Back Exercise: Front Pulldown

The Front Pulldown is an exercise often done incorrectly. Too often, the shoulders are involved so much that the back is not worked at all. This strength training exercise is designed to develop the latissimus dorsi muscle, ie your back. These are the muscles that perform the functions of downward rotation and depression of the scapulae combined with adduction and extension of the shoulder joint.

There are many variations, using different handles, but the motion is the same.

Key Points:

  • Lift your chest to meet the bar
  • Drop your shoulders as you pull down
  • Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades through the motion
  • If you feel your arms too much, then stop and reduce the weight
  • Keep abdominals tight
  • Stay in control of the weight at all times


Back muscles respond well to heavier weights, multiple sets and lower reps. Focus on sets of 8 repetitions.  Range from 6 to 12 repetitions.