Supine Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdown
How to Do the Floor Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdown | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS] Beginner
Proper Form, Common Mistakes, & Variations | Home Resistance Training
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
MUSCLES THIS WORKS
MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN Supine Straight Arm Lat Pushdown
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Teres major
- Lower and mid trapezius
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Pulling our straight arm down from overhead while lying on our backs.
Alert alert! This is a laying down exercise yo. Yay.
This Floor Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdown exercise can significantly improve posture and back pain while also helping to increase back strength. This lat pushdown variation can be done lying on your back (supine). In this position, the stabilizing muscles of the back will not have to work very hard because they are being supported by the floor. You should be able to really concentrate on feeling the lats pushing your arms down. The floor will prevent any movement behind the torso. The supine position can be done with a relatively low anchor for the band, and the position may allow you to use a heavier resistance band because your body is being stabilized by the floor.
HOW TO DO THE EXERCISE
HOW Supine Straight Arm Lat Pushdown SHAPE OUR BODY
Good posture, slim V waist (hourglass figure).
PROPER FORM: Floor Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdown
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
Wash cloth for neck support
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Medium resistance bands
SETS & REPS:
High load (heavier resistance band) 2 sets of 8; medium resistance band 2 sets of 15
Moderate pulling down and slower return.
BODY POSITION FOR THE Supine Straight Arm Lat Pushdown
BAND: Anchored low, about 12-18 inches from the floor. Band is coming from behind your head when lying down, your body should be positioned so that the band is taut when your arms are up overhead - you will need to play around with positioning - the goal is to start with your arms up overhead but also to be able to bring your arms all the way down to the hips.
BODY STANCE: Lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Neutral spine, sternum lifted, space between the top of your shoulder and your earlobe.
HAND/GRIP: Wrap one end of the band around each hand. The band should come from the thumb side of your hand and cross your palm.
ARMS: Arms are straight. Back of shoulders pressed into the floor, arms up overhead (depending on comfort and how much tension is on the band - the goal is to push the upper arms all the way to the torso.
NOTE on shoulder blade retraction/depression in supine positions:
Full shoulder range of motion comes from movement of the shoulder joint - the humerus and the "socket" which is the glenoid fossa on the shoulder blade, and the shoulder blade moving on the ribcage. 2/3 or the movement or about 120 degrees comes from the arm moving, and 1/3 or about 60 degrees comes from your shoulder blade rotating upward. If you hold your shoulder blades down and in they won't be able to rotate up and contribute to get full shoulder flexion or abduction. If you hold your shoulder blades down you would be able to get to 120 degrees of arm movement - if you try to go further but you are holding the shoulder blade down so it can't rotate up then the movement will come from extension of the thoracic spine - the upper back arches and the ribs stick out. (ie so for movements where the upper arm needs to be higher overhead in supine, that means the shoulder blade needs to be allowed to start in a rotated up position).
Any shoulder movement where you start with the shoulders at 90 degrees of flexion or abduction would be done with the shoulder blades in and down the back - like the skull crushers.
So arm position will determine where your shoulder blades are - the beginning of the movement from 0 degrees (right by your sides) up to 90 degrees is all movement of the humerus. Some literature says that the shoulder blade begins moving at 100 degrees, and other literature says the shoulder blades start moving close to 120 degrees of flexion or abduction. This is really easy to feel - pull your shoulder blades down and hold them in place and try to lift your arm, then let the shoulder blades move and you will be able to move the arm all the way up.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO Floor Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdowns
CUE: Allow the band to pull your arms up for a little lat stretch in the starting position.
Push your arms down, pulling your shoulder blades down and in as your arms come down. Keep your arms close to the sides of your body.
As your hands approach your hips, squeeze your upper arm in towards the side of your body to get a good lat contraction. Rotate your shoulder in a bit towards the end of the movement.
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. Roll on to your side and push up with your arms to sitting, move into kneeling, put one leg forward and push up to standing.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH Floor Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdowns
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 Rounding Shoulders
AVOID: Rounding the shoulders.
- Lifting the back of the shoulder off of the floor can result in shoulder impingement
- Exercising in poor posture (rounded shoulders) will work the muscles on the front of the torso, not the muscles of the back.
- This will encourage poor posture.
2. Avoid Arching/Extending Neck
AVOID: Arching the neck or pushing the head into the floor.
- This can strain the neck muscles and encourage forward head posture.
WHAT TO DO:
- Try to monitor the neck throughout the exercise because it is fairly common to let the chin come up and then the neck arches.
- Place a folded washcloth under your head or neck to adjust the position.
3. Avoid Arching/Extending Spine
AVOID: Arching your low back.
- Maintain a neutral spine position to prevent low back joint injury, muscle strain or damage over time.
- Promotes poor posture If your ribs lower ribs flare upwards - this indicates you are arching your low back.
WHAT TO DO:
- Activate your lower abdominals to hold your low back in a neutral spine position
VARIATIONS OF Supine Straight Arm Band Lat Pushdowns
Tabletop lat pushdown
Tabletop Supine straight Arm Pushdown
The tabletop position will challenge the abdominal muscles by removing the legs so that they are unable to help stabilize the torso.
Additionally, the abdominal muscles must hold the spine in neutral against the pull of the legs being held out.
Lie on the floor, knees bent with the feet on the floor. Activate the abdominals and lift one leg up to the tabletop position - hip and knee at 90 degrees. Lift the second leg up to line up with the first leg. Hold the position as you complete the exercise.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE Latissimus Dorsi
ISOLATE THOSE LATS
This is one of my own personal favorite lat exercises - I do it at home very frequently. In the straight arm lat pushdown the arms begin stretched up in front of you and the lat muscles work to pull the arms down to your sides. This movement is the same movement as the arm movement of a swim stroke - the arm is pulled down, close to the body and rotates a little bit in at the end. The lat muscles help in all of these movements.
The benefit of the straight arm version of the lat pushdown is that it really isolates the lat and works it through a larger range of movement compared to the bent arm lat pulldown. The arms are straight and are being brought down very close to the body so there is less (if any) contribution from the other muscles (biceps and the rear deltoid). this is because:
- Larger range because starting above/oh (vs a lat row is only starting from 90 degrees relative shoulder flexion)
- If the arm were bent/bending instead of straight it would get more biceps
- If the arm were further from body instead of close it would get more rear delt - YES exactly from carol.
The arms are angled out - in the scapular plane - with the hands outside of the shoulders - so they pull the upper arm down into adduction by the sides of the body towards the hips.
If the upper arm was straight to the front - then it would be more pec - not the scapular plane (the frontal plane) than in flexion (the sagittal plane) the hand position can be varied with the amount of elbow flexion. So with the dowel and perfectly straight elbows the hands will be further apart.
WHY BOTHER DOING IT?
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
WORKING OUR BACK COUNTERACTS ALL THE STUFF WE DO MORE TO OUR FRONTS
Straight arm lat pushdowns are a great way for training the muscles of the back. This is especially important when you think about how much of your day you spend working in front of your body, driving, using the computer, lifting, carrying, cooking, and cleaning. These are all activities that work the muscles on the front of the body, which tend to be strong and tight, pulling people into stooped posture with rounded shoulders. The situation can be made worse when we work out. Many people focus on exercises for their arms and chest but don’t really think about the muscles on our backs. It is important to balance all of that out, by working the muscles on the back of the body.
THE LATS CONNECT TO A BUNCH OF BODY PARTS = IT'S IMPORTANT TO HOW OUR BODY MOVES
The Latissimus dorsi means widest (latissimus) back (dorsi). The muscle is usually just called the lats. They are the largest back muscles, shaped somewhat like a big wing or triangle lying across much of the back. The lat muscle actually connects to the pelvis, the spine, the shoulder blade, and the arm, making it an important back muscle that not only affects posture, but also plays a big role in the movement of the shoulders and the legs.
The latissimus dorsi muscle is an important connection between your upper and lower body and your back muscles and abdominal muscles. The lat is the only muscle that connects the arm to the spine - the spine is the main support beam for the body, it helps to provide the arm with a stable base to work off of so that it can lift heavier loads and have more control.
It connects the upper body with the lower body, it is broad so it covers more area than any other back muscle. It helps to coordinate the reciprocal movement of the arms and legs during walking and running, sports - like batting, golf, tennis, - 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 transverse abdominis is very similar to the lat in its connections and also connects to the thoracolumbar fascia.
HELPS WITH WALKING & RUNNING
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.
AVOID NECK, SHOULDER & BACK PAIN BY KEEPING BACK MUSCLES STRONG
Too much focus on the muscles on the front of the body without working the muscles of the back can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, even carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis or golfer’s elbow. When the muscles on the front of the chest (pectoralis, anterior deltoid, biceps, coracobrachialis) are tight or worked more than the muscles (stronger - creating an imbalance) of the back, they can pull the shoulders, shoulder blades, and upper back forward, and cause the arms to roll forward and in. This results in slouched posture - a flat low back, rounded upper back, rounded shoulders, and a forward head position. Over time this poor posture will irritate the joints, nerves and soft tissues of the spine and shoulders, and will work the muscles differently - creating more imbalances between the muscles.
The straight arm lat pushdown works many of the muscles on the back, and trains them to hold the torso upright, and the shoulders back as the arms move. When you learn to exercise correctly you realize that exercising is not just about strengthening muscles, but it is about learning how to move in everyday life. This exercise is a good way to learn how to use the power of the torso to help move the arms.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR latissimus dorsi MUSCLES IN EVERYDAY LIFe
1. PULLING THE ARM DOWN FROM BEING IN FRONT (MOVING FROM FLEXION TO EXTENSION) OR TO THE SIDE OF THE BODY (MOVING FROM ABDUCTION TO ADDUCTION)
- Rowing yourself on a pool floatie on your summer camping vacation at the lake - face down or up!
- Kayaking - moving the paddle down & back behind you, and to keep torso upright against the pull
- Cross country skiing
- Chopping wood
- Golf swing
- Driving - turning the steering wheel
- Scraping snow off your car (i should be thankful I don’t have a garage, it’s keeping my backside on shape!)
- Resists arms being pulled up (resisting abduction)- like a large dog that is walking on your side and starts pulling on the leash to go chase a squirrel. I can't tell you how many people have torn their rotator cuff muscles because of dogs pulling on their leashes!
2. LIFTING YOUR BODY UP WHILE KEEPING THE ARMS STABLE
- Pushing up out of a chair
- Pushing yourself out of a pool (hands on edge of pool)
- Climbing past larger boulders on a hiking trail
- Using crutches
3. MOVES AND STABILIZES THE SHOULDER BLADE
- Depresses (pulls down) the shoulder blade: arm movements that involve pulling the arm down
- Holds the shoulder blade down to provide a stable base for your arm to work off of: using crutches, holding or carrying objects in front of you.
4. HOLDS THE TORSO IN HEALTHY UPRIGHT POSTURE
The lat is more of a secondary player for this, the erector spinae, glute max, and multifidi do most of the work - and the fascia and ligaments do a ton of work passively.
5. GAIT - PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN RECIPROCAL ARM AND LEG MOVEMENT DURING GAIT
The lat influences glute max activity through the thoracolumbar fascia (connective tissue that attaches to the spine and pelvis)
6. STABILIZES THE LOW BACK
HOW TO FEEL WHAT MUSCLE IS WORKING
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 of 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
The latissimus dorsi is a large broad muscle of the back used to bring the arm down (against resistance) from a flexed position, adduct the arm (move in towards the side of the body), and internally rotate the upper arm. The muscle begins at the mid-back (the lower 6 thoracic vertebrae, the lower 4 ribs) and attaches to the pelvis through the (thoracolumbar - mid to low back) fascia (connective tissue). This is a powerful muscle that works to pull the arm down from a flexed position. The latissimus dorsi supports the low back to provide a stable base for healthy joint mechanics of the shoulders, hips, and upper and lower back. Along with the lower and mid traps, rhomboids, and pectoralis major, the latissimus dorsi acts to move the shoulder blade down and inward for normal shoulder joint mechanics during arm use.
The lat is more of a secondary player for this - the erector spinae, glute max, and multifidi do most of the work - and the fascia and ligaments do a ton of work passively. In the end section under the science stuff, I had put that there really isn't anything that the lat is does that cannot be done by other muscles - so it (a graft from it, not the whole thing) is commonly used in surgeries when muscle flaps are needed. Basically, any function of the lat can be done by some other muscle. The thoracolumbar fascia is what connects the lat to the spine, pelvis, glutes - so even without the lats, it would function to help support the spine.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Supine Straight Arm Lat Pushdown
The core (abdominals and lumbar region) muscles and leg muscles are active throughout to stabilize the body against the resisted movement of the arms.
The arms begin out to the front of the body, 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 push the arm down, the lower fibers of the pectoralis major and triceps can help when there is enough resistance. 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.
Towards the end of the movement, the triceps may be activated (isometrically) to hold the elbow straight as the band pulls on the hands. The upper arm is slightly internally rotated - this involves the latissimus dorsi, infraspinatus and teres minor muscles.
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.