Want to try out a standing pulldown exercise? That’s incredibly the best choice you can make if you’re going to have that adorable v shape that leaves people turning your way in admiration. And not only that! Who hates a healthy back and shoulder? The best machine to aid you in this endeavor is a cable pulldown machine. Not any, but the adjustable one. I don’t mean you start budgeting for one; such are readily available at most fitness centers. But hey! That’s food for another day. We’re here to talk about standing lat pulldown workout.

There are significant benefits gained from several body workouts. But do you know that muscles too require a good share of love and attention in return for that beautiful triangular body shape? The standing pulldown targets the lat muscles which are found behind your torso and moves below the arm and the ribs. Unknown to many, lat muscle assists in the mobility of your spine and shoulder. Now you know why standing lat pulldown is an essential exercise for you. Ever heard it said that good things come with a price? And is it true? Well! Sometimes yes and other times no! Let’s find out.

Steps for Standing Lat Pulldown

When done correctly, standing lat pulldown can provide fantastic results! It’s not a hard task to execute, but neither is it that simple. It requires attention, so you don’t skip a step.  Focus on the goals you want to achieve and see how easy the following steps will be for you.

Set Up Amount of Resistance

We all have different levels of energy. You need to begin by setting up the amount of resistance suitable for you in the cable machine. Select a weight that’s proportional to your strength and skills. Remember to put the pin in the machine’s weight stack. I think a weight that can enable you to do 10 reps is most appropriate. But then, that’s up to you. You shouldn’t confine yourself to my choice.

Attach Straight Bar to High-Pulley Cable

If the straight bar is not attached to the high-pulley cable, do it. Let your eyes focus on the machine. Your feet should be slightly apart, let’s say, a distance of your shoulder-width. Bend them slightly. Extend your hands while they are shoulder-width parallel and grasp the bar with an overhand grip.

Stand Away from The Machine

Stand about 2 feet from the machine, a distance enough to lift the weight slightly. Such an act ensures that your muscles are producing constant tension. With your hands straight and arms gripping the bar, begin pulling it down until your arms and the floor become parallel. Continue maintaining a slight bend of your knees.

Let Your Chest and Waist Lean Forward

As you begin pulling it down, let your waist and chest lean forward. Your arms should maintain a straight position. Your eyes should look straight ahead on the machine. Exhale and start a downward pull of the bar until it gets to your thighs.


Inhale as you pause for a short while. Then begin a reverse movement. Don’t just let it go! You need to move it back in a controlled manner and stop when you get to the starting point. Let go the grip. Stand straight with hands down and arms aligned with the floor – then repeat the steps for about 3 to 4 times before taking a single rest. Then continue until you complete the 10 reps set.

Change the Techniques

Sometimes you may need to engage your biceps. All you need to do is to change the technique slightly. With your arms straight above your head, hold the bar. Bend your knees and hips. Your butts should move backward as if you want to sit down. Exhale and push the bar towards your chest as you bend the elbows. Then inhale and return it to starting position. Repeat several times until you feel completed tired. Take a few minutes to rest then continue.

Tips for Correctly Performing the Standing Pulldown Exercise

Woman Using A Standing Pulldown MachineWorkouts comprise strict rules and standing pulldown is no exception. If you’re a beginner or have done it severally, but nobody told you these tips, consider practicing them to reap full benefits.

  • Avoid the natural temptation of moving some parts of your body to get momentum. In fact, resist the use of momentum because it only succeeds in causing injuries and straining the muscles.
  • Consider using a v grip for a better result. It effectively strengthens the lat.
  • Use the elbows instead of the biceps while pulling the bar.
  • To prevent shoulder injuries refrain from pulling the bar to it and instead pull it to your chest or the thigh.

Mistakes to Avoid

Making mistakes during a workout is normal. So you shouldn’t give up after making a few of them. In fact, you are bound to make several errors when performing standing lat pulldown exercise. But that doesn’t mean you keep repeating mistakes. No! Below is a highlight of some of the mistakes commonly made during standing pulldown exercise. Try not to perform them or to repeat them twice.

Pulling Bar to Waistline

Pulling the Bar to your ribs or waistline is one common mistake lovers of workout repeatedly do.  You may not spot the mistake and could be wondering why I refer it as one. But the truth is the lat muscle is not engaged. To give you a hint, lat muscles are the primary reason for the exercise. We’re trying to treat them lovingly in standing pulldown to reap their returns. Right?

Using a Wide Grip

Holding the bar with a wide-hand grip isn’t healthy at all. Most people think that because the bar is broad, then a wider grip will produce better results. Unfortunately not! The bar is made to fit people of all sizes, that’s why it looks broad. One reason why a wide grip is wrong is that you are likely to minimize the scope of motion meaning that the muscles won’t be engaged or even stimulated as required. Therefore they will not grow well and become strong enough. A wide grip stresses the shoulder muscles significantly because their natural performance is reduced. Such can even cause development of some health issues on the shoulder.

Pulling Bar Behind the Neck

Another mistake commonly made is pulling the bar to the back of the neck. Although the shoulder joint is very flexible, it doesn’t take such acts politely. Doing it for a couple of times can cause problems such as tears of the rotator cuff. Though pulling it behind your neck looks like a natural thing to do, try to avoid it at all cost. Instead, push it towards your chest or slightly below the color bone. Paying attention to the most appropriate form is essential. For instance, your back should be arched, the chest ought to be pushed forward, and the shoulder should be retracted or drawn back a little bit.

Using Momentum

Don’t ever allow momentum to lead you on the way to performing standing lat pulldown. It takes the roles of the muscles, and they relax or become disengaged.  So the whole plan plus its benefits die leaving the momentum to change this workout to a back exercise.

Pulling Bar Below Chest

The temptation to use too much force is common in this type of exercise. While the products of the mistake cannot be seen immediately, it is important to note that there is a likelihood of imbalance of lat muscles. With time they will develop pain that may hinder you from engaging in further workouts.

Pulling Too Low

Maybe you don’t want to waste too much of your energy pulling the bar to your chest or thigh. But do you know pulling too low will merely hurt your shoulder and arms? Moreover, the lat muscles remain disengaged, and the shoulder ones will pain because of the stress. Besides, pulling too low limits the maximization of your performance.

Importance of Standing Lat Pulldown

Woman Using A Standing Pulldown MachineCan Standing Lat Pulldown be valuable to your exercise? Why choose it instead of pull-ups or pull-overs? This kind of workout is exceptionally beneficial to your body. Though a bit tedious to perform, it’s among exercises that not only strengthen your upper body but provide it with an adorable shape. Let’s have a look at some of its benefits.

Shoulder Strengthening

A strong shoulder helps in carrying out daily activities. For example, we use hands a lot daily. If the shoulders are not healthy, then the arm will not have the energy to perform the various tasks assigned daily. The shoulders are made up of several muscles. This type of workout strengthens these muscles and helps you accomplish all other activities adequately. Take, for example, an athlete who is required to throw discs and play baseball. He needs strong shoulders to perform well. Standing pulldown exercise can be of much help to him than all other workouts.

Back Strengthening

Besides strengthening the lat and the shoulder muscles, this workout will strengthens your back muscles making your entire back strong and healthy. When pulling some weight, which we all do daily, in fact, this workout fits everybody including the athletes.

Biceps Strengthening

Standing lat pulldown workout strengthens bicep muscles and the muscles that support it. Strong biceps enables rotation of the elbow as well as flexion of the arm. It also helps in lifting heavy objects or pulling weights.

Keeps the Shoulder Healthy

If your shoulder muscles are not strong, then the health of it is at risk. Shoulder health affects all the other parts of the body. When your shoulder is paining, then the arms can’t function normally. To avoid such issues, it is necessary to engage in standing lat pulldown to reap the benefits of good health.

Killer v Shape

Men especially go for standing pulldown exercise to acquire that adorable v shape. If you want to have this shape, then this is an exercise to go for. It builds your shoulders, and upper back muscles, ensuring that you have a broad, strong upper body that narrows downwards producing a small waist. Most women love such men because they feel protected not forgetting that fellow men will look at you with admiration; they know how much work and commitment it has cost you.

3 Best Alternative Workouts for Standing Pulldown Exercise

There are a variety of exercises that can bring you the same results as the standing pulldowns. You don’t have to feel inclined just to follow this workout. Below are three alternatives that can bring you the same results

Band Pull-Ups

Band Pull-Ups As AlternativeIf you don’t have a gym facility around, Band Pull-Ups is a better alternative. All you need is a pull-up bar as well as a resistance band which helps in taking some of your weight. There are many different bands in the market so be ready to play around with a few until you get your suit. Moreover, as your body gets strong, you will need to swap for a lighter one.

How to: Curve the band over your bar, that is, connect one end to the other to form a stirrup. Wrap one foot around the ankle as you put the other one on your stirrup. Pull up until your chin goes beyond the bar. Then in a controlled manner lower yourself down until you get to your startup position.

Barbell Pull-Overs

Woman Barbell Pull Over Standing Pulldown AlternativeThe first thing you need is a barbell. Fill it up with the required weight. Lie on a weight bench in a way that your upper back forms a square at the middle. Put your legs on the floor and let them be hip-length apart. In addition, curve your hips a little. Hold the barbell in your hands and get into a position of your desire. You can also get your position on the ground as you lie on the bench.

How To:  Your arms should be extended on your chest, and elbows bent a little. Lower the bar in a controlled manner beyond your head such that the upper arms get aligned with your chest. Avoid forcing your scope of motion. Then bend as much as you can while at the same time avoiding stressing your shoulder. After which you can return to your position and repeat the process. Do it several times for better result. Barbell Pull-Overs strengthens both the shoulder and lat muscles.

Cable Pull-Over

Woman Using A Cable Pull-OverIn a fitness center or a place where there is a cable machine, you need to link a narrow-grip bar to a high pulley to perform a cable pull-over version.

How to: You need a straight back-seat. Sit on it and using an overhand grip, hold the bar. Bend your elbow slightly and bring the pull-bar down until you can pull it no more. Then in a controlled way return it to the starting point. It helps balance the lat and shoulder muscles. It can also help develop the v shape you so much desire.

Take Away

As you have seen, there are many alternatives to standing pulldown work out all bringing you the same result. Instead of interchanging these exercises whenever you visit a gym, identify the workout that best suits you and perfect its skills. To help you out, the best one for you is the one you feel comfortable doing, and you perform it with ease. Practice it often and try to learn other better techniques you can use to get credible results.