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Lat Machine Pulldowns - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Lats
Secondary Muscles Worked: Middle Back, Biceps and Shoulders

The lat machine pulldown is a fantastic exercise for strengthing the upper back. While the entire area is exercised, the upper and outer back is the primary area targeted in this exercise. Secondary muscles worked are the shoulders and biceps. The exercise offers the added benefits of being able to lift less than your body weight, which may be a stepping stone for those who can't perform Pull Ups unassisted.

Lat Machine Pulldowns - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Adjust the seat of the Lat Pulldown Machine so that when you are using it you are securely positioned.
  • Select a long bar, in case it is not already in place, placing your hands on it with an widegrip, palms facing away from you.
  • Position yourself on the seat with your knees hooked under the bolster for support.
  • Exhale and bring the bar towards your chest in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together as you do this, and pause.
  • Inhale and allow the arms to extend as you permit the weight to return close to the starting position. Ensure that you do so in a controlled manner and that the weight does not touch the stack.
  • The time spent on the eccentric (up-phase) should be twice as long as the concentric (down-phase).
  • Repeat for the allocated number of repetitions.

Lat Machine Pulldowns - Tips & Safety

  • Maintain control of the weight at all times throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid doing pulldowns behind the head as this can place undue stress on your shoulder joints and range of motion of the exercise is also limited.

Lat Machine Pulldowns - Alternatives

  • This exercise is similar to Pull Ups, but allows you to use less than your bodyweight.
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