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“Using the Keen Pad Is a Non-Negotiable”: Fitness Coach Dismantles Bizarre Lat Pulldown Advice

Sean Nalewanyj, a renowned fitness coach hailing from Bali, Indonesia, is shaking up the online fitness scene with his refreshingly no-nonsense approach. In a recent Instagram post, Nalewanyj shared a peculiar piece of advice regarding Lat pull-downs, swiftly dismantling it from his expert perspective.
In a video shared on his Instagram, Nalewanyj tackled the controversial topic head-on, emphasizing the importance of utilizing the knee pad during lat pulldowns. With conviction, he stated, “There’s literally no reason to not use the pad on lat pulldowns.” But why the emphasis on the knee pad?
Sean Nalewanyj demonstrated the correct way of doing the lat pulldown
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He showcased a snippet from another coach advocating against the use of the knee pad, suggesting that it leads to cheating with the hip flexors and reduces lat engagement. However, Nalewanyj swiftly debunked this notion, demonstrating the correct technique and highlighting the necessity of the knee pad for maximizing back muscle activation.
He clarified, “If you’re serious about building your back to its full potential, using the knee pad is non-negotiable.” His straightforward approach left no room for ambiguity. Nalewanyj’s advice extends beyond just the lat pulldown, as he urged viewers to apply the same logic to all compound pulling movements.
In his demonstration, Nalewanyj showed the stark contrast between using and not using the knee pad, emphasizing the significance of proper form for optimal results. He explained, “You need to have that counter force in place or you’ll be hugely reducing the output from the targeted back muscles.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sean Nalewanyj (@sean_nalewanyj)
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His analogy likened skipping the knee pad during lat pulldowns to attempting a bench press without a bench to stabilize your back—a scenario that would undoubtedly compromise the effectiveness of the exercise. With his expert guidance, Nalewanyj reinforces the importance of precision and technique in achieving fitness goals. Besides him, 32-year-old science-based bodybuilder Jeff Nippard also shared some invaluable insights on the form and techniques for lat pulldowns.
Jeff Nippards’ three ways of optimizing gains with lat pulldowns
Nippard, in his video, highlighted the importance of good form during exercises. He advised, “First, don’t lean back excessively.” Stay upright at the top, then lean back a bit, like 10 to 15 degrees, as you lower the bar. This helps fully stretch the lats and engage muscles effectively.
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He also suggested using a thumbless grip for better connection with muscles. This stops forearms from taking over, keeping focus on the back. “If your grip fails this way, use straps. You want your back to be the limiting factor, not your forearms,” he added.
Nippard stressed the importance of the last negative rep, saying, “That final negative on your final rep may be the most important part of any rep you’ll do. Lower the weight slowly as you feel your back pulling apart.” Rushing through this part means missing out on muscle stimulation. For fitness enthusiasts striving to unlock their full potential, Nalenwyj and Nippard’s advice is a guiding light, debunking myths and steering clear of ineffective methods.

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