Back Workout (2) – Straight Arm Pulldown

Straight arm pulldown, a movement that should not be the cornerstone of your back workout but shoulstraight_arm_pulldown_muscles.pngd be included whenever you are training your back. Many trainees like to finish their back workouts with this exercise.

This exercise works the upper back, the latissimus dorsi (“lat”), the long head of the triceps and the posterior deltoid (“rear delt”). Unlike a straight-arm pullover done on a bench, the top range of motion on the straight-arm pulldown is more limited. Another difference is that the straight-arm pulldown is a weight-bearing exercise, while the pullover—because you’re lying on a bench—is non-weight bearing. So on the pulldown your abdominal muscles have to contract isometrically to keep your torso from leaning backward due to the weight. Just be aware that the straight-arm pulldown does not lend itself to heavy weight.


  1. Stand in front of the pulldown machine. You can use the long pulldown bar or the shorter straight push-down bar, or if it is exchangeable, you can use the triceps rope.
  2. Take a shoulder-width or slightly narrower grip with your palms facing down.
  3. Bend your body towards your torso 30-45 degrees.
  4. Your arms should be straight, and the bar should be slightly above shoulder height or above your chin.
  5. While maintaining straight-arm position, pull your arms all the way down until the bar touches your thighs. Exhale as you are doing this.
  6. By keep maintaining your straight-arm position, let your arms back to starting position. Inhale as you are doing this.
  7. Do 8 – 12 repetitions for 3-4 sets




  • Start with light-weight and familiarize yourself with the movement. It’s not a hard movement, but it needs your arms, back, and shoulders to be locked.
  • If you go too heavy with this exercise, you might injure your shoulder and elbow.
  • Always maintain straight arm position
  • If you experience any pain in your shoulder or elbow, stop.




Here are some videos tutorial that might help you. Note that these videos are not mine. I picked the best video tutorial to help you guys perform the correct movement of a particular training and gain results.



All exercises have risks and benefits. Many people have injured a particular ligament on the inside of the elbow. The ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL, is stretched or torn from too much throwing and from any stress that would bow the elbow inward. Unfortunately, the straight-arm pulldown is one of those movements that can stress the ulnar collateral ligament.

It would be advised that  you start light with this training as this training is quite risky for your shoulder and elbows.

Also, Fitness HQ would recommend first time gym-goer to collect lots of information about weight training by reading books or learning from online materials. Books about strength training can be a lot of help to understand the form and which muscle groups are being worked out by a particular training.

Keep training hard and stay motivated!


Author: Fitness HQ

I used to be an over-weight guy. I tried so hard on different kind of diets (yoyo diets, skipping meals, meal only once a day) and yet I achieved nothing. Until I went to the gym by myself, people looking down at me, learning my way how to lift a weight. It feels great to be able to change my lifestyle, my body and how people see me. I prove that I can be different. I am here to help people that experiences the same problem that I used to have and try to help them achieve their fitness goals. I am happy to lend my hand and my knowledge to be able to change someone's life. Everyone deserves to feel great about themselves!

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