Lat Machine Back and Forward | Holds and Exercises for the Back Muscles

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Joe Dispenza

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By the healthiergang writer , certified personal trainer and athlete ().

Machine lat

La Machine lat is a very important isotonic machine that, like dumbbells and barbells, but in a guided way, allows you to train the back muscles.

The muscles involved in the exercises with the lat machine are mainly the Great Dorsal and Great Round if using the wide handle of the bar in pronated grip (and forward pull), the brachial biceps (in addition to the two aforementioned) especially if the handle of the bar is tight and the grip supinated (i.e. with the palms facing the face), in addition of course to the pectoral grandis, posterior deltoid, rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius, bracoradialis biceps, then basically all the muscles of the scapulo-humeral girdle.

Let's see what they are the fundamental exercises that we can carry out with this machine, the very important precautions and errors that must be avoided when approaching it.

First of all it must be said that the main thing when you sit at a machine, even if it guides us in the correct execution of the exercises, is not only to take the bar and pull it to the chest. Important precautions may to underestimate are in fact the position of the sitting (therefore also in the first place the height of the saddle), the type of grip (whether pronated or supinated or neutral), the breathing, the position of the torso, shoulders, head.

The machine can also be used standing or kneeling, the mobility of the athlete and the situation of his lumbar area must be substantially taken into account: the sitting position tends to be preferred.

If the subject has more or less physiological lordosis (forward curvature of the spine) the feet will be positioned a little forward of the torso line to maintain a "natural" lordosis line.

Subjects with curvature "kyphoticInstead, they will favor a position of the feet and knees a little more backward. Generally not recommended to point the knees under the rollers, in these cases the execution force will increase and so the workloads, but the great dorsal will work less at the expense of the lumbar vertebrae.

Technique of Execution

As for the execution technique, there are essentially 2 errors not to be committed, in order not to compromise other areas not directly affected by the lat machine exercises, which therefore do not may solicited.

# 1 Always back upright

The back must always be kept vertical, or alone slightly inclined: it is true that the inclination of the torso even almost horizontally is considered "cheating" (therefore tolerated), when used, however, by very expert athletes who need to exponentially increase the load and pay little attention to the execution technique.

Actually this way you go to load on lumbar spine and to use other muscles in traction together with the lats, considered "accessories" as they come into play only to allow the great dorsal to lift an extreme load compared to its normal potential. Also remember that the shoulders should never be kept in play, therefore they should always be kept basse, so as not to load on deltoide.

# 2 Limit of movement

The limit of movement must be respected e mai get over it : in the traction phase, when the bar reaches the chest, the elbows must reach the waist and the forearms must always be kept vertical; if it is exceeded by widening the elbows and bringing the forearms in a horizontal position, it will load and damage the rotator cuff.

Exercises: Lat Machine Avanti

This is a very useful exercise especially for beginner athletes who have not yet developed their back muscles abundantly, and therefore, by selecting the appropriate load, are able to progressively develop adequate muscles thanks to the guided functionality of this machine (the pull ups in fact, another important exercise for the lats, they are more suitable for an athlete with advanced muscle level and should only be performed in a subsequent phase of muscle strengthening).

Exercise it is performed seated, straight or slightly sloping back (for the reasons explained above); grab the bar, with a handle a little wider than the shoulders, and perform the traction until you go down to the sternum, firmly contracting the dorsal muscles for a few seconds at the peak of the descent phase, and then accompanying with a slow motion the bar up to the starting position, being very careful not to let it go suddenly (the movement must always be checked even in the eccentric contraction phase).

Also the lumbar area it must always be kept contracted in order to avoid dangerous stretching. The biceps, as mentioned, work as complementary muscles in the pulling phase


The arms in the initial phase of the movement can be kept extended above the head, but only if DON'T there is tension in the muscles of the great dorsal, trapezius and rhomboids that can limit joint mobility.

Similarly in the descent phase, the movement (R.O.M. range of motion, i.e. degree or range of motion) should be limited if you have limited muscle mobility intrarotators shoulder; the neck and head, in the concentric phase, must always be kept still, with the gaze turned forward or slightly upwards, in order to avoid dangerous cervical tension; in the completion of the concentric phase, the complete movement foresees a good rotation of the shoulder which always remains in line with the elbow.

In case of shoulder stiffness instead it is better not to accentuate it, (because in this case the shoulder will tend to move forward while the elbow will slide below it), but to limit it until the elbow and shoulder are able to remain aligned.

Lastly: the width of the handle it can also generally depend on the length of the arms and the mobility of the shoulder; in the descent and peak phase of the movement, the wrists must always be kept straight and aligned, and according to this it is therefore important to set the width on the bar before the start of the exercise

Lat Machine Narrow Reverse Grip

The difference with the previous exercise is only in the grip, supinated, and in the holding of the bar, which is narrower than the width of the shoulders. As an alternative to the bar you can also use a pulley. Despite these small variations, however, the substance of the exercise changes little, the muscle involvement remains almost unchanged.

For both exercises always remember to I will exhale in the descending phase of traction (concentric), and of inspirare in the accompanying phase of the bar in the initial position (eccentric)

Exercises: Lat Machine Behind

And the Lat machine behind?

In this exercise the difference lies in the bar that is not brought forward at the height of the chest, but behind, at the height of the neck: I believe this exercise extremely harmful, as the traction behind the neck unnaturally involves the elbows, which must necessarily move about 10 cm behind the shoulder, thus also causing an incorrect inclination of the arms with respect to the torso: it follows that, in the long run , this unnatural movement causes the crushing of theacromion clavicolare by the supraspinatus muscle.

THEconsequent inflammation it can appear even after years and even in subjects who perform the exercise without ever feeling discomfort, so it should be strongly discouraged.

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