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The 3 Most Common Wide Lat Pulldown Exercise Mistakes

    lat pulldown for back

    How to do lat pulldown correctly

    The lat pulldown machine is one of the most popular equipment in the gym. It is obvious how to use, isn’t it? Just select the weight we would like to use, grab the bar and pull.

    But, because of its simplicity, this back exercise is usually done incorrectly and not just by the beginners. The wide lat pulldown exercise is an excellent move that works several muscle groups at once such as the lats, teres minor and mayor, posterior deltoids, rhomboids and even your biceps.

    But, if you do it badly it loses a lot from its effectiveness, even worse, you can quickly get an injury.

    So, let see what are the 3 typical mistakes that people commit doing back pulldown.


    Wide Grip Lat Pulldown Improper Forms

    1. Pulling the Bar Behind Your Neck

    The problem with this exercise is that it is unnatural. Do you ever make similar moves in your life? I’m sure you don’t. And in the long run, it does very bad to your shoulders.

    While the shoulder joint is one of the most flexible in the body, it has not been designed for such a move. And if you do it for a long-term, it can cause various shoulder issues such as rotator cuff tears.

    So, instead of pulling the bar behind your neck, pull it to the top of your chest where the collarbones are found (under your neck).

    However, you should pay attention to the proper lat pulldown form as well. So, keep your back arched, push your chest forward, keep your elbows a little bit behind your torso and your shoulders retracted.

    While you perform the move, you may need to lean back slightly, but do not over do it. Also, do not swing your upper body backward to use the momentum. Focus on your arms and back muscles to do the work.

    From the following video you can learn what is lat pulldown exercise all about.


    2. Pulling the Bar to the Waist Line

    Another mistake that usually occurs is when people pull the bar to their lower rib or waist area. The problem with this move is that the lat muscles are not engaged, but the arm muscles. This way it is a wasted motion and, well, it is good for nothing.

    On top of that, going so down put extra stress on the shoulder muscles.

    In my opinion, this is the most common mistake. So, pay attention to move the bar to the top of your chest.

    3. Too Wide Hand Grip

    Since most of the bars are rather wide, people think the wider they grip it, the better. However, the bar is wide because it must be suitable for everyone in the gym.

    There are a few reasons why too wide grip is a mistake. The first is that it will reduce the range of motion. That means the muscles are not engaged and stimulated so well. Hence, they will do not develop so much.

    The other problem with the wide grip lat pulldown is that it also put extra stress on the shoulder muscles because they are in an unnatural state. That may eventually lead to shoulder issues.

    So, what is the correct grip width?

    For wide grip pulldown, catch the bar 3-5 inches wider than your shoulders. This wide version works the central latissimus and the trapezius better.

    For narrow grip, have a 6-12 inches width. This narrow version stretches your outer lats more, and as a result, it makes your back wider.

    Hence, to get the best results, include both in your lat pulldown workout routine.

    muscles worked



    Now you know the three most common back pulldown mistakes that you should avoid. If you follow the tips above your will develop faster and prevent injuries. So, keep pulling the bar the right way.

    Do you lat pulldown exercises at home! Check out the best home lat pulldown machines here.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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