Behind the neck pull-downs vs Traditional pull-downs
Stop doing. Generally speaking, pulldown exercises target the back muscles, which are a large muscle group that normally requires relatively heavy weight. The problem starts when you pull the weight behind the neck. In this instance, you have no option but to crank your neck forward, putting lots of tension on it. Plus your shoulders get into a very awkward position. The reality is, behind the neck pull-downs have no particular advantages compared to traditional pull-downs, where you pull the weight down to your chest instead.
Start doing. Traditional pull-downs are a great exercise for your upper body strength, targeting the back and bicep muscles using the body’s natural position and moves that are more natural.
- Sit on a bench facing the pull-down machine;
- Grab the bar with a wide grip;
- Pull your shoulder blades back and down, bringing the bar to your chest;
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
Make sure that you adjust the weight correctly. If you find that you have to lean back to complete the pull-down, you’ve probably gotten a little too ambitious with the weight.