Plate-Loaded Lat Pulldown
We are mostly used to using the cable lat pull down with the bar which is great variation. For me, I certainly find that I feel the contraction so much more with the plate loaded pull down. Latissimus dorsi muscles (lats) seem to get a better contraction, right from the very first rep.
To do this movement:
1) Sit on the seat, adjusting the pad so that it is tight on your quadriceps (front upper thigh).
2) Stand up and take a good strong grip of the handles, then sit down in the starting position.
3) From there, lift the chest towards ceiling whilst retracting shoulder blades (imagine trying to hold a pencil between them).
4) Taking a deep breath, engage the lats, then pull down until handles are in alignment with the chest. Contract (squeeze) the working muscles for 1-2 seconds.
5) Take 3-4 seconds to return to the starting position, feeling the stretch on the lats but not locking out the elbow joint to keep all weight on the lats.
The plate-loaded lat pulldown a fantastic exercise as it lets you recognise if you have a weaker side. The plate loaded machine arms move independently from one another (instead of one bar and one cable), which forces your weaker side to work hard to keep up with the dominant side.
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