Lat Pulldown v Lat Pushdown

Lat Pulldown v Lat Pushdown Exercises For Back – Video Demo

Having strong lats is important.  The latissimus dorsi is one of the largest muscle groups in the body.  It is crucial to maintaining posture as well as being recruited for nearly every upper body movement or exercise you do. Understanding the difference between lat pulldown v lat pushdown exercises for back is a good idea if back day is part of your workout. Gloves or weight lifting grips will help ease hand fatigue with either one.

What Does Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Do?

The lats connect the humerus, which is the upper arm bone, to your spinal column.  If you do oblique crunches to get those v shaped abs or adonis belt, you’re engaging the lattisimus dorsi muscle group as well.  Any pulling exercise or movement requires strong lat muscles.  If you can’t do a more than a few pull ups at a time, it’s probably due to weak lats.

Lat Pulldown v Lat Pushdown

Obviously the two main differences between lat pulldown and lat pushdown is the motion you’re moving the bar. A typical back workout includes sitting in front of a cable machine and grasping the lat pulldown bar above your head. You complete the motion as you lower the bar towards your chest. A lat pushdown however requires you stand with the bar in front of you.  With an overhand grip (pronated) and straight arms, you “push” the bar down towards you thighs.

Lat Pulldown Variations

Kneeling Lat Pulldown Exercise

As you see in the exercise video demo, the Kneeling Lat Pulldown is a great alternative to the traditional exercise.  By kneeling instead of standing you isolate the lats more effectively. Keep your butt and core muscles tight though the entire range of motion. Your head should be up as you look forward.  It’s important to NOT grasp the bar with a death grip. The lat pulldown bar SHOULD naturally rotate within your grip. This is why GymPaws are great because they’re leather and don’t inhibit movement or wrist flexion which can cause injury.