Doing exercise enhances your overall level of fitness and health. Exercise contributes to a multitude of positive effects on your brain and body. Doing exercise daily not only improves your heart and lung’s efficiency but also increases your metabolic function, thus enabling you to maintain a healthy weight.
Production of endorphins in your brain is also increased by exercises, promoting a sense of well-being. The lat pulldown is an exercise machine to target your back. Move from this machine predominantly activates the latissimusdorsi, the broad muscle that is on the back of the ribs and wraps partially around the lower waist.
The lat pulldown seems comparatively simple, it’s sometimes done in a way that doesn’t utilize its muscle-building potential. Therefore it is important to understand what lap pulldown is, its full potential, uses, common errors, and benefits.
What Is The Lat Pulldown?
Lat pulldown is a freestanding machine or an attachment on a cable complex. The machine features thigh supports, a padded seat, and a long bar usually hanging from an upper rod.
You first sit on the seat then hook your thighs under the support pads and finally pull the bar down to your chest or neck.
How Lat Pulldown Works?
1. Lat Activator:
The machine is known as “lat pulldown” because it activates the lats, lat is the nickname for the latissimusdorsi., the broad muscle. We generally use this muscle in all sorts of pulling movements, including pull-ups and swimming. In the everyday routine, you may use the lats when you carry a heavy item down off of a shelf.The lat pulldown machine uses other muscles of the back for support.
As you yank the bar to your chest, you work on the rhomboids (both major and minor), and trapezius (lower and middle). This movement helps you tug the scapula down and move the arm up which results in the appearance of a strong, V-shaped back. A smaller muscle, named levator scapulae, hold steady the back and sides of your neck as you pull down the bar.
2. Upper-Body Blaster:
The forearm muscles (brachialis and brachioradialis) are activated by grasping and pulling of the bar of lay pulldown machine. The lat pulldown also stimulates your two chest muscles (pectoralis minor). A lat pulldown also uses your triceps to support your elbow joint as it bends and extends.
3. Lat Pulldown Grip:
The lat pulldown machine delivers a wide variety of bar that could technically be gripped in many ways, such as narrow, wide, medium, overhand or underhand. The main goal of the lat pulldown exercise is to maximize activation of the latissimusdorsi, so choose the optimum grip that helps you achieve the best results.
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Technique Tips For Lat Pulldown
Start with bringing your chest to the bar
- During the workout keep your elbows pointed straight down
- Squeeze your lats in a way that pulls from your armpits
- You can either keep it low to your chin works or you can also keep it below your chin
- Try to be a little wider in grabbing the bar from outside of your shoulders
- Also, prefer to use the ‘V-grip’ handle
Lat Pulldown Common Technique Errors
1. Pulling the bar behind your neck:
Pulling the bar behind your neck shortens the range of motion of your lats which is an important part of the exercise. Thus behind the neck pulldowns must be avoided
2. Pulling down below your chest and letting the elbows point backward:
This will cause anterior glide i-e disengaging your lats and making your shoulder to come forward which results in irritation and lingering pain in your shoulders.
3. Using Body Momentum:
If you use your body momentum to pull the bar down, you will end up using too much weight. This will make it more of a mid-back exercise rather than lat pulldown.
4. Go too wide:
Grab the bar above or just outside your shoulders because this where the bat bends. There is absolutely no need to go too wide as this can result in shortening the range of motion. It can also irritate the joint for cranky shoulders.
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Lat Pulldown Shoulder-Friendly Variation
There are certainly other options for those who have already done much damage to their shoulders over the years and pull-ups or lat pulldowns still cause them irritation, pain, and inflammation.
The lat pulldown can be a shoulder friendly choice as it offers many joint-friendly variations which allow your shoulder to move more freely. The half-kneeling one-arm lat pulldown is an example of a joint-friendly exercise.
This is a great exercise to target the lats. In this workout, you put yourself in the half kneeling stance and then pull your abs to prevent your back from arching. This results in delivering the proper positioning in your shoulder joint.
Technique Tips for Half-Kneeling Lat Pulldown Variation:
- Keep your front knee at 90 degrees, make the posture for half-kneeling split stance in-line as well as on ball of the back foot
- Grip the bar with the same hand as back leg
- Make a thumbs down when start and thumbs up when finished. As you pull this will provide you bonus external rotation of your shoulder and moves your rotator cuff too
- Yank from your armpit, stop when your lat is tight
- Your elbow position of your arm should be straight down at the bottom
Best Lat Pull down Machines – Buying Guide
Lat pulldown machine is a high pulley cable exercise machine which is a multipurpose unit and can open a whole new world of weight and resistant workouts to your fitness routine. To help you make a right buying decision, we have reviewed Top 9 Lat Pulldown Machines with their specifications and pros.
1. PowerLine PLM180X Lat Machine:
PowerLineLat Machine offers an extensive variety of upper body building exercises.
- It is a free-weight lat machine which targets upper body muscles
- The machine accelerates strength, endurance, and muscle mass
- It offers lat pull downs, tricep press downs, upright rows, seated rows, and more
- Comes with a dual-position 8-inch foam rollers
- It has a wide-grip bar with patented nylon bushings which results in smooth operation
- Its excellent feature of providing eight inches foam rollers helps to hold you in position and make you comfortable while exercising
- The structure of this lat pulldown machine is quite tall that even over 6 feet tall can use it properly.
- The machine offers robust and sturdy support with its heavy gauge steel construction, helps you exercise with it for a long time.
- This is a home-based design of lat pulldown machine and it is very easy to assemble. You just have to individually arrange the setup with the help of some wrench, screw, etc.
- Powerline PLM180X is very affordable with its high-quality components.
2. XMarkLat Pull-down and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618:
The XMarkLat Pull-down and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618 works on the muscles of the upper back, shoulders and arms.
- It has both high and low pulley stations
- Maximum load capacity of the machine is 400 lb.
- Can be used with standard or Olympic plate weights
- It has an 11-gauge steel mainframe construction with scratch resistant powder coat finish
- Also offers optional cable machine attachments and bars
- The lat pull-down bar and low row bar are chrome plated. It is also heavy duty and nylon coated
- XMARk is one of the top lat pulldown machines that uses thick and fluffy 3” Dura craft cushion and a flip-up footplate to make your workout more comfortable, durable and reliable.
- This ideal home lat pulldown machine supports other workouts like low rows, bicep curls, shrugs,triceps presses, and other upper body exercises.
- Assembly of this home lat pulldown machine is very simple and easy.
- The manufacturer also offers a lifetime warranty for body frame and anyear warranty on parts like hardware, pop pins, pulleys, and cables.
3. Ironman Triathlon X-Class Light:
Commercial Olympic Lat Pull Down & Low Row Cable Attachment
This is a light commercial Olympic lat pulldown machine with a low row cable attachment. It can be used as either a stand-alone unit or as an attachment to an existing machine.
- It provides 360 lbs. of real weight plate capacity
- Consist of high (lat) and low row pulley systems
- It has one 20″ straight bar and one 44″ lat bar
- It offers high tensile strength with nylon coated cable pulleys
- This lat pulldown machine has an easy glide with 2″ x 2″ Chrome plated attachment post. 2 Olympic Adapter Sleeves are also included as a free gift
- It includes a standard weight plate bar for use with Olympic or standard weight plates.
- This light commercial grade pulldown is extremely sturdy and consist of all-steel frame.
- Comes with a wide variety of workout stations, including lat pulldown station, low pulley station, pull-up station, dip station and sit-up station.
- It has 25 attachment positions for the catch bars and safety bars whereas 13 attachment positions for the dip handles.
- Catch bars and safety bars support heavy loads, up to 1,500 lbs.
- Very little maintenance is required and this pulldown machine is fairly easy to assemble.
- The machine provides over 50 possible exercises and comes with an excellent warranty.
4. Valor Fitness CB-12 Plate Loading Lat Pull Down:
This is a versatile lat pulldown exercise machine which is suitable for multiple exercises.
- This pulldown machine is designed Primarily for Home Use
- Its frame is 2″ x 2″ / 12 Gauge Steel and has protective baked on powder coat finish
- Offers high-density contoured seat pads and four-seat pad height adjustments ranging +/- 5″
- Works on a locking pop pin adjustment with four rubber base end caps, abs crunch strap is also included
- Provides hi, mid and low cable options. Also has foot plate for seated rows
- Two cable attachment chains are included in the structure
- It has fiberglass reinforced nylon pulleys with sealed bearings
- The weight capacity of this kind of pulldown machine is 250 lbs.
- Its dimensions are 50″L x 25’W x 80″H
- The Valor Fitness CB-12 Plate Loading Lat Pull Down yield you the sturdy base to work out and deliver huge option for
- Its high density contoured dual-layer seat pad delivers maximum comfort.
- Its ergonomic design takes less space to set up thus help you to save your room space.
- The sturdy steel frame and high tension nylon pulleys are ensured you strong performance. The four base caps keep the lat pulldown machine stable during the workout.
- Provides adjusting seat pads, and footplate which let you exercise more comfortably.
- This is a top lat pull machine which exists real plate storage that not only keeps all the plate organizes and off the floor but also holds more than 250 lbs. of weights.
- This valor fitness machine offers you full body exercise at home in a very affordable price.
- The compact design and robust construction of this smart machine help you archive all your fitness goals. Just one machine is ideal for serving all your needs.
5. Giant Econo Lat Machine:
Giant Econo Lat Machine is a frictionless weight slider with adjustable padded seat.
- Weight Slider Floats on Nylon Bushings of this lat pulldown
- It has an adjustable seat pad for various heights
- Consist of two free lat bars – 48″ and 18″- upper & lower
- During low rows correct bio-mechanical angle is maintained by Diamond Ribbed footplate.
- Comes with built-in bar storage and offers quick cable change
- Giant Econo Lat Machine has an adjustable padded seat which permits you to adjust the height according to your requirements. Tall people who are more than 6’ can easily use this device.
- This top lat pulls down machine supports variety of workouts. For instance triceps pushdown, seated rows seated curls, etc.
- The machine comes with a full two free padded lat bars (48 and 18”) for pull ups. Foot plate of this lat machine maintains a correct biochemical angle during low rows.
- The construction quality of this top lat pulldown exercise machine is absolutely amazing. Everything is described well in the manual. Really easy to assemble. It’s an ideal lat machine to use for weight exercise without any error.
- The built in bar storage feature help you store the weights of your requirements and make it convenient for you to use it frequently.
- It’s a great quality home lat pulldown machine that comes with a decent price too.
6. Body-Solid Pro Lat Machine:
It comes with many exercise options and is one of the most comfortable lat machines.
- Machine contains lat bar and straight bar
- It has no-cable-change technology which makes transitions between high and low pulley exercises very convenient and effortless
- It has high quality, thick, and comfortable seat pad
- Comes with a patented nylon bushings and provides smooth weight carriage travel
- This lat machine has multi-position 8 inch foam rollers which wonderfully lock you in position for high pulley lat work
- This sturdy and well-built pull-down machine have a thick and comfortable seat pad that permits you to exercise more relax.
- The no cable change technology to f this lat pulldown machine makes it so much better than regular pulldown machines. This technology makes the transition between high and low pulley more effortless and convenient thus allowing you to workouts for a long time without causing stress or stiffness into your body muscles.
- This is one of the most efficient machines to use for your daily weight exercises.
7. Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment:
The Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment delivers many types of resistant exercises. For instance: pull downs, military press, squats, pull-ups, and many others.
- The mainframe is 2″ x 2″
- It has four 8″ plate storage pegs
- Comprise of 4 solid steel chrome adjustable-weight bar supports
- It consists of 2 solid steel squat safety bars
- This lay pulldown machine allows you to do incline bench, squats, shoulder press, and deadlifts.
- The mechanism is perfect if you want to tone your body on short time Its sturdy frame construction is ideal for your daily exercise routine.
- It has other including features like chrome adjustable weight bar support, four weight plate storage pegs, and steel main frameworks wonderfully for your upper body workout.
- This rack is easy to assemble, comes with an explicit manual and other necessary tools.
- This machine works perfectly for more than six feet height people but it requires a little more space than regular lat pulldown exercise machines.
8. Valor Fitness BD-11L Lat Pull Attachment for BD-11 Hard Power Rack:
This is one of the cheapest and effective lat machine attachments.
- The recommended maximum weight load of this lat pulldown attachment is 250 lbs.
- It is very easy to attach to BD-11
- Comes with 2-Inchx2-Inch tubing
- It provides a 12 gauge steel
- The BD-11-L Valor Fitness Lat Pull attachment converts the BD-11 Power Rack into a veritable home gym.
- It provides other exercises like Lat Pulls, Upright Rows, Triceps, Curls, Leg Extensions, etc.
- It is a top rated lat pulldown machine attachment which delivers many kind resistant workouts including Lat Pulls, Triceps, Curls, Leg Extensions, Upright Rows, and others.
- The 12 gauge steel made the construction of this lat pulldown produce reliable settings and enables you to exercise more frequently.
- The weight sliding of Valor Fitness BD-11L Lat Pull Attachment for BD-11 Hard Power Rack is almost soundless.
- The Steel constructions of this top lat pulldown exercise machine is absolutely fluid and sturdy enough.
- In a comparison of price and features, this machine is an excellent combination of quality materials and service.
9. Deltech Fitness Lat Pulldown Machine:
Deltech Fitness Lat Pulldown Machine is an attachment that is mostly added to weight benches, converting it into a high pulley station.
- This last pulldown is designed to fit Deltech Fitness benches
- It has Tough Powder-coat Paint
- Comes with an amazing feature of adjustable height
- Its Mount post is 1-3/4″ square
- This pulldown attachment is made from heavy duty square steel tubing, and offers an adjustable height which allows you to get the optimum range of motion.
- It has a 1-3/4 inch mounting post which makes this unit very compatible.
- The Deltech attachment delivers a high spec nylon cabling system. This is an outstanding features which provides quality bushings and cable to support a very smooth motion.
- It is a great space saver and very easy to set up.
Benefits of a Lat Pulldown Machine
The lat pulldown is a glamorous exercise because it is not overly complex and it does not need a lot of agility to perform. Regardless of the simplicity of the lat pulldown exercise, it can benefit you and your fitness program in many ways. Some of its benefits are:
1. Multi-Joint Exercises:
The lat pulldown is known to be a multi-joint exercise machine. It contributes to the movement of the shoulders, elbows, and scapula. With just one exercise, you can work on several different muscles in your upper body.
The main mover for this kind of workout is the latissimusdorsi, the broad back muscle, this muscle extends down each side of your spine. The other muscles such as rhomboids, biceps, rear delts, and traps are also active during most of the pulldown exercises.
2. Smart Pullup Exercise:
The lat pulldown exercise is the mimic of a pull-up exercise. The difference between the two is that during the lat pulldown you stay stationary and the weight moves. You pull a weighted bar toward you in lay pulldown instead of pulling yourself up toward a bar.
This means you can avail the training benefits of the more advanced pull-up workout without having to use all of your body weight.
3. Variety of other Exercises:
Doing the same exercise everyday breeds mental boredom as well as physical boredom. The lat pulldown exercise covers a variety of grips and handles to switch the feel and emphasis of the exercise. You can perform the standard version of the exercise with an overhand grip and just simply wide your shoulders on a long bar.
You can also try this with a wider grip or a close grip. Or you can change out the long bar for D-handles, or a V-handle or a short handle. You can also change the orientation of your forearms by using an underhand or overhand grip.
4. Quick Method to Increase Workout:
If you want your body to continue to improve and adapt, you must continuously overload the muscles and put increasingly more demands on your body. One way to overload the muscles is to enhance the workout load by adding more weight to an exercise.
Adding weight to the lat pulldown exercise is quick and easy unlike adding weight to barbell rows or pullups, inlay pulldown you can simply pull the pin out of the stack and reposition it under the new weight.
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Lat pulls down machines is one of the smartest ways to work-out where you can safely lift weights as well as get intense exercise. They are also safer than free weights that generally a bodybuilder want to work with. This machine is extremely versatile and delivers lots of different exercise from chest press to lat pulldowns and many more.
A home lat pulldown machine’s pulley system manages the weight along with a guideway. If you really aim to make a tone and sculpted body like professionals, then lay pulldown machine can be a great choice for your workout routine.