The lat pulldown machine is a free standing machine or an attachment that has a padded seat, thigh support and a long bar hanging from an upper rod. It helps one to perform compound vertical pulling exercises that target the latissimus dorsi, middle and lower trapezius, serratus anterior and rhomboids. As you exercise, you sit on the seat; hook your thighs under the support pads and pull down the bar to your chest or neck. You can grip on the bar in many ways such as narrow, wider, medium, underhand and overhand and this will depend on whatever goal you want to achieve. However, as you will see from the reviews below, they provide even more possibilities for home training.
The lateral pulldown machine is mostly found in the gym, but you can have it at home. From the chart below you will quickly find out which are the best ones for sale right now.
Comparison of Top 5 Lat Machines For the Home
|Model||Features||Reviews / Details / Price|
THE MOST POPULAR
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Body Solid Pro
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Valor Fitness CB-12
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THE MOST PROFESSIONAL
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Phoenix Power Pro Olympic Bench
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1. Powerline PLM180X Cable Lat Machine - Good Price/Value Ratio
You can do a number of upper body exercises with it such as seated rows, upright rows, triceps deep down, by use of the low and high pulleys. The design of machine allows you to perform a broad range of motions through full extension and contraction.
Has heavy gauge steel construction, which gives it a robust and sturdy support as you exercise. It has 8-inch foam rollers that hold you into position. The machine has a wide bar pull bar that is used for pulling back and down, and it has a patented nylon bushing in the pulleys, which allows smooth operation.
- It is tall enough, hence suitable for people over 6 feet tall.
- PLM180X is simple and light as it weighs 76lbs, so it is easy to move around.
- Easy to assemble by yourself.
- Relatively cheap compared to the qualities it has.
- The cables don’t come off as you exercise because they are held in place by the patented nylon bushings.
- At times it can be unstable when you continually workout on it because it is narrow and tall in nature.
- It offers no counter balance when performing exercises such as cable curls.
2. Body Solid Pro Lat Machine
It is a plate-loaded home lat pulldown machine that has both the high and low pulleys, and adjustments are made by changing pins. The high pulley is placed overhead, and it allows the best back and shoulder isolation. The no cable change technology makes the transition from high to low pulley exercise effortless and increases the size, endurance, and strength of your back muscles.
There are bar handles for both the high and low pulleys, a thick comfortable seat pad and diamond plate stabilizers for extra stability and balance. It has 8 multi-position rollers, which lock your position if you want to do high lat pulley exercises. For smooth pulling movements, there are patented nylon bushings.
- Tall enough, hence suitable for people over 6 feet tall.
- It has a small footprint, which enables it to fit into the corner of your room.
- The no cable technology makes it easier to move from one location to another.
- Includes lat bar and straight bar.
- Short for the taller users.
- It doesn’t come with any extra weight plates.
- The machine doesn’t have any weights storage to keep your weights, so you will need to buy an additional storage to keep your weights.
- There are no assembling instructions, hence making it hard to assemble.
3. Valor Fitness CB-12 Plate Loading Lat Pull Down
CB-12 has sturdy steel tubing frame and high tension pulleys to enable you to have an active performance. It has adjustable seat pads, which ensure that you are comfortable and four base caps, which keep the machine stable as you exercise.
It is small but allows you to perform a number of exercises such as triceps pulldown, seated row and upright row, standing leg extensions, standing arms curls, ab crunches and lateral pulldown. You can do all these exercises comfortably in your home.
- It is the cheapest when you compare to other best pulldown machines, but worth the money you buy it.
- Have high and durable tension pulleys, which ensure a smooth operation.
- Plate loading carriage is up to 250 lbs.
- It weighs about 67 pounds, hence making it easier to move around.
- The design is smart and ergonomic, which helps you save space.
- The cable comes off the pulley as you work out, but you can sort this out by twisting the cable in the middle so that it shortens.
- It has a small size, which makes it unsuitable or people who are tall or heavy.
- Hard to assemble.
4. XMark Commercial Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine - Highest Weight Capacity
It is strongly built by use of 11 gauge steel, nylon coated aircraft quality cables and flip up footplate. All these ensure that the machine is durable, comfortable and reliable to use as you perform a number of exercises. For style and durability, it has a scratch resistant powder coated finishing, a thick and fluffy 3 inch Dura craft cushion and skid resistant feet.
It has both the low and high pulleys, hence making it suitable to use both of the high and low exercises. There are also bars included for lat pull downs, bicep curls, low rows, shrugs and triceps presses.
- It has two 14 inch Olympic plates adaptors, hence can be used with both the conventional and Olympic plates.
- Assembling the machine is quite simple.
- It has optional aircraft quality cabling and other equipment, which come with the machine and can also be gotten from XMark.
- The manufacturer offers a one year warranty on hardware, pulleys, pop pins, and cables and also a lifetime warranty on the body frame.
- The low pulley is a bit low for people who are less than 6 feet tall, so they will not be able to stretch fully.
Things To Consider When Buying Lat Pulldown Cable Machine
1. Adjustable seat
Having a seat with the right height and is comfortable will enable you to perform your workouts better. Ensure that the seat is adjustable to a range of different heights because you will need to adjust it when doing various exercises.
Some machines have weighs (wight stacks) included while others don’t have (plate loaded). If you already have weight plates at home, then there is no need of getting more weights but if you don’t have, get equipment that comes with them included or buy them separately.
3. Weight capacity
Depending on whether you are a beginner or an amateur you need to know how much weight you will be lifting and the long term goals. Look at the maximum weight of the machine and get one with your desirable weights.
4. Weight adjustment
Most machines have pull pins or pop pins to adjust the weight and have rectangular weight plates incorporated into the machine. Make sure that your equipment has these pins so that you can add your own weight.
5. Does it have a bottom pulley?
Some machines don’t have a bottom pulley so ensure that you get one that has a pulley so that it assist you in completing seated rows and standing curls. Pulleys allow you to work the different muscles in the legs, back, core and arms.
There are two types of plates i.e. standard and Olympic. Get a machine that is compatible with the kind of weight that you want to use. Most machines that use the standard weights will need you to get unique adaptor sleeves when you want to use the Olympic weights.
It should be built with high-quality material, has comfortable supports pads and seat, and higher weight capacity. Get a machine that is worth the price, and you may check the reviews of people who have bought this machine before.
Most companies offer warranties for their machine for a year or a lifetime. Get a warranty that will take care of some parts such as the frame or the entire machine.
Lat Pulldown Alternative?
If you think this type of machine is not for you, there are other equipment you could have at home.
For example, a pull up dip station that lets you perform the most beneficial bodyweight exercises such as pull ups and chin ups working almost the same muscle groups.
Another alternative is the power rack that is more suitable for free weight exercises such as squats and bench presses, but some models come with a cable lat pulldown section. Check out the best power racks here.
Finally, you may think about cable crossover machine with lat pulldown which is very versatile pieces of equipment, though their size is pretty big.
Lat Pulldown Machine Benefits
Some of the benefits of having the lat pulldown cable machine for your home gym include:
- Strengthens the shoulder muscles such as teres major, which is a rotator cuff muscle, deltoids, and infraspinatus. A healthy rotator cuff muscle makes it easier for one to extend and rotate the arm in all directions and reduces the chances of an injury.
- It strengthens the biceps muscles such as the brachii and brachioradialis. A strong biceps allows one to flex the arm much better and rotate the elbow which is essential when lifting and pulling.
- Strengthens the upper and lower back muscles including the trapezius and rhomboids. When pulling against resistance the back muscles and arms work together to give one good performance.
- With the lateral pulldown machine, you get to exercise the elbows, scapula, and shoulders all at once. Hence, you will be working on several different muscles while doing one exercise. This means that you do more with less equipment.
- You can do a number of exercises by using a variety of handles and grips so as to change the emphasis of your exercises. The handle can be turned from a short handle to a V or D handle, and you can enjoy performing the various workouts with it.
- It lets you to easily and quickly add weights in the pulldown machine if you want to improve and adapt your body you can do progressive overload. All you need to do is pull the pin out if the stack and add the new weight under it or alter the weight plates.
What muscles do lat pull downs work?
The above benefits can be achieved through various types of exercises that you can perform with the lateral pulldown machine. The activities will depend on the grip variation either wide or close together and the hand position whether supinated, pronated or parallel. There are a number of targeted muscles mainly on the middle back and biceps because as you work on the machine, the shoulder and elbow work together in motion. The major muscle targeted is the latissimus dorsi muscles which are located on the sides of the rib cage.
Lat pulldown machine exercises activate the latissimus “lats” dorsi when you pull down the bar to your chest. You get to work on the major and minor rhomboids which are responsible for shoulder blade or scapula, the lower and middle trapezius which help you pull the scapula down and move your arms up and the muscles of the rotator cuff i.e. the major and minor teres and infraspinatus.
The posterior deltoid behind the shoulders is also worked on, and this contributes to the appearance of a strong V—shaped back and improves your upper body strength. For back and side neck stability, you work on the levator scapulae.
When you grasp and pull the lateral pulldown machine, you are activating the fore muscles, brachioradialis, and brachialis and stimulate the pectoraliuis minor which are the two smaller and deeper chest muscles. A close grip at the bar works much better on the biceps than a wide grip.
Your elbow joint stabilizes as the triceps bend and extends as you pull up and down.
Here is a sample total body workout plan with a help of a lat pulldown machine.
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Last update on 2018-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API