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Lat pulldowns - to front or back?

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Weyland
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2007/06/14 17:20:38 (permalink)
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Lat pulldowns - to front or back?

Unfortunately I'm not strong enough to do chins at the moment so I'm doing lat pulldowns instead, but was wondering whether it's better doing them to front or back.

I've usually done them to the back, but because I'm trying to get to point where I can do chins I've been doing them to the front (as I'm presuming the movement replicates chins more closely) which doesn't feel as good to me; my form and ability to take the bar right down to my chest seems to go before I feel I've been working hard enough, whereas to the back feels alot more natural and I feel more able to apply that last bit of effort to make the bar touch the back of my neck on later reps.

What are the pros and cons of each way?
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    tac
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/14 18:02:53 (permalink)
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    To the back is more stressful on the neck, IMO


    #2
    Ryanm8655
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/15 00:18:39 (permalink)
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    doesn't behind the neck do traps?
    #3
    jessejames
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/15 02:18:51 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: Ryanm8655

    doesn't behind the neck do traps?


    no. it does nothing that pulldowns to the front don't do, except put dangerous extra stress on your shoulders and neck.
    #4
    danchubbz
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/15 09:50:37 (permalink)
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    Hits rear delts more
    #5
    RedHotF
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/15 09:58:30 (permalink)
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    I do both and alternate. I must say though, I do find pulling to the front easier to perform.
    #6
    OoOGazOoO
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/15 11:29:01 (permalink)
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    Pulldowns to the front just feel better for want of a better word.

    Pulldowns to back feel uncomfortable.
    #7
    WeeMuscle
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/17 10:28:28 (permalink)
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    Ive done pull ups alternating front and behind the neck. Slightly more difficult behind the neck and seems to put more stress on my shoulders than my lats IME.
    Just stick to the front


    #8
    powerhouse_ad
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/17 15:30:03 (permalink)
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    Yeah, agree with these guys, pull downs to the front.

    Pulling it down behind the neck feels too awkward to me.
    #9
    Weyland
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 16:04:32 (permalink)
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    Cheers for the advice guys, the fact I prefer to the back shows I must be odd! (Something I knew already!)

    I still find I have trouble getting the bar all the way down to my chest to the front though, unless the weight is so light I can do a stupidly high number of reps.
    #10
    WeeMuscle
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 18:57:19 (permalink)
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    You dont have to pull it all the way down to your chest. Just pull it down so the bar is lever with your chin but make sure you really squeeze the contraction at the bottom


    #11
    skinnyoriental
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 19:59:23 (permalink)
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    a lot of people on here and articles I have read suggest not to do to the back as it stresses shoulder cuff rotator of something like that, this applies to military presses, chins and other exercises that go behind the shoulder.

    Thats what I read tho, I'm can't say from personal experience as I do only to the front :)
    #12
    body4life
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 21:19:49 (permalink)
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    I do both. IMO in front hits my lats more and behind to the neck hits my traps. I like both and think they are great back exercises.
    #13
    body4life
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 21:22:58 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: skinnyoriental

    a lot of people on here and articles I have read suggest not to do to the back as it stresses shoulder cuff rotator of something like that, this applies to military presses, chins and other exercises that go behind the shoulder.

    Thats what I read tho, I'm can't say from personal experience as I do only to the front :)


    Yeah iv also heard that before with doing upright rows. I still do them tho, Haven't felt any pain ect yet.
    #14
    TREBOR
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 21:38:41 (permalink)
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    I do them behind the neck with no problems,instead of pulling straight down i pull the elbows down and into the centre of the back in an arc,doing it this way i can only get the bar to just below my head but the lats are fully contracted,no stress on the shoulders.
    #15
    body4life
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 21:43:24 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: TREBOR

    I do them behind the neck with no problems,instead of pulling straight down i pull the elbows down and into the centre of the back in an arc,doing it this way i can only get the bar to just below my head but the lats are fully contracted,no stress on the shoulders.


    Might give that a go m8, When i do them behind neck, i don't get no pains in the shoulders but, i don't feel it much in my lats like i do with fronts.
    #16
    TREBOR
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/22 22:04:10 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: body4life


    ORIGINAL: TREBOR

    I do them behind the neck with no problems,instead of pulling straight down i pull the elbows down and into the centre of the back in an arc,doing it this way i can only get the bar to just below my head but the lats are fully contracted,no stress on the shoulders.


    Might give that a go m8, When i do them behind neck, i don't get no pains in the shoulders but, i don't feel it much in my lats like i do with fronts.


    Tip for you use straps and barely hold the bar and pull with your elbows instead of hands.
    #17
    body4life
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/23 11:31:12 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: TREBOR

    Tip for you use straps and barely hold the bar and pull with your elbows instead of hands.


    Nice one m8, i'll give that a go. Cheers.
    #18
    john_cappa
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/23 11:39:54 (permalink)
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    i prefer front, do you have a machine at ur gym to do assissted chins? great way of building up to do chins on ur own and much better that lat put down IMO
    #19
    Squill
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    RE: Lat pulldowns - to front or back? 2007/06/26 09:26:12 (permalink)
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    not a fan of behind, as it causes more stress on shoulders

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    #20
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