It could be argued that the three most popular pieces of gym equipment are in no particular order are the flat benches, standing cable machines and the lat pulldown machine.
Take a look around your gym, while the adductor machines remains empty. Often you will find lifters milling around these pieces, particularly the lat pulldown machine. One of the reasons for its popularity is its accessibility—everyone is capable of performing a lat pulldown—as well as its versatility, which is highlighted by the multitude of different attachments and accessories you can hook up to the device.
Lat pulldowns benefit all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced lifters. It works almost every upper body pulling muscle—it’s an excellent accessory exercise for chinups, it helps gives you wings, helps you builds strength. And whatever your goal, there’s an attachment that can help get you there, from long bars to triangle bars.
Here we’ll cover six lat pulldown attachments to up your lat pulldown gains. If you need to get reacquainted with this great exercise, here is how to do it.
How To Do The Lat Pulldown
- Grip the bar with an overhand or underhand grip at your preferred width.
- Sit down and secure your knees underneath the pad.
- With your shoulders down and chest up, pulldown the bar to underneath your chin.
- Ensure your elbows don’t flare out excessively or lean back too far.
- Raise slowly to the starting position and reset and repeat.
Muscles Trained By The Lat Pulldown
Here are the primary pulling muscles the lat pulldown trains.
- Latissimus dorsi: Or the lats for short . It is a fan-like large muscle on your upper, middle, and lower back. Its primary function is shoulder extension which happens when you pull down the bar underneath your chin.
- Trapezius and rhomboids: These main upper back muscles are involved as they elevate during the eccentric contraction and retract and depress during the concentric.
- Posterior deltoid: Assists the lats and upper back during the concentric contraction.
- Triceps: The triceps long head is the biggest of the three triceps muscles, and because it is attached to your shoulder blades assists the lats during shoulder extension.
- Anterior Core: Is engaged isometrically to keep your torso rigid and your spine neutral.
- Forearms and Biceps: need I say more? I didn’t think so.
But the real money is made by training the lats, the most prominent and widest muscle in the upper body. The standard lat pulldown bar is straight or curved, is 48 inches long, and weighs around 12 pounds. You can grip over or underhand and go wide or narrow to train your lats from various angles.
But with the lats spanning the lumbar and lower thoracic regions and having four distant areas, it pays to change up your grip, body position, and the attachments you use for better lat development.
6 Must-Have Lat Pulldown Attachments
Some of these you may know about, and some you may not. But changing your grip and attachments prevents boredom and overuse injuries and trains your lats from various angles for better wing development. Here are six lat pulldown attachments to consider for your next lat pulldown session.