Pull Down

Exercise Details for Pull Down

  • Primary Muscle
  • Secondary Muscle
    Biceps , Forearms
  • Equipment
    Machine, Cable
  • Level

Why should you do pull downs?

The back muscles on the side are called Latissimus Dorsi or short your Lats, and they give the back its width. As the name suggests, this exercise mainly trains these muscles. There are lots of rowing exercises that train your lats, but the advantage of Pull Downs is that your lats are stretched out in the starting position. This is because the Lats muscle attaches to the arm bone and is stretched out completely when you lift your arms forward over your head. The path of movement for the muscle is thus long, which is good for muscle growth.


Ensure that the leg rest is attached to your thighs when the heel is in the ground; otherwise, you will swing up and down during the exercise. Stand up and grab the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip and sit down. Pull back your shoulders and push your chest forward. Tilt your upper body slightly backward, do not overdo the tilt.

From here, pull the bar down towards your chest until it just hits the top. Begin the movement by pulling the shoulder blades together and also pulling them diagonally down. Then bend your arms and pull down the bar. Remember to pull the bar with your elbows. They should be pulled obliquely downwards so that they end up behind the body. When you get as far down as you can, hold for a short while before slowly moving the bar up again. You should stretch your arms in the top position, and your shoulders can go up a bit to stretch the back muscles but do not lose the tension in the muscles because then the elbows have to take the whole weight, which can damage them.

Tips for Pull Down

  • Stretch your arms and also pull back your shoulders so that the back muscles are stretched out in the top position
  • Pull your shoulders back and push your chest forward
  • Lean back slightly but do not overdo the tilt
  • Pinch the shoulder blades together first before bending your arms as you pull the bar down
  • The bar should hit the upper part of the chest. Do not lie outside and in front of your chest so that your shoulders rotate forward.
  • Pull the bar with your elbows; they should end up slightly behind the body
  • Do not swing your upper body. It may make a short movement but controlled
  • Do not drop the tension in the muscles in the top position, then the elbows receive all the weight and can cause an injury
  • Do not use too much weight; work with reps instead. If you want to lift heavy, you can run Pull-Ups instead

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