Straight-arm pull down
Exercise is one of the ways to improve your physical wellbeing and it aids in great measure to get rid of ailments, aches and pains. Follow the exercise programme provided by the biokineticists at Anine van der Westhuizen Biokineticist in George and feel the difference. This week biokineticist Lana Laubscher gives some more exercises for the shoulders.
For the past few weeks I've discussed various shoulder exercises and I hope everyone has benefited so far. This week's exercise will still include a shoulder action, although the primary muscle is the lattisimus dorsi (lats), which is more of a back muscle than a shoulder muscle. The lats originate from the back but attach to the front of the shoulder, thus having an influence on shoulder movements, either as a stabilising muscle or a global moving muscle.
To perform the straight-arm pull down, tie an elastic to a high static point. Face the elastic and hold the ends with your palms facing backward. Slightly flex your knees and activate your core muscles. Your arms should be extended, but not locked, and your hands at shoulder height in the starting position. Keep your arms slightly bent as you pull the elastic down to the sides of your thighs. Return to the starting position slowly.
Keep your wrists straight throughout the whole movement;
Don't bend forward from your waist; Don't round your shoulders when you pull down. You have to "set" the shoulder before starting the movement;
The lats are quite big and strong muscles and should be able to sustain a heavy load, so you can use a strong/thick elastic - but not so strong that you cannot use only your arms, while keeping the rest of your body in a neutral position.
The variation for this exercise is fairly easy. All you need to do is change your hand position. Instead of your palms facing backward, turn them around and let them face forward. This simple change engages different muscles. As soon as you turn your palms forward, the posterior deltoid and tricep are engaged, as opposed to the previous hand grip, which activates the lats.