Straight Arm Pulldown

Exercise Details for Straight Arm Pulldown

  • Primary Muscle
  • Secondary Muscle
    Triceps, Inner Abs
  • Equipment
  • Level

Why Should You do Straight Arm Pulldown?

The back muscles on the side of your body, latissimus dorsi or your lats, are responsible for pulling your arms back and down. When you lift your arms above your head, you can easily feel the muscle fully stretched out.

Straight Pulldowns is all about pulling your arms back down towards your body. The exercise is therefore a perfect isolation exercise for your lats and it is easy to perform.


Stand at a cable machine with the bracket at the top and hang on a pole or rope. Furthermore, the advantage of a rope is that you can pull extra far when your hands can walk beside your body. Grab the bar/rope with an overhand grip so that the thumbs are facing upward. Take a few small steps back and stand with a fairly narrow stance between your feet. Shoulders, hips, and feet should all be parallel to each other. Extend your arms diagonally upwards; they should be straight. Bend your legs, pull your hips back and lean your upper body slightly forward. Your back should be in a neutral position and not curved. The body weight should be on your heels and not your toes. You are now in starting position.

Then pull the weight down towards your body with almost straight arms. Remember that it is your lats that will pull the weight. Pull as far down as you can, holding in the bottom position for a few seconds before slowly returning the weight upwards. Tense the muscles you are exercising correctly on the way up, the eccentric phase is essential, and you are strong in this movement and can tense the muscles properly.

It would help if you did not swing up and down with your upper body; it should maintain the same forward-leaning angle throughout the movement. The arms should always be almost straight.

Tips for Straight Arm Pulldown

  • This is an isolation exercise for the side muscles of your back
  • Your arms should be straight throughout the exercise
  • A rope allows you to pull a little longer
  • Pull your hips back as you lean forward
  • Your back should be in a straight neutral position even though you are leaning forward
  • The body weight should be on the heels of your feet
  • Do not swing with your upper body
  • Lower the weight in a slow and controlled manner with tension in the muscle you are exercising

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