The incline straight-arm pull-down is a very effective exercise for building muscle and strength in the lats. It’s a great variation to the lat pull-down but the benefit of using cables is that they keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the exercise. Using a variety of exercise is also beneficial when training the lats because they are a large muscle group which requires a lot of stimulis from different angles.

So, it’s highly recommended to include the incline straight-arm pull-down in your routine for maximum growth and strength development.

In This Exercise:

  • Target Muscle GroupLatissimus Dorsi
  • Type: Strength
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Equipment: Cable machine, bench
  • Difficulty: Beginner

Exercise Instructions

  1. Position a high incline bench so the back of it is facing a high cable pulley.
  2. Then, attach a bar grip to a high point on the cable machine.
  3. Now, grab the bar (Or have someone hand it to you) and lie down on the bench so your back is facing the machine.
  4. Keep your arms straight and pull the bar down as far as you can in a semicircular motion while contracting your lats. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
  5. Then, slowly raise your arms back up until they are straight above your head until you feel a slight stretch in your lats. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Variations & Tips:

  • Keep your arms straight to really activate the lats during the movement.
  • Have someone hand the bar to you if possible.
  • Do not train so heavy that you compromise good form during the exercise.
  • The incline straight-arm pull-down works the lats which are a large muscle of the back.

Watch: How to do the incline straight-arm pull-down