How To Do Straight Arm Lat Pulldown Properly

The straight arm lat pulldown exercise is your ultimate pick for a perfect back workout.

It is also known as the straight arm pulldown. It is an isolation exercise targeting the back, arms, shoulders and upper back.

In addition to working the latissimus dorsum muscles on your back, the straight-arm pulldown also targets upper body muscles. It is among the best picks for working your back and upper body muscles.

A cable machine is at the centre of this exercise. And this article tells you everything you should know about this workout.

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Let’s start with how to do it.

  • Use the cable machine’s higher locations to hang a wide-grip bar or lat bar.
  • Employ an overhand grip to hold the handle.
  • Grab the handle while keeping a shoulder-width distance.
  • Take a few steps away from the cable machine to reduce the weight on the cable stack.
  • Keep the head and neck in a neutral position while standing.
  • Keep your shoulders and hips slightly apart.
  • Let the arms stretch out in front of your body, but not hyperextended.
  • Keep your chin in the same position throughout the action.
  • Grip the floor with your feet and distribute your weight equally on your feet to provide a sturdy footing.
  • Engage your core while squeezing your shoulders and hips.
  • Engage your lats by rotating your shoulders outwards.
  • Squeeze your lats and bring it closer to your hips while maintaining extended arms as you lower the bar.
  • Allow your shoulder blades to move normally.
  • Move upwards as your arms progressively return to their starting position while maintaining your alignment.
  • Perform two to three sets of 10–15 reps each.


The straight arm lat pulldown design focuses on the back muscles, but it also works a host of other muscles.

They include the following.


In this isolation exercise, the latissimus dorsum muscles “lats” tend to steal the show.

It helps to keep your back in place while allowing you to raise your arms above your head during the pulldown.


The major function of the posterior deltoid is wide-ranging movement. They aid horizontal adduction, external and internal rotation and extending the shoulder joint.


During arm adduction, the triceps muscle holds the humerus head in the glenoid cavity. This prevents the dislocation of the humerus.

The humerus aids in the shoulder joint’s extension and adduction of the arm.


Rhomboid muscles are responsible for retraction, elevation, and rotation of the scapula during straight arm lat pulldown.


In case your wonder what benefits you get from this workout, here they are.


If you can’t feel your lats working during normal pulldowns, straight arms allow you to focus on the lats themselves. While doing all this, your mind connects with the muscles involved.


A complete range of motion in straight arm lat pulldown improves the stability of the joint and muscle balance. It also activates all working muscles and general movement.


Straight arm pulldowns work the lats in the same way as deadlifts do which increases the back stability. The strength build-up is critical in preventing back pain.


You shouldn’t worry if you don’t have a cable machine. You can utilise the following alternatives to have the same training effect as that of the straight arm lat pulldown.


The dumbbell pullover is an exercise that targets the pecs and lats. You can choose to use a kettlebell too.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells in an overhand grip
  • Lie flat on the bench.
  • Grasp the dumbbell and raise it to your chest.
  • Lean on the dumbbell while engaging your lats by rotating your shoulders out.
  • During the entire set, keep your upper back tight and solid.
  • Bend the elbows slightly.
  • Your elbows should be pointing down.
  • Engage your core with a neutral head and neck position.
  • Throughout the action, keep your chin tucked.
  • Begin lowering the dumbbell behind your head.
  • Lower the dumbbell until your chest and lats stretch fully.
  • Rest your chest and lats at the bottom of the action.
  • Ascend by squeezing your lats to return the dumbbell to the initial position.


Gironda pulldown is the forgotten workout but is the magic wand your back needs so badly.

How to do it:

  • Start by connecting a straight bar to a seated row machine or a cable station.
  • Ensure the wire is tight and your arms stretch fully.
  • Maintain a 45-degree angle between the hips and upper body by bending slightly.
  • You appear to be riding an illusory motorcycle.
  • Extend the arms to enable for forward movement.
  • Now pull the bar into your abdomen with your bar muscles to complete one rep.


If you’re looking for a way to tone your latissimus dorsum, this is the exercise to do.

How to do it:

  • Reduce movement by adjusting the pad to fit snugly on your thighs.
  • Keep your torso in an erect position.
  • Grasp the bar with a wide grip.
  • Pull the bar down to your upper chest by retracing your shoulder blades.
  • At the bottom of the exercise, squeeze your lats.
  • Refrain from leaning back to make the movement easier.


You could be making the following mistakes during the straight arm lat pulldown.


A lat workout becomes so if your triceps are at optimal pressure, but it ceases to be so when you bend your arms excessively. It becomes an arm workout.

Keep your arms straight while attempting to flex your lats just a little.


You make a massive blunder by pulling the draw halfway down before returning to their starting position. It increases the risks of injury.


The straight arm lat pulldown is a terrific workout for working your lats in a broader range of motion. Your upper body muscles will undoubtedly strengthen and bulk up. Try it as part of your workout regimen!