How Do You Do A Straight Arm Pull Down?

The straight arm pushdown exercise is an interesting strength exercise that mainly works your lats. Doing this exercise in the correct way does not only strengthen your lats but many upper muscles. This article gives the correct way of doing the straight arm pushdown as well as other exercises such as the low cable pull. In addition to that, there is an alternative straight arm pushdown exercises that you can do at home without the cable machine. Furthermore, the article gives more alternative exercises that you can do in place of the straight arm pushdown exercise.

Straight-Arm Pushdown Muscles Worked

The straight arm pushdown is an isolation exercise. It is also an alternative exercise to lat pull down. These exercises engage similar muscles. More so, these exercises are good for straightening the upper body muscles.  Primarily, the straight arm push down targets the lats by isolating them.

If you want to have the ‘V’ shape with a good muscular upper body, this is the exercise that you should do. In addition, besides the lats, the straight arm push down hits several upper body muscles such as the biceps, triceps, deltoids, forearms, pectorals, abs, and back muscles. To do the straight arm pushdown exercise correctly, follow the steps below;Straight Arm Pushdown - Pushdown

  1. Attach the bar or a rope on a high pulley
  2. Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart distance. Step back away from the machine but be in a position that can allow you to reach the bar.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you to grab the bar with an overhand grip and keep the hands at shoulder width apart.  Make sure that your back straight and the chin up.
  4. Pull down the bar and keep your arms straight until the bar hits your thighs.
  5. Slowly return the bar up to the start position.
  6. Repeat.

Low Cable Pull

The low cable pull exercise is slightly similar to the straight arm pull down. This exercise also works the lats muscles. Follow the steps below to do the exercise.

  1. Start by attaching the rope on a high pulley.
  2. Stand in front of the machine and grasp the rope with your hands closer to each other than the shoulder width apart distance.
  3. Step back from the machine so that your arms are fully extended. Keep your back straight and the chin up.
  4. Then pull down the rope to your thighs and squeeze your arms before returning the rope.
  5. Slowly return the rope up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.

Straight Arm Pushdown Vs Pulldown

The straight arm push down is also known as the straight arm lat pull down or the straight arm cable pull down. They both target similar muscles such as the lats, back, shoulders, and arms. However, there is a slight difference between the straight arm push down and the lat pull down. When you do the straight arm push down, you keep your arms straight. But, when you do the lat pull down, you bend your elbows a bit.

Straight Arm PulldownStraight Arm Pushdown - Pulldown

The straight arm pull down hits the same muscles as the straight arm push down. For instance, it primarily targets the lats. In addition to that, other muscles that get exercised include the back, delts, core, chest, and triceps. As discussed above, the straight arm pull down is also known as the straight arm push down. You can revisit the straight arm push down instructions to follow the steps that will help you to do the straight arm pull down exercise.

Straight Arm Pushdown Resistance Band

Not having gym equipment does not stop you from exercising. There are different things that you can use at home to do some exercises. The straight arm push down can be down at home without the use of a cable machine. As long as you have the resistance band, you can hit those lats and make them stronger. To do the exercise, you will need a door anchor and a resistance band. Follow the instructions to do the exercise properly;

  1. Put the anchor on top of the door and close the door. You can lock the door to make it secure.
  2. Take your resistance band and thread it through the door anchor.
  3. Grasp the resistance band handles and take a few steps from the door and kneel down facing the door. Keep your back straight and the chest up. Your arms should be stretched in front of you and parallel to the ground.
  4. Then use your wrist to balance the resistance handles instead of grasping it with your hand.
  5. Pull the resistance bend down to your hips. Keep your arms straight and don’t bend them when you are pulling the resistance bend.
  6. Lowly return the arms up until they are parallel to the floor.
  7. Repeat as much as you can.

Straight Arm Pull Down Alternative

There are various exercises that you can try to hit the lats and other muscles that get exercises by the straight arm pulldown. Try these exercises as an alternative to the straight arm pull down.

Bent Arm Barbell Pullover

The bent arm barbell pullover is a strength exercise that targets the lats, pecs, and anterior serratus. As such, it can be done as a straight arm pulldown. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;

  1. Grab a barbell bar with an overhand grip and keep your hands at shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lie on your back on the bench.
  3. Raise the bar above your chest until your arms are fully straightened. Avoid resting the bar on your chest.
  4. Bend your arms and bring the bar down behind your head. Keep the elbows pointing upward and don’t let them sway outside your body. Pause for a second.
  5. Bring the weight up to the starting position or until your arms are fully straightened.
  6. Repeat to reach the number of your desired reps.

Chin-UpStraight Arm Pushdown - Chin-Up

This is an interesting exercise that targets various muscles. Primarily, the chin-up works the lats, biceps brachii, posterior deltoid, teres major, and abs. As you pull your body up, you hit a lot of muscles at once. To do the exercise; follow the steps below;

  1. Hold the bar with palms facing your body at a shoulder-wide distance or a little narrower.
  2. You can cross your legs and then lift your body up contracting your elbows and shoulder blades.
  3. Pull your chest up towards the bar.
  4. Continue to pull your body up until your head is over the bar.
  5. Bring back your body to the starting point.
  6. Repeat the move

Cable Pull-Over

Straight Arm Pushdown - Cable Pull-Over workoutThe cable pull-over exercise is good for strengthening your back, chest, and triceps. The back muscles include the lats.  In addition to that, it is beginner-friendly. You need a cable machine to do the exercise. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;

  1. Start by positioning the straight bar attachment on the high setting.
  2. Stand facing the machine and grasp the bar with an overhand grip with hands at shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend forward make sure that your chest is out and your arms straight.
  4. Then pull the bar down to your hips. Pause in that position. Keep the arms and back straight as you pull down the bar.
  5. Return the bar up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat as much as you can.

Decline Dumbbell Pullover

The decline dumbbell pullover targets the lats, chest, rhomboids, and triceps. Besides improving the strength of your muscles, it also improves the flexibility of your upper body muscles. To do the exercise, follow the steps below;

  1. Sit on the bench and plant your feet on the ground. Put your feet a bit wider than the bench.
  2. Lie on your back on the bench.
  3. Hold the dumbbell with your hands and lift it up above your chest until the arms are fully extended.
  4. Bring the weight down behind your head but avoid pulling down than your head.
  5. Return the dumbbell up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat as much as you can.

Single Arm Dumbbell Row

The single arm dumbbell row is another exercise that you can do to strengthen your lats. Besides that, you also hit the rhomboids, deltoids, biceps, trapezius, and more. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;

  1. Holding one dumbbell in your hand, stand with your feet at hip distance apart.
  2. Step back into a lunge position in such a way that the front leg’s ankle is in line with the knee.
  3. Lean forward a bit and place your free hand on your front thigh.
  4. Lower the dumbbell until your arm is fully extended. and keep your spine neutral and avoid arching it.
  5. Then lift the weight up towards your torso. Lift the weight until it is closer or inline to your chest.
  6. Repeat before exercising the other side.

Straight Arm Pushdown - Single Arm Dumbbell RowFinal Thoughts

In conclusion, you should always remember to maintain your arms straight when doing the straight arm pushdown. That’s the best way of mastering the right form of the straight arm pushdown. And it will make it easy to differentiate the straight arm pull down from other exercises.

The above paragraphs will make you differentiate the straight arm pull down exercises from other exercises such as lat pulldown. In addition, the straight arm pushdown is an isolation exercise that strengthens the lats. Besides working the entire back muscles, it also works the pecs, delts, trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, and many other upper body muscles.

Can you differentiate between a lat pulldown and a straight arm pushdown? Share your experiences.

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