Lat Pull Down Form



Exercise: Cable machine lat pull down

Muscle Groups Targeted: Lats

Importance: Strengthening the lats (latissimus dorsi) is important for back strength and good posture. Lats are the largest muscles in your back.

Proper Form:

  • Sit down on a pull-down machine or hook up handles or the bar to a multi adjustable cable machine to the top pulley
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward.
  • Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back
  • The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move; the forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms
  • After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly, with control raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched


  • Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position.
  • DO NOT pull the bar behind your head, this can lead to stress on the rotator cuff.

Sample Workout:

  • 10 lat pull downs
  • 10 over head presses
  • 10 TRX rows
  • 10 cable tricep extension
  • 10/10 single arm bent over rows
  • 10 push ups

Complete 5 rounds of this push/pull upper body workout!

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