Muscles Used • Exercise Type • Form Instruction • Tips and Techniques • Recommended Reps • Common Variations • Substitutions • Equipment Needed
See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Wide-Grip Lat-Bar Pulldowns –
AKA: Cable Pulldowns, Front Pulldowns
Compound Exercise, Pull Movement
Sitting, with thighs under support, lean back a bit and arch the back inwards, grasp bar with wide grip and pull down to the upper chest (collarbone area) and then return.
Tips and Techniques:
The thigh pad is there to keep you from going up, set it so that your thighs are snugly underneath it.
Your grip width should be a little wider than shoulder-width. A good reference to use is to place your upper arms parallel to the floor, bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle, them grasp the bar. Anything wider is going to be too wide and potentially hazardous to your shoulders. The narrower the grip, the more the biceps are going to become involved in the exercise.
The back is straight with a slight arch to keep pressure off the spine. Bend slightly back at the waist and look to the ceiling so the bar moves comfortably past the chin and down near the upper chest area. It isn’t necessary to touch the chest.
The elbows should be pointing down throughout the exercise. Don’t let them point back. If they are pointing back then you are bringing the bar too low and/or bending too far back. And, in so doing, failing to isolate the lats. This is bad form but pretty common form in gyms around the world (lots of movement at the waist, momentum and just all around silliness).
Instead, you want a smooth controlled motion with only the arms moving. Focus on keeping the rest of the body still and letting the lats bring the elbows down.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Close-Grip Lat-Bar Pulldowns – Same motion with a close-grip (less than shoulder-width grip)
- Rear Lat-Bar Pulldowns – The bar is pulled down behind the head (considered by some to be very dangerous to the rotator cuff)
- One-Arm Lat-Bar Pulldowns – Some cable machines allow for Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns with a set-up of weight stacks for each arm at the appropriate angles (somewhat rare machine). Can be done alternating or simultaneously.
- Lever-Based Lat-Bar Pulldowns – Some lever machines also allow you to perform lat pulldowns.
Lat-Bar Pulldowns are often used as a substitute for Wide-Grip Pull-Ups or Standard Pull-Ups. It is the opposite movement and much easier. But, remember, pull-ups are a far superior mass-building exercise. Don’t forget them.
Cable Pulldown Machine
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