T Nation

Pulldowns Behind the Neck

After (at least) 20 years of avoiding doing pull downs behind the neck / head, I got a wild hair this morning and decided to give them a go just for shits and giggles … I started light, and progressed up to a couple heavier sets of ten …

I didn’t go all the way down to my traps - kept them strict and stopped at about ear level (hairline if I had one, lol) … Great contraction, and I could really feel the upper lats better both on the concentric and eccentric …

I know these have been shunned for years, but I’m thinking about bringing them back … I have decent shoulder mobility and can still OHP, BNP, and BP without shoulder pain at age 45 … I honestly felt these more in my upper back than any pull down or pull up exercise that I’ve cycled the last few years…

Interested if some of you guys think I’m playing with fire, or if the “don’t do that” directive is just hype … Maybe just felt it more because it was so different (?)

I cycle them in as well. I do like the feel, but for me it was more about keeping/improving my shoulder mobility.

As long as your shoulder and thoracic spine area is flexible and mobile these are great.

I prefer my clients to do these over lat pulldowns to the front actually. With my older clients this is a great mobility exercise.

So you guys feel they actually improve shoulder mobility (if done correctly) rather than wrecking the shoulders altogether?

[quote]Velvet Elvis wrote:
So you guys feel they actually improve shoulder mobility (if done correctly) rather than wrecking the shoulders altogether? [/quote]

Yes if the mobility is there already. This does not improve mobility but strengthens the posterior delts, Traps-minor, levator (sp) and sub-scapularis. Which in turn prevents the forward pulling in of the shoulders due to over tight Pecs and poor posture.

Thanks for the clarification Fischer … It’s funny, I’ve always done BNP in spite of the “bad exercise” experts, but when it came to these I went along with the crowd … This morning it was like a light bulb went off, and I was asking myself “why did I stop doing these?” Lol

…for 20 freakin’ years!..

Like squatting ATG?

Like never wear a belt?

Always wear a belt?

Eggs are bad?

Eggs are good?

Full body splits are the best?

Full body splits are bad?

Grains are good for you?

Never going to failure?

Always going to failure?

See my point? :slight_smile:

Absolutely spot on

It just strikes me as funny that I question(ed) all of those, but this one stuck with me for some reason and I just always shunned it

Great points!