Close Grip Pull-Downs
- Secure the close grip attachment to the cable device.
- Position the seated knee pad to a level where the knees will stay at a 90 degree angle.
- Grip the attachment and position the knees under the pad to secure a seated position.
- With a slight lean back, pull down and towards the chest (keeping the arms near a 45 degree angle in respect to the body).
- Hold for a moment once the attachment touches the chest (or comes as close as you can get it) and squeeze the lats.
- Controlling the weight, slowly allow the attachment to rise up above the head, stopping at the point of having only a slight bend in the elbows.
- Repeat steps 4-6.
Due to the positioning of the hands being close together, the lower lats are targeted more prominently. Keeping the elbows from running parallel to the body also aids in targeted the inner aspect of the lats (as opposed to the standard lat pull-down exercise). If one is looking for an exercise to achieve more of the V-taper appearance, wide-grip pull-downs are more suitable.
The angle of the arms and hand positioning while pulling down is what causes the biceps to be targeted mroeso than other forms of pull-downs. This is particularly true if the attachment used offers a neutral grip as opposed to the overhand (pronated) grip.
As with many of the pull-down exercises, individuals can be prone to performing the exercise using a jerking motion in order to lift more weight. This is not recommended and can lead to injury as well as neutralize the purpose of the exercise. Using momentum does not build more muscle.
With the lats being the powerful muscles they are, severe strain can be put on the tendons in the hands while gripping the attachment. It is recommended to stretch these tendons out before exercising as well as maintaining a firm grip on the bar while performing pull-downs.