Straight arm pulldowns are a great way to strengthen and develop the sides of the upper back -otherwise known as the latissimus dorsi. In comparison to performing lat pulldowns or pull ups, straight arm pulldowns isolate the lats while minimizing assistance from the biceps. The reduction in bicep recruitment allows a pre-exhaustion superset to be executed. Performing straight arm pulldowns prior to pull ups allows for lat isolation while keeping the biceps fresh. Therefore, when you make the immediate transition to pull ups, which draw upon the biceps for assistance, the lats will be taken to a further extent of failure.
- Hook a straight pulldown bar on a upright cable attachment.
- Using an overhand grip, place the hands around the bar with the arms positioned slightly wider than shoulder width apart. There should be a slight bend at the elbows.
- Bend over slightly at the hips and stick the buttocks out while keeping your back straight.
- Exhale and while keeping the arms straight, lower them down towards the upper thigh.
- Inhale and at a controlled speed, raise the arms back up to starting position.
- Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.