Joining the gym is not such a difficult task when you already have an elaborate workout plan in hand. If you are a beginner for workouts, you will view results almost immediately. However, after a month or so, you will hit a plateau with the same workout schedule. You will definitely stop seeing progress.
What you need is a more intense and consistent plan with push/pull/leg days variations 6 days a week depending on your body’s capability and endurance.
In this article we will talk about standing lat pull downs, chin ups, deadlifts, etc., basically exercises you need to incorporate in your pull day to gain muscle and burn fat effectively.
Why do you need to train a muscle group more than once a week?
The simple answer to this question is maintaining protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the breakdown of muscles and its recovery and helps you gain muscle in due course of time. Diet is a primary catalyst of protein synthesis, but it is also coupled with maintaining the consistency of training a muscle group and not letting it diffuse. You need to maintain that bump to get that pump!
Let’s dive deeper into the most effective pull day exercises which you need to incorporate in your workout routine:-
Standing Lat Pulldown- The straight arm lat pulldown is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your traps. It is an ideal back exercise which works the back muscles to give you that desirable v-shape.
How to do it –
- Face the bar and straighten your arms over your shoulders to reach the bar.
- Grip it, hands double shoulder width apart and your feet placed shoulder width apart.
- Bend your knees slightly and retract your shoulders back so your back is slightly arched.
- This is to avoid any kind of lower back injury or knee injury.
- Inhale, engage your core muscles and pull the bar down to your upper thighs.
- Do not release swiftly. Keep the tension to engage the muscles continuously and exhale.
Tip– To increase the difficulty level, reach out your arms higher to hold the bar and take two steps back. Do the same movement with more momentum. This allows for a longer motion and is more effective.
Narrow Cable Pulldown Back Muscles- Narrow cable pulldown exercise is a great exercise to practise for your back muscles. arms , shoulders and traps. It is definitely a multi-functional exercise where instead of going for the wide grip pulldown, you are doing a straight arm pulldown muscles worked up.
How to do it-
- Face the cable machine and grip onto the attached bar on top.
- Straighten your arm over your shoulders and use a narrow grip. By narrow, I mean spread your arms 2 inches less than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly so avoid injuries and retract your shoulders for maximum mobility.
- Do it the same way you would perform a wide grip lat pulldown. However, this time you will feel the tension a little more than usual. This just means that you are being able to work your muscles more than usual.
Tip– Engage your core and squeeze your glutes for maximum benefit.
Lat Pulldown- The shoulder pulldown is another name for the lat pull down which is performed in a seated position. It is done on a pull down exercise machine and is a great compound movement for working your back, shoulders and traps.
How to do it-
- Sit on the bench which is attached to the machine and place your pelvic region close to the bar.
- Reach out your hands on top of your shoulders and grip the bar.
- Your arms should be twice shoulder width apart and it is mandatory for your shoulder blades to be retracted.
- Now, using constant pressure, pull the bar down without leaning back.
- Pull it down straight to your chin. Exhale when you do that.
- Do not release the tension once you are retracting the bar. Keep the momentum and the tension alive throughout your reps
Tip– Again, remember to engage your core so that you maintain your posture and avoid injuring your lower back by leaning back while pulling down the bar. Another important point is to not let your elbows go behind your waist while you are pulling down the bar. Maintaining your form during the overhead pulldown is more important than hitting a higher PR
Seated Cable Rows– This is a great back pull machine which literally works all the muscles on your back as well as sculpts your shoulders. It is similar to the rowing machine except that it is performed in the form of cardio, while this is performed in the form of strength or weight training
How to do it –
- Sit yourself on the bench which is attached to the machine and lock your legs on either side under the support provided by the machine.
- Straighten your back, engage your core and grip the handle which is attached to a single cable in front of you.
- Retract your shoulder blades and take a deep breath.
- As you pull the cable towards you, make sure you aim towards touching your core.
- Exhale as you pull the cable towards your belly button and do not lean back.
- Inhale again when you’re putting the cable back. However, make sure you don’t let the tension go completely before pulling the cable back to yourself again.
These pulldown exercises are great for working your back, arms, shoulders and lats. If you want to incorporate a push exercise, you can pair the straight arm pushdown with the standing lat pulldown.
- Begin by gripping the cable shoulder width apart with your palms facing away from you.
- Bend your knees slightly while pushing your hips out to avoid lower back injury.
- The bar should be at the level of your chest and your palms should be facing the opposite direction while holding the bar.
- Exhale and push down the bar , till your arms are extended and you can feel all the tension in your triceps.
- Inhale and bring the bar back to chest level without letting the tension release. Repeat.
- Remember to keep your core engaged at all times.
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So, the next time you are trying to hit a bomb pull day, remember to include these workouts in your routine. If you are consistent with your diet and workout, you will definitely see progress within 2 weeks. Give it a go!