Straight-arm rope pull-down

The straight-arm rope pull-down is a variation of the straight-arm lat pull-down performed using a cable stack machine and a rope grip. It can either be performed in an athletic upright stance, or slightly bent over. It both stretches and contracts the muscles of the lats (latissimus dorsi) as well as providing additional activation to the other upper back muscles and the core. Because the triceps are also isometrically involved in the movement, it is usually performed for higher reps, such as 8-15 reps or more.


  1. Allows lifters to "feel" the lats working and focus on the lower and middle part of the muscles
  2. Greater range of motion than the straight-arm bar pull-down
  3. Effective alternative to pull-overs, especially for people with limited overhead shoulder mobility

Straight-arm rope pull-down Images


Straight-arm rope pull-down Instructions

Straight-arm rope pull-down muscle diagram
  1. Attach a rope to a high pulley and make your weight selection. Stand a couple feet back from the pulley with your feet staggered and take the rope with both hands. Lean forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, with your arms extended up in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, extend the shoulder to pull the rope down to your thighs.
  3. Pause at the bottom of the motion, squeezing your lats.
  4. Return to the starting position without allowing the weight to fully rest on the stack.