Why Do I Feel Lat Pulldowns In My Biceps? Problem Solved For Rapid Progress

L J Kudos
Why Do I Feel Lat Pulldowns In My Biceps?

Why Do I Feel Lat Pulldowns In My Biceps? Problem Solved For Rapid Progress

Have you ever done a lat pulldown and felt the muscles in your biceps working? If you’re like me, you probably wondered why that is.

Is it because the biceps are helping to do the work on the lat pulldown? Or is it because the movement of the lat pulldown is causing them to work?

It’s well worth getting to the bottom of the problem, because if you’re feeling your biceps working on lat pulldowns, then it’s likely that you’re not getting the most out of the exercise.

In this post, I’ll explore why we feel lat pulldowns in our biceps and what you can do to make sure that your biceps aren’t doing too much work.

Why do I feel lat pulldowns in my biceps?

The simple answer is that you’re probably not doing the lat pulldown correctly. There are a few key things that you need to do to make sure that you’re doing the lat pulldown correctly, such as your grip and grip width, making sure you’re using your scapula and avoiding excessive leaning back. You need to use the full range of motion and do the exercise slowly and controlled, while also making sure that you aren’t rushing the movement in any way. You may find that you are trying to lower the bar more than the exercise requires you to (below the chest area). It’s also worth considering whether you have any imbalances that could be causing your biceps to work overtime. For example – if you have tightness in your shoulders, this could be causing your biceps to work harder than they need to. If you’re using too much weight, then your biceps will have to work harder to help you move the weight. This is why it’s important to use a weight that you can handle without compromising your form. If your form is poor, then this will also put extra strain on your biceps.

Let’s now look at each of these points in more detail and ways you can improve your lat pulldown technique to avoid feeling it in your biceps.

Poor form

One of the main reasons why you may feel lat pulldowns in your biceps is because of poor form, which could be down to several things. 

When doing the exercise, you need to make sure that you use a full range of motion and are sitting upright.

You should also grip the bar with your palms facing away and make sure that your grip width is not too wide or too narrow.

You need to engage your scapula to help with the movement, pull the weight down leading with your elbows (more on this shortly) and avoid using momentum to move the weight. Instead, the movement should be slow and controlled. 

Some of the problems people face are as follows:

Going too heavy

If you’re using too heavy a weight, then your biceps will have to work harder to help you move the weight and will do so by any means possible.

Going too heavy will also seriously compromise your form and could lead to injury. So, make sure that you use a weight that you can handle without compromising your form. 

If you are new to the exercise, it may take you a little time to find the correct weight, not just with regards to being able to pull the weight down, but being able to pull the weight down while using the correct form is another thing altogether.

Starting relatively light is a great way to get the exercise down at first, then look to increase the weight and volume over a certain length of time. 

Remember, think about what your goals are and work towards them, gradually and consistently increasing the weight and volume (reps and sets) you do as your strength improves.

Lifting heavy just for the sake of it can have serious consequences long term and can put your training back months if you get injured trying to lift a weight you have no business doing.

Starting slowly will pay off in the end, so begin with low weights and volume. As you get stronger, raise the weight and number of reps.

why do i feel lat pulldowns in my biceps

Lack of correct technique

If you don’t engage your scapula when doing the exercise, then this will put additional strain on your lower back and biceps. The scapula helps to stabilise the shoulder joint and taking this away will place more strain on other areas. 

To engage your scapula, simply retract and depress them when you begin the exercise. This will help you to maintain a good posture throughout the movement and take some of the strain away from your lower back and biceps. 

Another issue people face is not leading with their elbows when they pull the weight down, which can cause their biceps to work overtime.

To fix this, simply focus on leading with your elbows and keeping them close to your sides as you pull the weight down. This will help to take some of the strain away from your biceps and place it more on your latissimus dorsi (lats).

You want to think of not pulling the weight with your arms but instead, think of pulling your elbows straight down towards the floor.

Doing this will force your body to engage the scapula and do the exercise correctly. 

Related: Why Are My Pull Ups Uneven?

Bad posture

If you have bad posture and lean back excessively when doing the exercise, then this will put additional strain on your biceps.

It may feel like you’re getting a better range of motion by leaning back, but all this is doing is placing unnecessary strain on your biceps and lower back.

We have all seen those people at the gym pulling a huge load, but in doing so, they look like they are rowing for Olympic gold! 

To fix this, make sure that you sit upright and maintain a good posture throughout the movement. You should only lean back slightly, and this should only happen at the bottom of the movement.

Leaning back excessively will also take away some of the tension from the lats, which is why you want to avoid doing it. 

Once again, make sure you are using a weight that you can pull down with good technique, without compromising your form.

Rushing the movement

If you try to rush the movement and don’t do it slowly and controlled, then this can lead to injury. It’s important to remember that this is an exercise and not a race!

Rushing the movement will take away some of the tension from the lats, which is why you want to avoid doing it. You should be taking at least 2-3 seconds to lower the weight and 1-2 seconds to raise it back up. 

Making sure you let the bar raise back to its starting position until your arms are straight and fully extended, then pull the weight down leading with your elbows, while keeping your shoulders back and your back straight.

You also see people not fully letting the bar back up, which takes away the tension from the lats, encourages extra tension on the biceps and means you aren’t using the full range of motion too.

This is why it’s so important to use a weight that you can control and do the exercise slowly and with good technique. 

Lat pulldowns are a great exercise for building strength and size in your back, but only if done correctly.

Grip importance

Gripping too tight will take away some of the tension from the lats and place it on your forearm muscles. You want to grip the bar tight enough so that it doesn’t slip out of your hands, but not so tight that your forearms start to fatigue before your lats.

The best way to find the right grip is to experiment with different grip widths and see what feels best for you. A good starting point is to grip the bar with your palms facing towards you (supinated grip) and your hands just outside shoulder-width apart.

You can also experiment with using an underhand grip (palms facing away from you), which some people find puts less strain on the wrists and elbow joints.

I do find that certain grips can feel uncomfortable and cumbersome, which is why I like to remove my thumbs from the equation. What I mean by this is that I will grip the bar with my palms facing away from me and my hands just outside shoulder-width apart, but I won’t wrap my thumbs around the bar, like an old skool monkey grip.

I find this gives me more of a natural grip and feels much more comfortable. You may want to experiment with different grips and see what feels best for you.

Are you sitting in the correct position?

The starting position is just as important as the ending position. You want to make sure that you are sitting in the correct position before you start the movement.

If you’re not, then this can take away some of the tension from the lats and place it on other muscles, which is why you want to avoid it.

To sit in the correct position, you want to make sure that you are sitting upright and that your back is against the pad. You also want to make sure that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and that your feet are flat on the floor.

From here, you can then grab the bar with your chosen grip and start the movement, while also engaging your core muscles to help support your lower back.

If you find that you’re leaning too far forward or backwards, then this can take away some of the tension from the lats and place it on other muscles, which is why you want to avoid it.

why do i feel lat pulldowns in my biceps

Lowering the bar too far

You want to make sure that you are lowering the bar down to your chest and not below it. This is because if you lower the bar down further, then you aren’t using the full range of motion and this can lead to injury.

Anatomically speaking, if you are engaging the scapula and pulling the bar with your elbows, then realistically you won’t be able to lower the bar below the chest area. As your body wont be physically able to do so, so bear that in mind.

You also want to make sure that you are lowering the bar under control and not just yanking it down towards you. This is because if you don’t control the weight correctly, then you aren’t using the correct muscles and this can lead to injury.

You want to take at least 2-3 seconds to lower the weight and 1-2 seconds to raise it back up. 

Related: Why are pull ups harder than chin ups?

Do you have imbalances?

One of the main reasons why you might feel lat pulldowns in your biceps is because of imbalances.

This is why it’s so important to make sure that you are doing a variety of different exercises so that you’re working all of the muscles in your back evenly.

If you find that you’re always doing lat pulldowns, then you might want to try doing some rows or face pulls, as these exercises will help to even out the imbalances.

It’s also important to make sure that you are stretching your muscles properly, as this can help to prevent injuries and imbalances from occurring in the first place.

Having a well-rounded fitness plan will help to ensure that you’re not overworking any one muscle group and this will help to prevent injuries from occurring. You need to make time for those exercises that you don’t always enjoy, as they play an important role in your overall fitness.

Tension in shoulders and neck

One of the main reasons why you might feel lat pulldowns in your biceps is because of tension in your shoulders and neck.

This is why it’s so important to make sure that you are using good form and not rushing the movement. You also want to make sure that you’re not leaning too far back, as this can place unnecessary tension on your shoulders and neck.

Remember to pull your shoulders back and down, while also keeping your chin tucked in so that you’re not placing any unnecessary strain on your neck.

If you find that you’re always feeling tension in your shoulders and neck, then you might want to try doing some stretches or foam rolling to release the tension. You can also try massaging the area with your fingers.

It’s important to listen to your body and if you’re feeling pain, then you should stop the exercise immediately.

If the pain persists, then you might want to consult a doctor or physiotherapist to find out what the underlying cause is.

Final thoughts…

If you’re feeling lat pulldowns in your biceps, then it’s important to make sure that you’re using good form and not rushing the movement.

You also want to make sure that you’re not leaning too far back, as this can place unnecessary tension on your shoulders and neck.

Try to focus on using your lats to pull the bar down and really squeeze at the bottom of the movement. You might also want to try doing some rows or face pulls to even out the imbalances. 

Lastly, make sure to stretch your muscles properly and foam roll/massage your shoulders and neck if you’re feeling tension.

Do you feel lat pulldowns in your biceps? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Lee

Founder – Sport CBDs

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