Lat pulldown variations are important and should be a part of your workout routine. When you do one variation for a long time, the muscles get used to it and can hit a plateau. Therefore, it’s important to break out of that and do variations.
Moreover, variations allow you to hit the muscle group from various angles, which is important for overall development.
Lat Pulldown Variations for Strength
Here are six lat pulldown variations, especially for women, to give your muscles some form of variation:
1) Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
The wide grip pulldown is the most common exercise for back workouts. It focuses on your upper back, forearms and biceps. As you engage your core for stability, it has an impact on the abdominal muscles as well.
This is one of the best ways to begin your lat workouts, and almost all fitness establishments have a lat pulldown machine.
2) One-arm Lat Pulldown
One-arm or unilateral exercises are important, as they help in fixing any type of muscle imbalance.
You can use the cable pulley machine for this exercise or attach a single grip to the lat pulldown machine.
When you exercise and pull the grip towards yourself, you should be able to feel the stretch on your lats (whichever side you’re working on). Not only that, you’ll also feel some amount of exertion on your biceps.
As pulldowns are compound movements, you’ll be able to work more than one muscle group.
3) Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown
Hammer strength machines may not be available at every gym, but if you have access to one, you should use it.
Lat pulldowns on hammer strength machines allow you to target bigger muscle groups at the same time. So if you do a hammer strength pulldown, you’ll be able to work on your lats primarily, but it’ll also work on your shoulders and chest to some degree.
4) Seated Cable Lat Pulldown
Seated cable pulldowns are lat pulldown variations similar to pulldowns, but you do them in the cable pulley system.
Interestingly, you can do this exercise with various grips such as the v-bar, d-bar, straight bar, ropes and others. You can either sit on the floor or on a bench to do this exercise.
The wider your grip, the more back you’ll be able to cover, especially the flared lats. However, a closer grip can enable you to activate smaller muscles and work on the upper back.
5) Straight Arm Pulldown
A straight arm pulldown can be done using the lat pulldown machine or the cable pulley machine. Ideally, you can do straight arm pulldowns as a warm-up or as a finisher, but there’s no harm in doing the exercise as a part of your workout routine.
You must ensure your back is straight when you’re doing this exercise, and you're bending from your hips and knees. Your arms must be completely extended when you do this exercise. If you fold them, the pressure will move from your lats to the triceps and pectoral muscles.
6) Behind-the-neck Lat Pulldown
While most lat pulldown variations work on your back, this exercise focuses on your traps.
It’s important to work on your trap muscles, as they help with posture and movement. They allow your neck to tilt and also help control the shoulders when you’re lifting or throwing.