Lat Pulldowns


I witnessed a no-no at one of the spaces I train in this morning–the infamous behind-the-neck lat pulldown.

Don’t get me wrong–I love me some lat pulldowns. When performed correctly, the pulldown helps you build strength in your back and biceps, and is a great aid in correcting poor posture.

However, if you are pulling the bar down behind your neck, you are putting your body at risk for shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement occurs when the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

For a safe lat pulldown, make sure your feet are flat on the floor, and pull the bar to your chest or sternum area, exhaling down, and then letting the bar raise up slowly as you inhale to then repeat for another rep.

Be sure to keep the chest up and out (as though someone has a string attached to your sternum and is pulling it out and forward). Keeping the chest open will help you to contract down and back as you pull down. You can use varying grips to emphasize the biceps or back more.