How to Prevent or Get Rid of a Hump Back
Recently, I have been amazed to see so many people, adults and teens, walking around with bulging backs. Growing up, I used to think only very old people got hump backs. As we age, the back is one of the first muscles to weaken. But the ‘Lat’ Pulldown is an excellent exercise to remedy this problem.
The ‘Lat’ Pulldown is an exercise performed primarily for the back although the shoulders and arms are involved as well. In most gyms, there is a cable pulldown machine with 10 pound increment adjustable weights and a seat. The ‘Lat’ Pulldown exercise gets its name from the target muscle group it works: Latissimus dorsi which lies on either side of the middle to upper back.
Begin by sitting on the seat and adjust the thigh pads so that the quads above the knees sit comfortably under the support. This position is to prevent the knees from rising up as you exert effort to pull the bar down. Using a wide grip, grasp the cable bar overhand with your knuckles pointing up to the ceiling. Your thighs should rest comfortably under the support base of the seat. You should just be able to reach the bar when you stretch your arms up. A slight stretch upward to grab the bar is not harmful, but you don’t want the bar too high that you have to drag it down under pressure in order to sit down.
• Start by keeping your back straight, pull the bar down to chin level or a little lower to your clavical bone just under your chin and pull your shoulder blades together. Do NOT force the bar any lower than where the shoulders are naturally. You should not push the arms forward out of the vertical plane in order to drag the bar lower.
• Slowly return the bar to full height and repeat the exercise.
• When your set is finished, don’t suddenly release the bar and clash the weights. Stand up in order to settle the weights without clashing if necessary.
Things to consider during the exercise.
• Do NOT sway too far back when pulling down. A little is okay in order to fit the bar under the chin but don’t sway back to get it lower.
• Do NOT pull down behind the neck. For several reasons this could be dangerous. The shoulder and neck joints may end up in positions in which they are vulnerable to injury.