Anshula Kapoor likes to keep it real on Instagram. She keeps her followers updated about many things — from weight loss to favourite meals, and everything in-between, including her hesitance to wear a bikini. In a similar vein, the sister of actor Arjun Kapoor recently took to the social media platform to share her favourite workout routine as part of an ask-me-anything (AMA) session.
Lat pull downs, of all kinds, are my favourite, she wrote in reply to the question. Accompanying her answer was a video of her performing the exercise in the gym.
As a strength training exercise that helps develop the latissimus dorsi muscles that cover the back, lat pull-downs help activate the muscles of the middle back as well as the biceps.
Here’s why lat pull downs should also be a part of your routine, too
The lat pulldown is an excellent exercise for developing upper back and shoulder muscles, said Varun Rattan, ACE certified personal trainer, co-founder, The Body Science Academy. “It is an open kinetic chain, multi-joint exercise that is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level exercisers. A variety of equipment can be used to perform it,” he told indianexpress.com.
Rattan listed some simple steps to execute lat pulldown
Grab the bar with both hands and sit on the machine, anchoring your legs under the thigh pad so it fits firmly against the top of your thighs. Stiffen your abdominal muscles to stabilise the spine. Try to keep your lower back from overextending throughout the workout. While your arms are raised overhead, pull your shoulders down and back, and attempt to maintain this position. Lean back slightly (about 20 to 30 degrees) and maintain your head in line with your spine.
Keep your shoulder blades depressed as you slowly exhale and initiate the downward pull. Bring the bar towards the top or mid-section of your chest in a way that your elbows directly point toward the floor. Avoid any additional backward lean or swinging motion during this movement.
After a moment’s pause, inhale slowly as you return to your starting position by allowing the bar to move upwards until your elbows are fully extended. Allow your shoulder blades to rise slightly. Repeat the movement.
Variation and word of caution: When performing a lat pulldown, you may use a wide or narrow grip or an overhand (prone), an underhand (supine), or a neutral grip. “However, it is advised to keep the bar in front of the head rather than behind the neck, particularly if you have rounded shoulders. Those with rounded shoulders may experience more shoulder capsule and ligament stress when performing a behind-the-neck lat pulldown. It may be due to the fact that shoulders turn excessively when doing this exercise,” he noted.