Lat Pull-Down with Exercise Tubing

The lat pull-down strengthens and tones the back muscles under your shoulder blades as well as the biceps.

For this exercise, you need a band of rubber exercise tubing with a handle on each end. Choose low-resistance tubing until you become familiar with the exercise.

Grasp the handles on the ends of the tubing and hold it in front of you with the tubing hanging between your hands. Grip the middle of the tubing with your left hand. To increase resistance, position your left hand closer to your right; to decrease resistance, move your left hand farther from your right hand.

Hold both hands over your head and slightly in front of your body. You should be able to see your hands without looking upward.

Keep your left hand steady and pull your right hand down and out to the side of your body, at a 90-degree angle perpendicular to your body. As you pull your elbow down and into the hip, squeeze your shoulder blades together in your back. Keep both elbows extended but not locked. And be sure to keep your wrist firm throughout the exercise.

Count one-two-three-four as you pull down, and one-two-three-four as you return to the start position. One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four. Complete 18 to 20 repetitions.

To increase the resistance, move your left hand closer to your right hand; to decrease resistance, move the left hand farther away. Be sure to keep your wrist firm throughout the exercise.

When you are done, work the other side of your back by using your right hand to grasp the middle of the tubing, and pull your left hand toward your left hip.

When you are comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the resistance of the tubing until you can do 18 to 20 repetitions using proper form. To increase resistance, shorten the tubing by wrapping it around each hand, or choose a higher resistance tubing. Once you can achieve 25 or more repetitions, increase the resistance to bring you back to the 18-to-20-repetition target zone.