The straight arm Lat push down is a great isolation exercise for the Lats. The Lats are the big muscles on your back that give you a wide V-taper look. Here’s some information on the Lats, their function and why the straight arm Lat push down is one of the best exercises.
Anatomy and function of the Lats
First let’s look at the anatomy of the Lats.
At the lowest point the Lats originate on the Pelvis and Thoracic Spine. The muscle continues to originate all the way up the spine into the Lumbar section. The muscle fibres span a large area and then insert into your Humerus (upper arm bone), just below your shoulder joint.
The main function of the Lat is to:
- Depress the arm (pull it down)
- Adduct (bring your arm towards your body)
- Extend (bring your arm backwards)
- Internally rotate the arm
Why the straight arm Lat push down is so good?
The straight arm Lat push down is a great exercise as it helps isolate the Lats. This means it reduces activation of supporting muscle groups. The Biceps are most commonly used to assist any pulling exercise. However as the Biceps are small muscles, they fatigue much quicker than the Lats. This means that during any pulling exercises, where you are trying to train your back muscles, the Biceps are fatiguing first.
By utilising methods such as pre-exhaustion, you can use the straight arm Lat push down to pre-fatigue the Lats. This means you can then continue to fatigue them during subsequent pulling exercises and get a better training effect.
How to perform the straight arm Lat push down
The best tool to use is the Dynamic Bands. This is because at the point of peak muscular contraction the bands are applying the most resistance. Emphasising the squeeze phase of the movement, which is key for muscular activation and growth.
1) From a high anchor point clip in your Dynamic Bands. Grab a hold of the bands and walk away until there is tension on the bands.
2) Facing the anchor point, keeping your arms straight and locked push your hands down towards your hips, keeping the Scapula retracted.
3) Hold your arms by your side for a split second, feeling the squeeze in the mid-lower back.
4) Slowly release the tension, bringing your arms back to the start position.