform with your legs slightly bent, then reach forward to grasp the handles, leaning back until your torso is upright and your arms are fully extended.
- Keeping your elbows in close to the sides of your body, pull the handle toward your midsection by bending your elbows and shifting your shoulder blades backward, squeezing your blades together as the handle reaches your midsection.
- Hold for a one count, flexing your lats and midback, before slowly returning to the start position, not letting the weight stack touch down between reps.