Strength Training Series- X over lat pull

Strength, August 04, 2016

An effective exercise to swimmers and postural corrections.

 X-Over Lat Pull


The X-Over lat pull exercise is a variation on the traditional lat pull down exercise. But unlike lat pull down exercises, the X over pull helps create improved  posture and muscle balance for triathlets who require maximal value from time spent in the gym.


Since the arms begin in cross over fashion, it creates a great stretch to the scapula adductors which are often tight and inflexible from long hours in an aero position. The mobility gained through this exercise is beneficial to swimming which requires good scapula mobility to avoid common over use shoulder injuries. By squeezing the shoulder blades together, you are not only strengthening the upper back, but actively stretching the pecs as well.


By executing this exercise in a standing position, the athlete is required to use the core stabilizers to keep the torso still throughout the exercise.


Most fitness facilities have multi cable systems. Tubing or band can be used as well to do X-over lat pulls.


How To Do It:

  1. Stand facing the cables which should be slightly above your head, and about a foot in front of you with fee shoulder width apart.
  2. While stabilizing the hips and trunk, grab the right side cable with the left hand, and the left cable with the right.
  3. Begin the exercise by pulling your elbows down toward your side smoothly, as you begin to pull the shoulder blades together.
  4. Continue to draw the elbows down and back. Pull the shoulder blades together and pause in that position for two seconds.
  5. Now under control allow the hands to return to the original cross over position allowing the shoulder blades to separate and stretch the upper back musculature.


This exercise can be utilized year round to develop strength, mobility or range of motion at the shoulder girdle. It will aid swimming through muscle balance, cycling with scapula mobility, and running with increased economy with improved posture.