The lateral pulldown exercise can commonly be found within a back workout plan and is considered a key exercise for building and developing the Latissimus Dorsi muscles. Technique variation for this essential movement often involves altering your grip on the long bar attachment to bring about an alternative emphasis on the target muscles.

One further exercise variation of the traditional lateral pulldown exercise can be achieved, not by altering your grip positioning as such, but instead manipulating the required plane of movement. This still targets the back region generally but from an alternative angle. The exercise in question is called the straight arm lateral pulldown.

The Straight Arm Lateral Pulldown

For this exercise exactly the same equipment is required as you would the traditional version. Follow your normal setting up procedures, such as selecting as appropriate resistance to move and ensuring the leg holds are sufficient for your physique. Please note, you might require to reduce the load for this particular exercise, as the angle that you are required to move through won’t allow as much resistance to be shifted. With the equipment fully set up, you’re ready to commence. So what is required of you?

How To Execute
  1. Stand facing the lateral pulldown exercise machine.
  2. Grasp the bar with both hands, approximately shoulder width apart.
  3. Take 1 or 2 steps backwards and ensure there is a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Allow your arms to be out in front of you and parallel to the floor.
  5. Looking straight ahead of you, this is your starting position.
  6. To commence, pull the weight down in a controlled manner whilst keeping arms straight.
  7. Once the bar cannot move any further without touching you, reverse the process.
  8. Return to the starting position before repeating for required repetitions.
The Straight Arm Lateral Pulldown Exercise Video

Final Word

The straight arm lateral pulldown exercise is an incredible movement for targeting your Latissimus Dorsi muscles from an alternative angle and allows for an awesome ‘pump’ feeling in your target back region.

Not only that, but it keeps your muscles guessing and adds further variation to your repertoire of back exercises. You’ve read the exercise benefits and prescription and seen the demonstration video, now all that’s left to do is hit the gym and try it for yourself.

You know what they say, there’s no time like the present.