Auxiliary lifts are special exercise that are sport specific and help prevent common injuries. One auxiliary exercise that BFS has been promoting for the past four decades is the lat pulldown, which may seem odd as most coaches would consider it a bodybuilding or general fitness exercise. Some even believe that it's a harmful exercise that may cause injury. Let's look at the facts.
"The lats are the only muscle that connects the arms to the lower body. This anatomical uniqueness has many implications to athletic performance."
As far as biomechanics, the movements that occur when you pull the bar down are as follows: Elbow flexion, Shoulder adduction and horizontal abduction, and scapulae retraction and downward rotation. When you return the bar to the start, your movements change to the following: elbow extension, shoulder abduction and horizontal adduction, and scapulae protraction and upward rotation.
Most sports don't require climbing, so why are lats important? First, the lats are the only muscle that connects the arms to the lower body. This anatomical uniqueness has many implications to athletic performance. If you want to throw a baseball faster, hit a golf ball harder, or swim with more power, you need to train your lats...