behind the neck pull downs

Behind the Neck PulL downs: Why You Must Avoid It!

Part II – Behind the Neck Pull Downs

I always see people doing behind the neck pull downs. However, I’ll never go up to them to tell them what they’re doing is WRONG. Unless someone asks, I refuse to be “that guy” who goes up to people in the gym to tell them how they suck. Instead, I’ll take the time to talk to you about it now. 

Although behind the neck lat pull downs is great for engaging the lats, there’s a lot that’s going wrong during this movement. This exercise forces our bodies to move unnaturally. The movement forces your arms to rotate externally. I want you to imagine you’re holding a pitcher of good ole H2O in front of you. Now think about it. How do you pour the water into your glass?  Exactly, you turn your wrist and arms inward. This is called internal rotation. The natural way your body wants to move! Now I want you to try pouring something the opposite way you’re used to next time you get a chance. This opposite pour is conducted externally. You are about to see how unnatural the movement is. Anyways.. I digress.

Back to behind the neck lat pull downs . EXTREME strain on your rotator cuffs over time causes random tweaks and tears. You think that’s bad? On top of that this exercise is placing strain on your neck muscles and vertebrae. 

A good alternative is front lat pull-downs. Look..I can already hear you saying “but behind the neck pull downs gets a better contraction and squeeze.” My answer to that is that you probably have poor shoulder and scapular mobility. Mobility plays a HUGE role in contracting your lats during this exercise. When properly done, a front lat pull down is a great for lat gains. 

If you’re still saying 

 “You don’t know what You’re talking about” then.. do what you want to do. Eventually you will get injured. I have a fully developed back and have NEVER done behind the neck pull downs. 

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