How To Do Lat pulldowns

YouTube Exercise Video

How To Do Lat pulldowns

Lateral exercises can be somewhat difficult for beginners to pull off. Pull ups, one of the biggest lateral exercises alongside some bench presses and dead lifts, are a hallmark of progress, and not something a beginner should actually expect to be able to do. In fact, they generally shouldn’t even attempt them, lest they risk injury or at the least, discouragement as a result. 

However, if you have a cable machine handy, a nice alternative to pull ups is the lat pull down, which allows variable weight to be employed for your lateral exercises. It’s much safer, and with the adjustable weight involved, something anyone can pick up, even if they’re brand new to working out. 

What You Need 

You need a cable machine with a bench and a decent pair of gloves for a solid, safe grip. If you have back trouble, a brace is also a smart idea. 

Lat pulldowns Muscles Worked

Latissimus dorsi muscle animation


  • This one is very simple. Sitting on the bench, facing inward to the machine, grab reach up and grasp the bars. Your arms will form a wide V shape as a result. 
  • Pull down until the bar reaches about the same level as your collar bone, and hold this position for a second. 
  • Slowly let the bars go back up – don’t let them fly back up and yank your arms, it returns on your terms alone. 
  • Be sure that you’re bending your elbows, they will flare slightly outward as you pull down. Try to keep your back straight during the motions, to ensure your lats get the optimal workout and your spine isn’t strained. 


Don’t let the bar go under your chin in a way that, should you lose grip, it will strike you on the way back up. This could break your jaw, or at the very least, hurt pretty badly. Be reasonable with the weight, especially starting out. Overexerting yourself is never the way to go. 

If you have bad shoulders or a bad back, consult your doctor before trying things like this. 
To learn more about exercises like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel today!

Scroll to top