When using this machine, do you put your elbows on the pads and pull through the elbows or grip the bar and pull through your hands? Lately I have been putting my elbows on the pad and not gripping the bar at all, just resting my hands against the bar. Is one way better than the other for recruiting the lat muscles?
which variation allows you to feel your lats working more?
slightly OT but as of now I prefer doing that movement with a rope attachment on a cable station. I get a bigggg stretch at the top and the rope lets me get a bit further back than using a bar would.
I'll stick to the machine as I don't allow the bar to go back fully anyway because it's uncomfortable to my shoulders. I'm not sure honestly I would think with the elbows on the pads but I could do a few sets both ways if it recruited different parts of the lat. I noticed coach Thibs had Daryl Gee doing it holding onto the bar, but then he had him doing the thib lat pull down which puts the force through the elbows.
Well his variation on the lat pulldown is supposed to remove the biceps from the movement. That forces the lats to do all the work.
A pullover machine won't use your biceps...it will use triceps if your load is too high.
I've always done machine pullovers grabbing the handle.....I seem to get a better stretch that way..I like it. As a set progresses though I might let go of the handle and pump blood with a shorter range of motion....
I'm no expert or whatever but i think it's best to keep your elbows on the pad so you can push more from your lats instead of your hands. Dorian yates has a video explaining on how to use it.
When I had access to one, I preferred a lose grip on the bar, focusing more on pulling through my elbows - pretty much like any other back work. Just do whatever allows you to contract your lats the hardest.
Also, I had the same problem with full ROM-induced shoulder pain. I have come to really like the rope variation for this very reason.