Stiff-Arm Pull-Downs

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Stiff-arm pulldowns need to be performed in a very particular way for the maximum possible efficiency. Learn about stiff-arm pulldowns with help from a celebrity personal trainer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Professional Training Tips
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Robert Brace, Creator of The 28-Day Challenge DVD Fitness System and I'm here with eHow today to show you how to do a stiff-arm pull-down. The stiff-arm pull-down is a great exercise because it works your back mainly the latissimus dorsi muscles and you can also get residual effects in your triceps and in your core, depending on how you maintain proper form. Proper form is key to this exercise. Okay. So, let's go ahead. First thing you want to do is figure out your stance. You want to keep your feet a little bit wider than hip width apart. Okay. You're going to bend your knees a little, slightly so that you don't affect your, your lower back and you're going to keep the abdomen and core nice, taut and tight so that your body doesn't move around during the whole exercise. Next thing you're going to do, you're going to take your arms a little bit wider than hip width apart and you want to make sure that the weight that you choose is not too heavy. And we'll talk a little bit about how you determine that in a second. So, you take your arms a little bit wider than hip width apart. You start off keeping the arms in line with the shoulders parallel to the floor. Your chest is up, shoulder blades are back, abs pulled in and you secure on the floor. You go straight down with these arms, pull them all the way down straight, all the way to the end 'till the bar hits your thighs and then you come back up so that your arms are in line with your shoulders. And again, you push straight down, chest up, shoulders back, arms absolutely straight, back is fully engaged and you come all the way back up. Now, the great thing about this exercise is that you'll also feels some residual work in your triceps. The triceps are in fully extension and so you pull down and extend, okay, and then all the way back up. And one more time. Now, what's key is choosing weights that are right for your body. One, you don't want to injure yourself, you don't want to pull any muscles and you want to make sure that you really are targeting the target area which is the latissimus dorsi. So, how you do that is you choose a weight that is right for your body. If it's too heavy, chances are your shoulders are going to roll over as you try to get the weight down. That's a big no no and also it takes the pressure out of your back which is what you're trying to work. The other thing is you'll end up bending your elbows just to get the weight down. Again, another no no. You're not working your back and you could be straining other parts of your body and it brings you out of the optimal form for this movement. Okay. So, one more time, I'll show you how to do the right way. Chest is up, shoulder blades back, slight bend in the knees, arms slightly wider than the shoulders, feet slightly wider than the hips and you pull down absolutely straight, squeeze that back, look straight forward and then back up. And one more time. Arms absolutely straight, you squeeze that back and make sure those shoulders don't roll in. Keeping back here, then, right back up to shoulder height. That's how you do the stiff-arm pull-down. My name is Robert Brace, Creator of The 28-Day Challenge. You can find my workout at; that's and have fun with the stiff-arm pull down.


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