Standing Lat Pulldown: Benefits and How to Do It Correctly

Compared to traditional lat pulldown exercises, standing lat pulldowns are an alternative that targets the muscles at an entirely different angle that requires more core muscle movement.

It’s a great exercise for those looking to build strength in the lats and back and shoulder muscles!

To ensure you can complete this exercise correctly and get the most benefits, I’ve collected all the information you’ll need. Let’s get started.

The Standing Lat Pulldown

A standing lat pulldown could be one of the least well-known lat pulldown variants.

This compound exercise is among the most efficient exercises for pulling down.

If you’re looking to develop larger lats, increase the strength of your upper body and correct your posture. The pulling down of the standing lat is perfect for you!

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Working Muscles

The Standing Lat Pulldown Working Muscles

First Muscle Groups

Based on the name, it’s no surprise that the standing lat pulldown is primarily focused on your lats.

It is located in the lower and mid-back, beginning in the lower/mid back; the muscles of the latissimus Dorsi is the biggest muscle in the back.

Your lats play an important part in the majority of “pulling” exercises like pulldowns, pull-ups, and other rowing exercises.

Secondary Muscle Groups

Standing lat pulldown also is a great exercise for a variety of muscles.

This workout activates the forearms and biceps to lower the bar.

Your shoulders’ muscles and upper back work to stabilize your upper body.

Finally, the muscles in your core contract to stabilize your midsection during the exercise movement.

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Benefits

The Standing Lat Pulldown Benefits

#1 Stronger And Bigger Lats.

Standing lat pulldown will target the lats. Thus, a regular exercise that includes this exercise will enhance your lat hypertrophy and back strength.

A well-built back is vital to improve your performance in sports, other compound exercises, and everyday activities.

#2 Improved Posture

Standing lat pulldown can be among the most effective exercises that can improve posture.

Sitting for long periods in chairs while at work or driving could cause an insufficient use of your lats, other back muscles, and the deep core muscles.

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This can cause slouching and discomfort, and tension in your back and shoulders.

Standing lat pulldown stimulates these vital muscles of posture. If you exercise regularly, you’ll be standing straight and in good posture within minutes.

#3 Aesthetics Improved

Standing lat pulldown is one of the most effective ways to enhance your appearance. The position you stand during this standing lat pulldown can cause instability within your back and core.

Thus, your abs and back muscles are working more to stabilize your torso, which helps you burn more calories and boosts your after-exercise oxygen intake.

If you’re looking to strengthen your back muscles or lose body fat, standing lat pulldown will help you achieve your goals.

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Instructions


For this workout, it is necessary to have the pulley system and the cable machine with an attachment for a lat bar.


  • Assume a standing position in front of the machine.
  • Reach your arms up and grab the bar using your hands approximately wide apart, with your palms in a direction away from the bar.
  • Take a step away from the bench. Set your foot in the middle of the bench to provide stability. Lean back a bit.


  1. Brace your core, pull your shoulder blades back and back, and lower the bar until it reaches the front of your ribs.
  2. Pause briefly at the bottom, squeeze your lats, and slowly return to your starting position.
  3. Keep your core tight in your core, and repeat!


The goal is to finish three sets of 8-12 repetitions in the standing lat pulldown.

You can change your sets and rep ranges to test yourself as you become more comfortable with your form.

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Mistakes

The Standing Lat Pulldown Mistakes

#1 Reaching Your Back The _

Many weightlifters will arch their backs during standing lat pulldown. Leaning back may aid in activating your lats; however, the back of your lower back is not a good idea and creates unnecessary strain on your spine.

To prevent this lower back tension and the possibility of a back injury, maintain your spine straight throughout your movement.

#2 Useing Momentum Momentum

As you stand in a position of standing, it’s tempting to put on more weight and then use your upper body’s momentum to lower the weight.

In real life, using momentum isn’t aiding your back workout.

If you’ve made this mistake If you make this mistake, try reducing the weight and keep your back firmly stationary when you standing lat pulldown.

#3 Emphasizing Your Arms

Another frequent pulling down error made by standing lat pulldown is that you start the pulling motion using your arms.

Although there’s nothing wrong with exercising arm muscles, the workout focuses on your lats.

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Instead of using your arms’ smaller muscles to pull it down, focus on retracing your shoulders and contracting your lats to pull down the bar.

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Variations

#1 Underhanded Standing Lat Pulldown

The sub-hand version of standing lat pulldown engages your biceps more intensely than the normal variation. Hold the bar with your hands about shoulders apart, with your palms facing forward.

Do the standing lat pulldown in the same procedure for the standing lat overhand pulldown.

#2 Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

The straight arm lat pulldown can also be done in a standing position. This method lowers tension on your biceps and enhances the connection between your muscles and your mind.

Begin by setting the straight or lat-bar attachment at the shoulder height. Place yourself on the front edge of your pulley device, with your feet spread shoulder-width separated.

Take the attachment in an overhand grip with your arms extended.

Keep your arms straight and press your lats hard to bring the bar back to your legs. Take a moment at the end of the rep, then squeeze your lats with a lot of force, then slowly return to your starting position.

Stay tight in your core and do it again!

#3 Seated Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

The seated version of standing lat pulldown needs less stability in the core than the stand lat pulldown, allowing you to focus on the importance of your lats during the pulldown movement.

Then, first, sit on the floor with your back to the machine. Utilize the knee pads to secure your legs. Then, secure your knees right over your ankles.

Reach your arms up to hold the bar at the highest grip angle with your palms facing away from you. The hands must be more than the shoulder width.

When leaning slightly back while leaning back, you should brace your core. Lower your shoulders and back, and lower the bar until it is at the top of your rib cage.

Take a moment near the end, squeeze your lats, and slowly return to your starting position.

Stay tight in your core and do it again!

The Standing Lat Pulldown: Alternatives

If you’ve enjoyed the standing lat pulldown, take a look at these alternative exercises for your back to boost your upper body strength:

#1 Dumbbell Lat Pullover

Begin by picking up a pair of dumbbells and sitting on an exercise bench. Relax on the bench and set your feet on the floor. Relax your back until your head is positioned at the bottom of the bench.

Lift the side of the dumbbell by one in front of your chest with your palms looking forward. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine.

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While keeping your arms straight, keep your arms straight, squeeze your lats and gradually bring the dumbbells back until they’re in line with the top of your head.

Press your lats to the bottom. Contract your chest to bring the dumbbells up to their starting point. Press your chest with force while in the position. Stay tight in your core and repeat!

#2 Wide Grip Pull Up

Begin by grasping the bar with your palms away from you. You should also have your hands wider than your shoulder distance.

Keep your lower body in a still position and your lower body still, and squeeze your lats to push yourself up until your chin is over the bar.

Slowly return to your beginning position. Repeat!

#3 Underhand Dumbbell Row

Lift the dumbbells with your palms looking forward. Make 45 degrees and activate your core.

Press your lats together to raise your elbows and then back down as the dumbbells roll toward your sides during every repetition.

Stop at the top, and squeeze your lats with firm pressure. Slowly return to your beginning position and repeat!

Last Words

Standing lat pulldown is an excellent exercise for targeting your lats. It also strengthens other muscles that work on stretching and adducting your arms.

It’s an alternative to pulling up if you’re not capable of doing it without assistance. It’s also a great complement in conjunction with the pull-up.

There are many variations of this exercise, keeping it fresh and highlighting various muscles. If you’ve been doing this exercise in the same way for some time, you can try shifting your grip and see the difference.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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