STARTING POSITION: Sit in the machine and anchor your body by securing your thighs under the pad. Brace your core and abdominal muscles to stabilize the spine. Grasp the bar with the hands wider than shoulder-width, palms facing forward and thumbs wrapped around the bar. With your elbows straight overhead, pull your shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow your back to arch. Lean back slightly. Keep your feet on firmly on the floor and your head aligned with your spine. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.
Exhale. The downward pull begins from the shoulder blades pulling down. The movement downward continues as you pull the bar to the top or mid-section of your chest. Pull the bar in a motion that brings your elbows toward the sides of your torso, driving your elbows toward the floor. Do not lean back any further as you pull the bar down.
Pull the bar down until the bar nears or touches your chest, or more importantly, when your elbows are no longer moving downward, but are beginning to move backward. Any further pulling at this point places additional stress into the shoulder joint.?
Pause briefly. In a slow and controlled manner, straighten your elbows and return the bar to starting position, finally allowing your shoulder blades to rise slightly. Repeat.
Exercise Variation: Perform the exercise in a standing position with your feet in a staggered-stance (walking position). Maintain a slight bend in your knees and shift your weight back onto your rear leg to create the backward lean. Avoid flexing (bending) forward at the hips during the pulling movement.
This exercise targets the major back muscles effectively, but should be performed without compromise to the shoulder or low back. Follow the instructions provided to reduce the stress placed upon these two areas.