How to Do Straight-Arm Pulldown Exercise

Back exercises for women to lose the back fat.

Get a sleek sculpted back and tone the back of your arms with Arm Lat Pull downs.

The straight arm lat pulldown is one of the most underutilized back exercises with great benefits.   

It helps you lose the back fat (the bra bulge) and jiggles in the back of your arms by toning your back and sculpting your triceps. 

Just as pull-up exercise, which is often known as the best back exercise, this straight arm lat pulldown work many major muscle groups in the back and arms.

“The only thing different is it doesn’t involve biceps,” says Jeffrey Rice, ACE-certified personal trainer.

While this limitation may seem like a disadvantage, it’s not. It’s actually a good thing for your back and triceps. 

He adds, “this limited involvement of the biceps allows the back muscles to work more intensely, as the bicep endurance is often the limiting factor during a back workout.”

This lat pulldown exercise is extremely effective at toning your back and giving you the sleek, bra bulge-free back. 

It is largely due to the muscle it targets (latissimus dorsi or lats) happens to be the biggest in the back and one of the widest in human body. 

As big as it is, it is not a frequently used muscle in our everyday life, and without proper, frequent maintenance, it becomes saggy and accumulates back fat.

Back focused exercises such as this lat pull downs, chin-ups, and pull-ups can all be used to work the lats, burn the back fat and play an instrumental role in revealing your beautiful back.

Also, let’s not forget that this exercise also trims your arm fat by working your triceps.

While biceps often steal the center stage when it comes to arm workouts for women, it’s actually the triceps you need to really train.

In fact, the tricep muscles make up almost 75% of your arms, making them the larger muscles in your arms, reports 

By adding triceps exercises to your routine is a sure way to accelerate arm slim-down and loss of arm fat.

Although the straight-arm lat pull downs is primarily a back exercise, the triceps work isometrically to hold the arms straight during the exercise. 

Lastly and much appreciated bonus of this workout is its core involvement. 

It intensely works your abdominal muscles to prevent your lower back from hyperextending, and this abs engagement sure make it a legit core workout.

More specifically, its the front abs (rectus abdominis) and side ads (external obliques) are what go to work to support your torso and body alignment during the pull-down motion.

It’s a great way to work your abs and core without having to do a core specific exercise.

The Straight-Arm Pull-Down Exercise Summary: 

This exercise works your lats, lower trapezius, triceps and the core including your rectus abdominis and obliques. 

Although it’s best performed with a cable pulley machine, it can be done using a resistance band.

Exercise Table

10-122-3MediumGym or Home

How to Do Straight Arm Pulldown

  1. Stand in front of a high cable pulley machine. Reach the handles with your palms facing down, then step back 2 to 3 feet from the cable machine.
  2. With your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart, tilt  your hips back. Engage your lats and pull the handles towards your thighs. 

Tips: Try to pull the cable handles as close to your thighs as possible.

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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