Wide-Grip Pull-Downs (Machine)
- Face the machine, sit, and position thighs under the pads.
- Grip the bar in the desired fashion (traditionally a wide overhand grip is preferred for this exercise).
- Inhale. Pull the bar to the nipple line, keeping the body upright and puffing out the chest, while exhaling throughout the movement. The elbows should be pointing towards the sides, not forward.
- Slowly lower the weight to the starting position, letting the arms fully extend (without letting the elbow joint slam as the arms are straightened), and inhale throughout the negative motion.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as are desired.
Lat pull-downs serves as a premier alternative to pull-ups and are useful for all weight-lifters - novice to advanced. Being able to adjust the weight is extremely useful because the novice lifter can reduce the weight lifted - if say their own weight is too heavy for them to lift when doing pull-ups - and the advanced lifter can increase the weight beyond their own body weight. Do note, however, that most experts suggest that pull-ups are a superior exercise, so lat pull-downs should take back seat to pull-ups when possible.
A wider grip will promote the width of the upper portion of the lats (thus creating or enhancing the often desired v-taper appearance) and is usually the manner in which the exercise is performed. A narrower group will involve the arms more - particularly the brachialis and brachioradialis of the biceps.
A reverse grip can be used as well, but doing so will transfer a decent amount of stress from the back to the biceps.