One Arm Pulldown

One Arm Pulldown

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Lats
Secondary Muscle(s) Biceps, Middle Back
Equipment Cable
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

One Arm Pulldown Instructions

  • Attach a single, free handle to the cable machine.
    • You want your hand, wrist, and elbow to move freely.
  • Set the thigh pad to secure position.
    • Your legs/body should be fixated with little to no movement during the execution of the exercise.
  • Grip the handle with your hand in a pronated position.
  • Your mid-back should not be overly extended. Yes, you want a slight thoracic extension but avoid overly arching your back.
    • Chest is up with your shoulders pinned back.
  • At the start, you want the weight off the stack and your elbows slightly bent.
  • Initiate and control the movement by activating your lats and pulling down at a SLIGHT angle away from the machine.
    • Your arm is passive during the exercise.
  • Pull the attachment to above your chest.
  • At the bottom, your palms are facing you.
  • After a brief pause, allow the handle to track back to the starting position. Maintain tension on the lats during the eccentric phase.
    • Don't rack the weight after each rep.


  • Focus on limiting your bicep to pull the weight down. Your arms should not be taxed from performing this exercise. 
  • Refrain from leaning back or “swinging” when pulling the weight down. Control the movement with your lats, not momentum.
  • Don't let your chest cave inward as you fatigue. Maintain the strong posture you started with.
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