The close supinated pulldown focuses on the latissimus dorsi (lats), the rhomboids, biceps, and forearm muscles. When in supination, stress is more specifically targeted on the biceps brachii, as well as most vertically-arranged fibers of the latissimus.
The latissimus dorsi have the potential to create a tremendous rate of force development. Training them with heavy pulls assists in sprinting and explosive starts. Researchers believe that the rate of force development of the lats is largely responsible for speed in the first 30 meters of a sprint. The latissimus also plays a role in spinal erection and maintenance of posture in running.
The rhomboids are a largely postural muscle that is responsible for helping to maintain the proper length-tension relationship of the shoulder blade musculature. Weak rhomboids are part of the culprit in upper back postures that are too rounded, or kyphotic. By training the upper back initially with pulldowns and rows, you will eventually be able to progress to chins and pull-ups.
Adjust the seat supports so that the thigh pad is locked firmly over your quadriceps. Doing so keeps you from flying out of the seat during the exercise. Stand up and grip the pulldown bar slightly narrower than shoulder width with an underhand grip (palms facing you), and return to a seated position. Sit with your chest up, arms in a fully stretched position, and inhale.
As you exhale, pull the bar to your clavicles. Drive your elbows downward, and then backward, as you pull the bar to the clavicles. Doing so will force you to retract the shoulder blades.
Inhale and return to the beginning of the lift in a controlled manner until your arms are fully extended.
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