The lats, often referred to as “wings” make up a large portion of the musculature for the back. This powerful muscle group is very important to train as it has a strong effect on enhancing correct posture and creating muscular balance within the upper body. The Lat Pulldown is one of the most classic exercises to target the lats. It is a favorite amongst bodybuilders, and for good reason- it works! To perform the exercise:

Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move.

After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.

Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

So get out there and earn those wings! Doing this exercise in combination with others such as the seated cable row, lat sweeps, and pull- ups will help to deliver a nicely sculpted back.