One of the most popular strength-training exercises among PGA Tour players is the lat pulldown. The pros love these because they build up the back and shoulders, two of the primary engines of big, booming drives. They’re easy enough for you to try, too, either at home with elastic bands or in the gym using the lat pulldown machine.
Here’s how: Set the weight (or band resistance) to something that lets you complete 12 to 15 reps without having to go full Schwarzenegger. Stand up and grab the handles, palms facing forward and your hands shoulder-width apart. (If you’re using a bar, place your hands where the bar begins to bend. Holding it too wide will shorten your range of motion.)
Next, drop down into a sitting posture, with your back straight and your knees bent 90 degrees. Smoothly pull the bar down, making sure your back remains stable (no collapsing or arching allowed). Keep your elbows under your hands, pulling the bar or handles even with your chest or just under your chin. Anything deeper can potentially lead to neck, lat or shoulder strains.
As you return the bar back to its starting position, again make sure that your elbows remain in line with your hands and don’t fly out. Keep your movements slow—at no time should you feel that you’ve lost control of the bar. If you do, drop down in weight. Three sets should do the trick.