Exercise of the Week: Band Lat Pulldown

The latissimus dorsi is one of the largest muscles in your body. This pair of muscles – called your lats for short – arise from the connective tissue of your lower back, sweeping up the sides and attaching to the long bones in your upper arms.

Chin ups are pretty much the king of upper body pulling exercises.

They are also really hard!

The vast majority of my clients aren’t able to do a body weight chin-up when they start working out. Daily life doesn’t place a high strength demand on our latissimus dorsi, one of the most important muscles working in the chin up exercise. But we still want to make those muscles stronger and work toward being able to move our own body weight.

So thank god for exercises like the band lat pulldown. Rather than asking our lats (and other muscles) to try to move our entire body weight, we can ask them to work with more appropriate resistance provided by a band. As we get stronger, we can use a thicker band to provide more resistance and keep building strength!

What it does: Builds upper body pulling strength

How to:

Band Lat Pulldown

– Securely attach the band within a door frame
– Take a step or two back from the door, kneel down and sit back on your heels
– Lean the torso forward slightly so it’s in line with the band and reach up to grab  the band (arms should be straight and slight tension on the band)
– Brace through abs and following an ‘arc’, pull the elbows down towards the sides
– Keep abs braced and control back to the start position

You should feel:  A squeeze through the upper outside of the back, work through the arms and the abs


Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are right for you. If these exercises increase pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these. To find out who I refer to in Beaverton or the rest of the Portland area, please get in touch.