Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

Exercise / Back

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown overview

The Straight Arm Lat Pulldown is an isolation exercise that targets the lats and engages the muscles of the upper back. This movement is effective for developing strength and definition in the back while emphasizing the importance of proper form and control. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Straight Arm Lat Pulldown in your workout routine.

The Straight Arm Lat Pulldown primarily targets the latissimus dorsi (lats) and also engages the muscles of the upper back.

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown Exercise how to perform

  • Step 1: Set up a cable machine with a straight bar attachment at the top pulley.
  • Step 2: Stand facing the machine, grabbing the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 3: Take a step back to create tension in the cable, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 4: Position your feet and body so that you maintain a slight forward lean from the hips.
  • Step 5: Keep your arms straight and initiate the movement by pulling the bar down toward your thighs.
  • Step 6: Squeeze your lats at the bottom of the movement, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on contracting the lats throughout the exercise.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbows to avoid hyperextension.
  • Engage your core muscles to stabilize your body during the movement.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back to maximize activation of the lats.
  • Control the speed of the movement to ensure proper form and muscle engagement.


  1. Single-Arm Straight Arm Lat Pulldown: Isolate each side of the back independently for balanced development.
  2. Rope Attachment Straight Arm Pulldown: Use a rope attachment for a different grip and range of motion.
  3. Paused Reps: Introduce a brief pause at the bottom of each repetition for increased time under tension.
  4. Superset with Bent Over Rows: Combine with bent-over rows for a comprehensive back workout.