The lat pulldown has you pull a bar, attached to a cable pulley, to your chest. The cable’s constant tension increases your muscles’ time under tension (for more stimulation and growth). Also, this is a great move for those who can’t yet do a pull-up. Other than the fact that you’re sitting down, a pulldown is essentially the same movement as a pull-up, except that you can pull far less than your own bodyweight.
Benefits of the Lat Pulldown
The constant tension from the cables creates more muscular activation of the back muscles.
This move mimics a pull-up, and so it’s a great exercise to help you work up to your first pull-up rep.
1A. Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown
The underhand-grip lat pulldown improves strength in the back, biceps, and forearms while engaging the biceps more than a traditional overhand-grip does.
1B. Behind-The-Neck Lat Pull-Down
One pull-down variation often overlooked is the behind-the-neck lat pull-down. Many believe this variation places too much stress and strain on the body. While this may be due to lack of shoulder flexibility for some, many can comfortably incorporate this movement pattern into their workout without pain, and are able to take full advantage of the benefits it offers.
1C. Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down
The wide-grip variation is an excellent choice if you’re looking to increase the width of your back and want to improve overall strength. This variation will also help you with your pull-up strength, allowing you to work your lats with good form through the entire range of motion.
The deadlift is one of the best compound exercises you can do to add serious amounts of strength and muscle mass to the back (as well as the hips and hamstrings). The deadlift has the ability to stress the back using moderate to heavy loads and can often be trained in higher volumes and loads, ultimately offering a one-of-a-kind training stimulus.
It activates your back, but also your hamstrings, glutes, and the muscles in your hips.
You can load up the deadlift with a lot of weight (once you’re strong enough) to elicit major strength gains.
You can also build more muscle since the deadlift can be done for lots of volume.
How to Do the Deadlift:
Stand in front of a loaded barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart, hips back, and back flat. The knees should be bent slightly to allow you to grip the bar tightly slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keeping your back flat and chest up, tighten the back muscles, and straighten the arms as you load the pull. With everything locked, aggressively push your legs into the floor as you simultaneously pull your chest and shoulders upwards, lifting the bar to the hip.
if your gym doesn’t have a landmine unit, follow the instructions below.
Place the end of an empty barbell into the corner of a room.
Rest a heavy dumbbell or some weight plates on it to hold it down.
Load the opposite end of the bar with plates and straddle it.
Bend over at the hips until your torso is about a 45-degree angle to the floor with arms extended.
Hook a V-grip handle (the kind you see at a cable station) under the bar and hold with both hands.
Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar until the plates touch your chest.