Lat Pull Downs

Lat Pull Down Variations and Where It Targets

Common Mistakes:

  • GOING TOO WIDE: this shortens the range of motion and can irritate the shoulder joint.
    • FIX: grab the bar just past shoulder with or just above.
  • MOMENTUM: using too much momentum again shortens the range of motion because you’re not actually pulling it down. Using momentum makes it a mid back exercise rather than a lat exercise.
  • PULLING BAR TOO LOW ON CHEST: this movement doesn’t engage your lats and becomes more of an arm movement
    • FIX: pull bar to middle of chest and drive your elbows to your back pocket
  • NOT SQUEEZING: bringing the bar down isn’t enough, to fully engage your lats you must squeeze them at the bottom. Ensure to do this with every rep,  if you can’t squeeze at the bottom of the movement then the weight is too heavy. Envision pinching the middle of your back together to optimize that mind to muscle connection.


Lat Pulldown:

Image result for lat pulldown muscle

Close Neutral Grip:

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One Arm Pulldown:

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Underhand Grip:

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Palms Forward Lower trapezius and Infraspinatus
Palms Backward Pectoralis Major and Biceps Brachii
Rotating Grip Latissimus Dorsi


Hand wide and forward Teresa Major 

(upper back)

Hands shoulder with and forward Latissimus Dorsi
💥 Hand Position Lat Pulldown by @nattyknowledge 💥 ⁣ ⁣ The saying: Wider grip, Wider Lats has led to many people only utilizing the wide grip. However, studies have shown that a closer grip can actually result in a slightly higher activation in the lats (and higher bicep activation).⁠ ⁣ ⁣ So anything between 1 to 1.25 of shoulder width is best for working your lats. Q wider grip will result in stronger teres major and upper back activation. Not developing the teres major can lead to a gap in your back physique.⁠⁣ ⁠⁣ Stay fit - Niklas 💪🏼♥️⁣ ⁠_____________________________________⁣ ⁠ #pulldown #backgrowth #backtraining #musclebuilding #musclegrowth #hypertrophy #gainingmuscle #powerbuilding #musclebuilding #buildingmuscle #musclemass #musclegrowth #getbig #workout #bodybuilding #naturalbodybuilding #backday #squats #pushday #deadlifts #powerlifting












Additional Tips for Lat Pulldowns:

– Puff your chest out and maintain a small arch in your lower back.

– Lean back at a 70 degree angle.

– Pinch your shoulder blades together slightly.

– Pull the bar down using your elbows rather than your wrists, forearms and biceps


Image result for reverse grip cable pulldown


Department of Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University completed a study involving the following:

“They checked out the electromyographic action (EMG) of the lats, middle trapezius and biceps brachii under different hand positions. The result showed a huge amount of muscular activities in each muscle groups:

  1. Wide grip lat pulldowns on the chest have shown the maximum activity for the lats. While wide grip lat pulldowns behind the head/neck did not that amount of activity like the pulldown to a chest.
  2. Even, when compared to closed grip or maybe supinated grip, the wide grips pulldowns towards chest proved to be fruitful. Though a study concluded the width did not matter, what all mattered was the wrist position.
  3. In comparison to supinated grip, the pronated wrist irrespective of any width will mostly be activating the lattisimus Dorsi muscles. The best position for the lat pulldowns would be a comfy grip width with pronated wrists.

In this kind of exercise, shoulder plays a very important role. So, if there is a pain existing there, the movement will be the biggest disadvantage. In such cases, neutral grip pull works great with neutral hand position.”

**above study was from:


Additional Resources: