Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down Overview
The straight arm lat pull down is a variation of the lat pull down and an exercise used to build the muscles of the back. While the exercise will primarily target the lats, you will also notice a fair amount of bicep and middle back activation.
The back is a muscle group that requires a fair amount of variation. So, experiment with several different angles and hand positions to maximize your back muscle growth.
The straight arm lat pull down mimics the movement of a dumbbell pullover. The emphasis should be on feeling the entire range of motion, not the amount of weight you use on the exercise.
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down Instructions
- Attach a wide grip handle to a cable stack and assume a standing position.
- Grasp the handle with a pronated grip (double overhand) at roughly shoulder width and lean forward slightly by hinging at the hips.
- Keep the elbow slightly flexed and initiate the movement by depressing the shoulder blades and extending the shoulders.
- Pull the bar to your thigh until the lats are fully contracted and then slowly lower under control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down Tips
- Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through the spine.
- If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
- Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
- If you can’t seem to feel your lats engaging, try to “screw your shoulders” into their sockets by pointing your elbows behind your body. Another cue that works exceptionally well is to “squeeze oranges in your armpits”.