Choosing the Right Pulldown
For a bodybuilder there are so many options of grips, but not enough time to do them all. Pulldowns, which help expand the lats, can be a tough one to decide on. They can fuel the upper lats, but which exercise works the best in shaping that V-taper is difficult to figure out.>
You need to firmly plant an overhand grip, as wide apart as possible, on a lat bar attached to the high pulley of a lat pulldown machine. While you pull the bar down, make sure that you keep your chest straight up and your lower back arched and pull your shoulder blades together. Try to maintain this contracted position for some time and then gradually release the hold to withdraw to the initial position.
For this, you need an underhand grip, of roughly shoulder length, on a lat bar attached to the high pulley of a lat pulldown machine. Again, while you pull the bar down, make sure to keep your chest straight up and your lower back bent. This time however, you need to stick your elbows close to your torso while you draw them far back as much as possible. In this technique too you need to pull your shoulder blades together. When you have reached as far as possible, try to hold the position for some time before withdrawing back to initial position gradually.
Proof of Effectiveness
When you do the wide-grip overhand pulldowns, your elbows move from above the shoulders down towards the sides of the torso, but during its motion, it remains parallel to the torso. For this particular motion, the upper lat muscle fibers and teres major work most efficiently. This was discovered by a research conducted at the University of Miami. While performing an underhand-grip pulldown, the elbows move above the behind the back above the shoulders. In this case, the lower lat muscle fibers work most efficiently.
Building a Wide Back
If you want to build a wide back, then go for the wide-grip overhand pulldown. It focuses on the upper lat fibers and the teres major, which develops your body making your lats look like wings. On the other hand, the underhand grip pulldown focuses on the lower lat muscle fibers, which gives the body a cool look of full lats all the way down to the waist. For best results, perform both exercises regularly during your back programs if you want a full lat development.