This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
For this variation of the classic lat pull-down, you’ll use a reverse grip and hold at the moment of full flexion—with nothing to support you but your core. Remember, back and front should develop in tandem. This exercise makes sure they do.
Seat yourself at a cable station beneath a wide neutral-grip bar suspended from the cable. Reach up and grip with bar with palms facing in towards you, hands a little more than shoulder width apart (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, pull the bar down in front of you and in toward your chest and rib cage. As you pull, keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back; this may cause a slight arch in your lower back. As you pull the bar down, tuck your elbows down and in toward you (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When you have pulled the bar to a full flexion through your lats, hold in the fully flexed position for a full second. As you hold, resist the temptation to press your legs against the leg brace—instead, support yourself through your core and upper back. After a second, slowly release the cable back to the starting position, resisting the tug of the weights as you release (see Photos 4 and 5).