One-arm lat pull-down

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Obliques, Psoas Major, Quadratus Lumborum, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis
  • Dynamic stabilizers: Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii (long head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Sit on the lat pull-down machine.
  2. Bring the thigh pad down onto your thighs so that you are secured into place.
  3. Grasp the stirrup (handle) with one hand. Your arm and shoulder should be fully stretched upward.


  1. Exhale as you slowly pull the stirrup down until your elbow is by the side of your body.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly return the stirrup to the starting position, with your arm and shoulder fully stretched upward.
  4. Repeat for more repetitions.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your body still. Only your arm should move.
  • Pull the stirrup down with your elbow, not with your biceps.
  • Use the one-arm lat pull-down to build your back muscles, especially your lats, and to develop unilateral upper-body strength. The exercise is also great for warming up and finding the mind–lats muscle connection before a back workout.

One-arm lat pull-down video


1 comment

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