Front Pulldown & Reverse Grip

Reverse Grip Front Pulldown

This exercise increases strength in the Serratus Anterior, a muscle responsible for keeping the underside of your scapula (shoulder blade) against your throacic wall (upper ribs). A strong serratus anterior helps stabilize your scapula and protect your shoulder joint.

Mechanics

  • Position yourself on the lat pull down machine and grab the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing your body) with your hands about shoulder width apart or narrower and your arms fully extended.
  • Keeping your upper body upright, set the abs, retract the scapula (pull the shoulder blades together) exhale and  pull the bar straight down in front of you until it is about even with the middle of your chest, pause and slowly lower the bar to the starting position with the arms fully extended in a controlled manner. Let the scapula protract (move away from each other) as you lower the bar and repeat.
  • Do not lean backwards or jerk the bar to initiate movement. This is a scapula exercise, not a power pulling exercise. 
  • Keep the core tight and elbows close to the sides throughout the movement.
  • For variety, repeat this exercise using a close grip (hands facing each other) or perform it in a standing position and pulling down with the arms straight and palms facing down.

 

Start

Start

 

Finish

Finish

 

Front Pulldown

This exercise increases strength in the latissus dorsi muscle, increases strength in the muscles of  the upper back and improves shoulder stability.

Mechanics

  • Position yourself on the lat pull down machine and grab the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from your body) with your hands about shoulder width apart or wider and your arms fully extended.
  • The body should incline backwards at a slight angle.
  • Set the abs, exhale and initiate the movement by retracting the shoulders back, i.e., drive your shoulders and elbows back and down to squeeze the shoulder blades together.
  • Pull the bar down in front of you until it touches the chest, pause, inhale and return the bar back to the starting position with your arms fully extended and repeat.
  • Allow yourself to get a full stretch as the weight returns to the start position. 
  • Do not lean backwards excessively, jerk the bar or flex at the waist to initiate movement. This is a scapula exercise, not a power pulling exercise. 
  • Keep the core tight throughout the movement.
  • Never pull to the back of the neck as this increases stress on the shoulder and risk of injury.