Lat Pulldown

Quote: "Make time daily to nurture your physical, mental and emotional health." - Lailah Gifty Akita

The Lat Pulldown is a fantastic exercise for training the muscles of the back.  One of the great things about this exercise is the change in appearance it can bring about.  It helps make the upper back and shoulders appear wider and your waist appear smaller.  The muscles this exercise affects include the latissimus Dorsi and rhomboids of the upper back, the biceps, trapezius and shoulders.

Lat Pulldown

Combining this exercise with deadlifts and pull ups will give your back size, strength and mass that will improve performance in any activity that involves use of the back muscles.

Like most other exercises, the Lat Pulldown can be performed in a variety of ways.  You can use a wide grip, a narrow grip, an overhand grip, a neutral grip and an underhand grip to stimulate the back muscles in different ways.  It is also can be used to help in your progress to eventually perform Pull Ups with your own bodyweight.

It is also a great way to balance out your chest training to iron out imbalances in terms of strength and posture.

Benefits of the Lat Pulldown

There are many benefits to doing the Lat Pulldown.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Improves posture by preventing rounding of the shoulders caused by performing the bench press.
  • Assists in stabilising the Latissimus Dorsi.
  • Strengthen the muscles in the back, shoulders and biceps the same time.
  • Improves metabolic rate due to the increase of more muscle tissue being built in the back.
  • Improves aesthetic appearance.

Performance Related Benefits:

  • Having stronger lats assists in throwing and catching motions.
  • Improves performance in any physical activities and sports that involve pulling motions such as martial arts, football, powerlifting, farming and manual labour.

How to Perform a Lat Pulldown

  • Sit on the seat and make sure your knees are secure underneath the pads and your body is straight and in a neutral position.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip approximately 1 to 1.5 times shoulder width.
  • Lean back slightly and activate the rhomboids.
  • Use the Lats and Rhomboids to power the movement.
  • Pull in a downward motion pretending you are trying to place your elbows into the rear pockets of your pants.
  • Breathe out when pulling the bar down.
  • At the bottom of the movement, squeeze your rhomboids together.
  • Let the bar return back to the original position and feel the stretch in your lats.
  • Breathe out when the bar returns to it’s original position.
  • Perform another repetition.

Lat Pulldown Dos

  • Make sure it is the Rhomboids and Lats doing most of the work.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body during the whole movement.
  • Breathe out on the way down and breathe in on the way up.

Lat Pulldown Don’ts

  • Lean too far back during the movement.
  • Use a weight that is too heavy to handle, this will cause you to use improper technique.
  • Do not round the back.
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