Swiss Ball Supine Band Lat Pulldown
How to Do the Lat Pulldown Variation: Supine with Band & Fitness Ball | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form & Common Mistakes | Home Strength Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN Stability Ball Supine Band Lat Pull Downs
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Lower and mid traps
- Pectoralis major
- Serratus anterior
- Teres major
HOW Stability Ball Supine Band Lat Pull Downs SHAPE OUR BODY
Good posture, slim V waist (hourglass shape).
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Pull both ends of the resistance band down towards your torso, letting your elbows bend.
This easy lat pulldown variation can be done with your back and head supported on a stability ball - face up. Band lat pulldown is the best exercise if you want wider shoulders and an open upper back. Nothing works on the latissimus dorsi as effectively as this. The best part is that you can perform this workout without lat-pulldown equipment.
This position adds training for the muscles of the core, pelvis, hips and legs to hold the position during the arms movements. This will really increase the work of the lats because they will need to be active to stabilize the low back in this suspended position.
This is a fun one to me.
PROPER FORM: Swiss Ball Supine Band Lat Pull Down
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
Main set (3: Light/Med/Heavy):
X-Heavy Band (I recommend getting this too if you plan to use resistance bands frequently).
Optional washcloth to support neck
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Light resistance bands
SETS & REPS:
2 sets of 8 reps
Moderate pull down - with control and back stability, and slower return to start.
BODY POSITION FOR THE Fitness Ball Supine Band Lat Pull Down
BAND: Anchor the band about waist level. Band is anchored at the head when lying down on the ball.
BODY STANCE: Sit on a stability ball facing away from the band anchor. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Walk your legs out as you roll your spine down onto the ball. Keep walking until your upper back, neck and head are supported by the ball. Your pelvis is lifted so that your shoulders are in line with your hips and in line with your knees.
FEET: Feet are flat on the floor - knees are bent.
ARMS: Your body should be positioned so that the band is taut when your arms are overhead. Arm positioning can be overhead as far as you can keep your spine in a neutral position and your shoulders are comfortable. This will be dependent on the length and strength of the band, where the band is anchored, and the mobility of your shoulders. You should be able to pull the upper arm down to your sides.
HAND/GRIP: Holding one end of the band in each hand with the forearm pronated (palms up), should be comfortable. The band should come from the thumb side of your hand and then cross your palm towards the little finger.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO Stability Ball Supine Band Lat Pull Downs
CUE: Concentrate on feeling your lats pull your arms down. Activate your core muscles and gluteus maximus to keep your spine in neutral.
Leading with your elbows, pull your upper arm down and towards the sides of your body.
The shoulder blades will come down and in towards your spine and your elbows will bend as your arm comes down.
Continue moving your upper arms down, in towards your torso and slightly behind your torso.
Pause at the end of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
Return to the starting position and release the bands. Lift your head up off of the ball, lowering your chin towards your chest. Continue to curl the spine up, lifting it off of the ball as you roll up. Use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself back into sitting.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH THE Swiss Ball Supine Band Lat Pulldown
Guess what? Good news! Many avoids are the same for most movements. Once you learn the basics, there's really only a few extra avoids for each individual movement.
1. Avoid Walking Out Too Far
AVOID: Walking out too far.
- This can strain the neck muscles.
WHAT TO DO:
- The upper back should stay on the ball to prevent too much pressure on the head.
2. Avoid Not Walking Out Far Enough
AVOID: Not walking out far enough.
- Some people avoid walking out too far because their torso and legs are weak.
- It is important to have the head supported with the neck in a neutral position to avoid straining the neck muscles.
WHAT TO DO:
- Walk out until the neck is in neutral and the weight of the head is comfortably supported on the ball.
3. Avoid Pelvis Hips Dropping
AVOID: Letting the pelvis/hips drop.
WHAT TO DO:
- Activate the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles to hold the hips in neutral.
- Push down into the floor with your feet.
- Try engaging the pelvic floor.
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE LATISSIMUS DORSI
Lat pulldowns are different from lat pushdowns in that you let your elbows bend, rather than keeping the arms straight. This motion lets you use more resistance than in a pushdown AND reduces how much the triceps contribute to the exercise.
Pulldowns work many muscles of the back and shoulders, with a focus on the largest muscle of the back, the latissimus dorsi - often referred to as the “lats”, while minimizing the work done by the triceps. Lat pulldowns involve stabilizing the torso while pulling the arms down and in towards the sides of the body (extension and adduction). This exercise trains posture and core stability, during the movement of the shoulder blade and arm.
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
TRAINS YOU TO LIFT MORE WEIGHT + REDUCE INJURY RISK
The latissimus dorsi is a large flat muscle that runs across your back from about mid spine all the way down to the pelvis, it crosses the bottom part of your shoulder blade and runs under your armpit to attach to the upper arm bone. The latissimus dorsi can pull the arm down and back (extension), in towards the body (adduction), and internally rotate the arm. The attachments to the spine and the pelvis make it an important muscle for holding the torso still - it is like a large back brace of muscle and fascia (fascia is thin, strong connective tissue).
Lat pulldowns involve stabilizing the torso while pulling the arms down. Training your core muscles, including the large lat to hold your torso still will allow you to move more weight and decrease your risk for injuries.
BALANCE OUT OUR COMMONLY TIGHT FRONTS
Not only do the lats stabilize the spine and move the arms, they also pull the shoulder blades down the back. This is important for healthy shoulder movement and good posture. Most of our daily activities involve working in front of us, using the muscles of the front of the body. The muscles on the front of the body pull the shoulders and the shoulder blades forward. It is important to balance this out by working the muscles of the back of the body that pull the shoulders and shoulder blades back.
TRAIN WHAT CONNECTS OUR UPPER & LOWER BODY - SEEMS LIKE A SMART THING TO DO?
The latissimus dorsi connects the upper body with the lower body, it is broad and covers more area than any other back muscle.
As such, it helps coordinate something called reciprocal movement of the arms and legs during walking and running, sports - like batting, golf, tennis. If that term is confusing, it was to me! I was like recipro-what? Insert raised eyebrow. This is just a technical term to describe the way in which we naturally move our bodies when doing things like walking- meaning when your right foot takes a step forward, your left arm naturally swings forward as well. And vice versa. This is what creates balanced movement for us along with a little momentum that helps propel us forward so that it doesn't require as much effort to move our bodies through space.
In more scientific speak, the force is transmitted from the ground, up the legs across the low back and to the arms - this is the cross pattern - one leg to the opposite arm - and the lat plays an important role in this. If this connection is weak it leads to decreased power, speed, poor posture, poor alignment of the lower body.
The lat also plays an important role in walking and running - it helps to coordinate the reciprocal movement between the arm and leg movement. When the lats are weak or tight, it can affect the activity of the gluteus maximus - resulting in a shorter walking stride - shorter steps because the leg is not moving behind the body as far. The lats connect the lower body to the upper body to transfer energy from your legs to your arms - think about swinging a bat or a golf club, you plant your foot and rotate the upper body to transfer all of the energy up and across to the other arm to hip the ball.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR LATS MUSCLES IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. PULLING THE ARM DOWN (EXTENSION FROM A FLEXED POSITION)
- Cross country skiing
- Chopping wood
- Golf swing
- Driving - turning the steering wheel
2. PULLING YOUR BODY UP WHILE KEEPING THE ARMS STABLE
- Using crutches
- Pushing up out of a chair
- Pushing yourself out of a pool (hands on edge of the pool)
3. MOVES AND STABILIZES THE SHOULDER BLADE - DURING ALL ARM MOVEMENTS
- Depresses (pulls down) the shoulder blade
- Holds the shoulder blade down to provide a stable base for your arm to work off of
4. HOLDS THE TORSO IN A HEALTHY UPRIGHT POSTURE
5. STABILIZES THE LOW BACK
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Sitting on a chair with a hard seat. Take your opposite hand and place it on your back (towards the side of the body) about 5 inches lower than the armpit. Place the hand on the side you will be working on the seat of the chair. Push down into the seat as if you were going to lift your bottom up off the seat. You should feel the latissimus dorsi contract.
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
This movement works the muscles of the back used to bring the arm down (against resistance) from an abducted position, to adduct the arm (move in towards the side of the body). This is a good exercise for training good posture and core stability, during the movement of the shoulder blade and arm. Along with the lower and mid traps, pectoralis major, rhomboids, and serratus anterior, the latissimus dorsi moves the shoulder blade down and inward as it pulls the arm down and in. This action will reinforce good movement patterns to keep the shoulder joint and soft tissues healthy.
The latissimus dorsi connects to the spine and pelvis through a strong layer of connective tissue, called the thoracolumbar fascia. Interestingly, the thoracolumbar fascia also attaches to the gluteus maximus, traps, and hamstrings. This connection ties in with the stability of the shoulder to the spine, the pelvis and the hips. The latissimus dorsi can pull the arm down and back, pull the arm in towards the body, internally rotate the arm, move and hold the scapula down, and when the arms are straight down and stable - it can lift the pelvis - as in crutch walking. The latissimus dorsi also plays a role in helping to expand the rib cage during inhalation (breathing in). It is an interesting muscle because, despite all that it can do, it depends on other muscles to help it out. So even though it is a very important muscle that can do a lot, it is not the sole muscle for any one of its functions. Because of this, the muscle can be in reconstruction or wound repair surgeries.
The lat attaches to the thoracolumbar fascia, so when the lat is tight it can pull the pelvis into an anterior tilt. An anterior pelvic tilt shortens the iliopsoas muscle - which is a hip flexor - when the iliopsoas muscle is tight it can limit hip extension, and lead to gluteus max weakness.
There is a bit of a chicken and egg thing here because weak glutes can cause an anteriorly tilted pelvis which can cause tightness of the iliopsoas and lats. it is the tight or hypertonic iliopsoas that limits the hip extension.
The posterior oblique sling is made up of the lat, thoracolumbar fascia, and the contralateral gluteus maximus. The thought (the research varies on the exact mechanism) is that when the arm moves forward and the contralateral leg moves forward (the reciprocal movement) the lat and glute are stretched - and the fascia is stretched. This increased tension on the muscles and fascia builds up kinetic energy in the tissues. The energy is released as the muscles shorten.
You can kind of feel this if you pull your finger back as far as possible and release it - it bounced back to the neutral position.
The lats run under the arm and internally rotate the upper arm. In a slouched posture the shoulders are forward and the upper arm is internally rotated. Tons of people have tight lats - they get stretched when you extend the arm up overhead, lengthen the spine, and with a posterior pelvic tilt. Many undertrained muscles are tight. There used to be a common belief that tight muscles were strong muscles and weak muscles were losers. This is not true. You can have weak and tight muscles.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Stability Ball Supine Lat Pulldown
There is a small amount of quadriceps femoris and gastrocnemius/soleus (calf) muscles concentric contraction as the knee is straightened and the ankle reaches forward to begin walking the feet out away from the ball. The hamstrings and tibialis anterior (shin muscle that dorsiflexes- pulls the foot up) contract concentrically to bend the knee and ankle to pull the lower body off of the ball as the torso rolls down onto the ball.
The hamstring and gluteus maximus contract to push the pelvis up. The abdominal muscles are working to control the movement as the spine rolls down from upright sitting to supine (face up) on the ball - the upper back and head supported on the ball, the low back and pelvis off of the ball. The muscles of the core - extensor spinae, deep spinal extensors (semispinalis, multifidi, rotatores, interspinales and intertransversarii), quadratus lumborum, obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis all contribute to holding the spine in neutral. Pelvic floor can help if you work on activating it. The hip muscles work to hold the pelvis level: iliopsoas, adductors magnus, brevis, and longus, gracilis, gluteus maximus,medius.
The arms begin overhead, neutral shoulder position (no internal or external rotation). In this position the shoulder blade is rotated upward and pulled slightly into protraction - this is passive - no muscle activity because the resistance of the band is holding the arm in this position.
The latissimus dorsi and teres major work concentrically to pull the arm down from abduction, the lower fibers of the pectoralis major also help when there is enough resistance. As the arm comes down the biceps contribute to bend the elbows. The mid trap, lower trap, rhomboids and serratus anterior work to move the shoulder blade to control the positioning of the shoulder joint, including retracting (pulling towards the spine) and depressing (pulling down the back) and rotating the shoulder blade down and to hold the shoulder blade to provide a stable base for the arm to move off of.
To return to the starting position the same muscles will work eccentrically to reverse the motions and control the pull of the band as the arms are lifted back up. The hamstrings and tibialis anterior (shin muscle that dorsiflexes- pulls the foot up) contract concentrically to bend the knee and ankle to step back and the quadriceps femoris and gastrocnemius/soleus (calf muscles) work to push the body back as the rectus abdominis and iliopsoas (hip flexor) work to flex the spine and pull the torso back into upright sitting.