Strict Lat Pull Down

Many times I will see people performing a Lat Pull Down with what I can only describe as terrible technique.  Yes they might have a super heavy weight on their, but when there is a fair degree of momentum being generated through the torso in addition to the upper limbs, I always think to myself, how much better would their lats be feeling the exercise if they took away the momentum generated through the body movement and focused purely on pulling the bar down with their back.

In the image below you will see osteopath Heath Williams performing a strict lat pull down.  The aim is to maintain a stable upright trunk position and pull lock through ones back and then pull the bar down to their sternum.

One little tip that I learnt recently whilst on Perry Nickelston’s of Stop Chasing Pain fame was to focus on how I grip and this changes the engagement through the body.  When gripping through the thumb and index primarily there is a lot more effort placed through the forearms.  Gripping through the 3rd – 5th fingers and thinking of squeezing these when I perform back exercises engages my back a great deal more.

Whilst there is no right or wrong, it simply shows how taking your focus to a particular area of the body and feeling what it does can change an exercise greatly without it looking to different.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.  We provide a range of services that includes hands on manual therapy, exercise prescription for rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and performance, functional movement screening and ergonomic risk assessments.

If you would like to find out more about our practice, please check us out at   Appointments can be made by calling 03 9670 9290 or booking online at