What muscles does the Straight Arm Pulldown work?

This exercise targets your lats (the wide muscle covering your upper and mid back) as well as your rhomboids and trapezius.

How to perform the Straight Arm Pulldown?

Have the pulley at the highest point (or slightly lower if you are short like me). You can either use the rope or the straight bar.

Take a big step back, put your weight in your heels and slightly lean forward. Your arms should now be extended (with your elbows unlocked).

Then pull the bar down towards your hips. If you’re using the rope, slightly pull the ends apart at the bottom.

Video Demo

Pro Tips

  • If you’re struggling to activate your lats during your back workout, try to start with this exercise as an activation movement. Keep the weight light but focus on the range of motion and on feeling your lats.

  • You can also use this exercise as a pull workout finisher.

How to tell if you’re doing it right?

You’re mainly feeling the exercise in your back. Your torso stays still all the way through the movement.