Lat Pulldown on the Machine

Isolation exercise, Machine




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Back: Large round muscle
    (Musculus teres major)
  • Back: Large back muscle
    (Musculus latissimus dorsi)
  • Back: Larger rhomboid muscle
    (Musculus rhomboideus major)

Workout plan

Here you can find example plans for lat pulldown on the machine training:

Lat Pulldown on the Machine: Basics and alternatives

Upper back: Involved main muscle groups Lat Pulldown on the Machine

Involved main muscle groups:
Lat Pulldown on the Machine

The machine lat pulldown is a guided version of the standard cable lat pulldown. The movement is pretty much the same: you sit at the machine and pull two overhead handles down to your shoulders. Since the machine guides the motion, fewer muscles are involved compared to the cable lat pulldown, making it an isolation exercise.

You can think of the machine lat pulldown as a reverse pull-up. Instead of moving your body weight, you’re moving the weight on the machine. The motion sequence is generally similar, so it’s a great way for beginners to build up strength if they’re not yet strong enough for proper pull-ups.

Other forms of lat pull are to the neck, in a close grip, and with arms extended. All these variations focus on the lat muscles, as the name suggests.

Correct execution

There are different machine designs, but the differences are usually minor and mostly involve the handles and seat adjustment options. So, there are no significant features to look out for on the machine when it comes to performing the exercise correctly.

Video tutorial

How-To Use the "Lat Pulldown" Machine

Step-by-step instructions

Adjust the seat height to fit you comfortably, allowing your thighs to fit easily under the pads.

Stand in front of the seat, grab the handles, and sit down. As you do this, you’ll already be pulling the weight toward you a bit. Secure your thighs under the pads.

Pull your shoulders back slightly and form a gentle arch in your lower back. This is your starting position.

Pull the weight down toward your shoulders. The movement is complete when the handles are about shoulder height.

Slowly raise the weight back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Common mistakes

Make sure to adjust the machine so you can fit comfortably and securely lock your thighs under the designated pads. Your butt shouldn’t lift off the seat during the exercise.

Another common mistake is incorrect shoulder position. Be sure to maintain tension in your slightly pulled-back shoulders, rather than letting them fall forward with the weight.