There are great benefits to full-body workouts, the multitaskers of the exercise world. But sometimes individual muscles need love and attention too. This upper-back move targets the latissimus dorsi (“lats”) helping to achieve that desirable inverted triangle body shape. It also mimics the pull stroke of a freestyle swim motion, so it’s great cross training for swimmers and tri-athletes.
Stand with shoulders squared facing a cable machine, arms outstretched in front. Reach up and grab the straight bar with hands on top of the bar and about shoulder width apart. The bar should be around eye level so that there is tension when starting the movement.
Keeping arms, back and legs straight, pull the bar down towards the thighs. The cable should move in a smooth, straight line without curving. Keep the eyes up and looking forward throughout the motion as looking down could strain back and neck muscles.
Slowly guide the weight back to the starting position, keeping back muscles tight. Do not relax and let the machine pull the weight back up; it should be a consistent, controlled motion to get the full benefit of the workout.