The straight arm pulldown is the variation of the standard lat pull-down exercise, that is used for building back muscles. The prime target of this workout is lats and once your start doing this exercise you will notice some change in the biceps and midsection of your back. The movements are the same as that of the dumbbell pullover workout. While performing this pulldown your main focus should be on a range of motion and not on the amount of used weight.

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Straight arm pulldown is an isolation workout that helps you to strengthen your lats and upper back portion of the body. It also helps to enhance your overall body posture and is an essential workout for all fitness level people. It targets secondary muscles like the abs, chest, and triceps. Let us see some valuable information regarding straight arm pulldown and how we can incorporate this workout into our daily fitness program.

How to do Straight Arm Pulldown

How to do Straight Arm Pulldown


  1. For this workout, there will be a cable pulley machine, where a rope is attached to a pulley.
  2. Stand on the floor facing the machine and grab the rope at the ends of the handle.
  3. By fully extending your arms and keeping them straight, pull the cable down.
  4. Bend your torso forward at a 30-degree angle and if your arms are bending you need to step back slightly.
  5. While pulling the cable, breathe out by stretching it to your thighs and then breathe in while returning to your initial position.
  6. Repeat this entire movement around 20 times.

Straight Arm Pulldown Variations

Lay on the Back Form

Lay on the Back Form

This is different from the standard version of pulldown where you had to stand and then pull the rope or cable. In this variation, you have to rest on the floor on your back by bending your knees. Grab the rope with your hands and pull down the rope to your hips. Remember to keep your elbows and arms straight. Soon you will notice that your lats are being stretched and squeezed.

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Kneel and Pull Form

In this variation, you have to kneel on both your knees. By keeping your abs engaged you have to slightly arch your spine. Grab the rope and pull down it with a straight arm. Pull it till your hips. This form will help you to strengthen your biceps and lower back muscles by targeting your lats.

One Straight Arm Pulldown

One Straight Arm Pulldown

In this variation, you have to stand on the floor with one side facing the machine. You and the machine should be in a perpendicular position. If the right side of the arm is facing the machine, then pull the cable with your right arm only till your hip bone. Do the same for the left-hand side of your body too. So in this form, you are doing one straight arm pulling with one side t a time. This is one of the easier variations that target your triceps and biceps and strengthens your arms muscles.

Target Muscles



They are also known as latissimus dorsi, are the largest group of muscles attached to the midsection of your back. Straight arm pulldown focuses on lats that help in rotating on stretching your arms which is very useful to activate your muscles.

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These are the major target of muscles. While doing the pulldown, you need to keep your elbows straight. Triceps are responsible for straightening your arms isometrically and keeps your upper body engaged throughout the pulldown exercise.

Abdominal Muscles

Straight arm pulldown exercise might strain your back. Abdominal muscles are responsible to avoid your ack from hyperextending and it gives your relief from back pain.

Safety Measures for Straight Arm Pulldown

Safety Measures for Straight Arm Pulldown
  1. If you have any serious health condition then it is necessary to consult a doctor and then do straight arm pulldown.
  2. Never begin the exercise with heavyweights, it will put unnecessary stress on your shoulders, arms and lower back. Always start pulling the cable down with lower weights.
  3. Avoid pulling the cable at a higher speed. Always pull down the cable slowly.
  4. This exercise is simple to do but proper rest is necessary after 24 hours of workout. Rest will ensure you recover from muscles strain.


  1. Weight lifters need to have more focus on lat muscles. The standard lat pulldown will not benefit them, so a straight arm form will help them realize that lats and triceps are working strongly.
  2. It provides greater ROM than the traditional pulldown exercises.
  3. Since you are pulling the cable by a straight arm, it will benefit the weight lifters to perform deadlift in the correct form. It also benefits in keeping their body stable and mobile.
  4. If you want a bigger and stronger back then surely this is an ideal choice for even all the fitness enthusiasts.

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