March 2002 Parrillo Performance Press

Front Lat Pulldowns

Tracy Anderson

To perform this exercise grasp the bar with a wide grip. Ensure your thighs are supported and you are seated just behind the pulley system. This will enable you to pull with the line of action of the back muscles. There are three general rules for most any back exercise; 1) depress your shoulder girdle, 2) elevate the rib cage by arching your back and 3) relax the arm muscles. Pull the bar to the upper chest near the top of the sternum. As you lower the bar stress the elevation of your chest, like you were trying to raise your chest to meet the bar. Return until arms and shoulders are fully extended, to ensure a full range of motion and stretch.

The prime mover being exercised is the latissimus dorsi, or lats. The lat muscle originates from the spinous processes to T7 through L5, via the dorsolumbar fascia, and the posterior surface of the sacrum, iliac crest and lower three ribs. The muscle then inserts on the medial lip of the bicipital groove on the humerus.

The function of the lat muscle is to extend, adduct, medially rotate and hyperextend the humerus, or upper arm bone. Another, lesser known, function is it has the ability to raise the pelvis when the arms are stabilized. This is known as reversal of muscle action, and can be seen when someone is walking while using crutches.

Other assisting movers are the middle and lower trapezius, teres major and the rhomboids. The elbow flexion muscles (i.e. biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis) have the ability to be assisting, however you want to minimize these muscles coming into action. Muscles that will stabilize the shoulder joint during the movement include the rear deltoid, the teres minor and infraspinatus from the rotator cuff, and the pectoralis minor.

This muscle comes into action during many motions during exercise and in most any sport. Remember that the primary function of this muscle is to move the upper arm. When performing back movements, realize that its the range and plane of motion that the elbow moves and not the hand. All too often people worry about touching their chest or how low the bar goes and they forget to pay attention to how their upper arm is moving. You should be able to feel the back muscles contract with little weight. If your form is incorrect you may feel a .pump. in the biceps muscle. This is because you are not in the correct plane of motion, you are not relaxing your arm muscles, or you are using to much weight. The back muscles are easy to get to grow, many just don.t know the correct way to work them.

* If you have any questions concerning any of my articles, please email from my site at The preceding article was taken from Tracy Anderson.s book .Movement Science for Personal Trainers..