This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The Gravitron machine is excellent for pull-ups because it provides you with the support to do your pull-ups while maintaining proper form, allowing you to max out your muscles. The wide-grip pull-ups focus the work on your lats in particular, and the drop sets increase the work for your muscles.
Lats (triangular muscles on either side of the back)
Stand on the platform of a Gravitron machine and set the weight to a difficult weight for you, a weight at which you will max out at approximately six or more reps. Step off of the platform and onto the foot rests, allowing your body weight to bring you down until your arms are fully extended (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lift yourself up and do a full pull-up. Keep your posture tall, shoulder blades retracted, and chest up in order to keep the work in your lats throughout (see Photo 2).
- Do a total of at least six reps at this weight, then step back up onto the platform and set the weight to an easier setting (see Photo 3).
- Perform at least four more good repetitions at this lighter weight. Continue past four reps to failure (see Photo 4).
- Change the weight one more time to an easier weight and perform one last set of pull-ups to failure. Be sure to maintain proper form throughout, with your shoulder blades retracted and chest up.