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Seated Lat Pull Down: Exercise Tutorial for a Stronger Back

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A well-built back looks impressive and plays a crucial role in your overall health and fitness. It helps with posture and balance and even reduces the risk of back pain. The seated lat pulldown is one of the most effective exercises for building a strong back. This exercise targets your upper back muscles and helps to increase strength and size. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to perform the seated lat pulldown correctly and give tips on getting the most out of your workout.

How to Perform Seated Lat Pull Down Exercise

To perform the seated lat pulldown, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sit down on the lat pull-down machine with your feet flat on the ground, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Adjust the knee pads to fit your body snugly.

Step 2: Grab the bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing away from you.

Step 3: Lean back slightly, but keep your back straight and your chest up.

Step 4: Pull the bar down towards your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body. Imagine that you are pulling your shoulder blades down and together.

Step 5: Pause for a second, then slowly release the bar back to the starting position.

Step 6: Repeat for your desired number of repetitions.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To get the most out of your seated lat pull-down, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Pulling the bar behind your neck: This can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders and neck. Instead, pull the bar down in front of your chest.
  • Leaning too far back: While it’s okay to lean back slightly, avoid leaning too far back, as this can lead to back strain.
  • Using too much weight: It’s important to use a weight that you can control and maintain good form. Using too much weight can lead to poor form and increase the risk of injury.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to the seated lat pull-down exercise, start with a lighter weight and focus on your form. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Use an underhand grip: This can be easier on your shoulders and allow you to focus on pulling your shoulder blades down and together.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body: This will help to engage your lats and prevent your biceps from taking over.
  • Visualize the movement: Imagine that you are pulling your shoulder blades down and together as you perform the exercise. This will help you to engage the correct muscles and get the most out of your workout.


Q: How many reps should I do?

A: Aim for 8-12 reps per set, and perform 3-4 sets in total.

Q: Is the seated lat pull-down a good exercise for building a wider back?

A: Yes, the seated lat pull-down targets the upper back muscles, including the lats, which are responsible for a wider back.

Q: Can I do the seated lat pull-down with a resistance band?

A: Yes, you can perform a seated lat pull-down with a resistance band. Simply attach the band to an anchor point above you, sit down, and pull the band down towards your chest.


The seated lat pull down is a great exercise for building a strong and well-defined back. By following the correct technique and using the appropriate weight, you can effectively target your upper back muscles and get the most out of your workout. Make sure to avoid common mistakes, such as pulling the bar behind your neck or using too much weight, and focus on good form to prevent injury and maximize results.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, the seated lat pull-down is a versatile exercise that can be adapted to your fitness level and goals. By incorporating it into your back training routine, you can improve your posture, increase your strength and muscle size, and enjoy the many benefits of a strong and healthy back. So, next time you hit the gym, give the seated lat pull-down a try and experience the results for yourself.

Jordan Tank, Personal Trainer, Columbus, Ohio

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Stay healthy 🙏

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