7 Powerful Lat Pulldown Alternatives to Strengthen Your Lat

If you’re looking to get a V shape body and bigger back, Lat pulldowns should be added in your workout routine, but what if you don’t have your own Lat pulldown machine. So, here are 7 powerful Lat pulldown alternatives that can strengthen your lats.

What you will do if you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine, skip back day?

No, it’s important to know what exercise you can do instead of the lat pulldown. So, make sure to read the article till the end, you will know everything about incredible alternatives of Lat pulldown, you can build wider and bigger back.

Also Read : 7 Best Bicep Exercises with Dumbbells – Bicep workout With Dumbbells

What Muscles Does the Lat Pulldown Work?

Lat pulldown is a compound exercise that works well on your back muscles, traps, delts and biceps. The lat pulldown is excellent exercise that hits your entire back and it’s a good idea to have some alternatives to add in your workout.

Having different exercises can allow your muscles to hit a little differently and effectively which can improve your muscles growth.

Benefits of Lat Pulldown Exercise

The lat pulldown is one of the best exercises for the upper body that will improve your strength. It targets several joints and muscles because it is a compound exercise.

This exercise targets your upper back muscles, your biceps, core and forearms. But also, it is best known as developing your latissimus dorsi, which is the largest muscle in your back and responsible for a range of functions.

So, the Lat pulldown is having many benefits, try to add in your workout routine. Otherwise, you can add lat pulldown alternatives.

However, we are going through the top lat pulldown alternatives, so you have plenty of new movements that you can start using today.

Top 7 Powerful Lat Pulldown Alternatives (2024)

01. Pull Ups

Pull Ups

Pull ups are great exercises for building traps, rear delts, lats and scapula and it also improves your upper body strength, this is the best alternative exercise for lat pulldown.

The pull ups are effective exercises that will increase your back strength and muscle hypertrophy. Also, improve the width of an athlete’s/lifter’s back muscles, as they’re an easy movement.

Doing pull ups can help you to get better posture and will minimize your risk of back pain or problems.

Ho to perform:

  • Begin this exercise by standing below a pull-ups bar and hold the bar in an overhand grip shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from your body.
  • Keep your back straight and engage your lats.
  • Pull your body up with your elbows down to your sides until your chip is over the bar. Hold for second at the top of the move.
  • Slowly, lower your body back to the starting position with fully controlled motion.
  • Repeat 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

02. Incline Dumbbell Row

The incline dumbbell row is like a dumbbell bent over a row. This exercise is perfect for working the lats and this is a very stable exercise, great for building up your mind-muscle connection. You just need two dumbbells and an adjustable bench.

Incline dumbbell row will work your arms, lats and traps. You can go with a bit of heavy weight but you still be in control, you will be able to brace more easily.

How to perform:

  • Set the adjustable bench to an incline and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lay on the bench facing the upright, your chest and abs into the bench.
  •  Keep your abs tight and grind your toes into the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Row the dumbbell up to chest height, pull the weight up with your elbows.
  • Squeeze at the top of the movement. Then, lower the dumbbells to the starting position under control.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.  

03. Dumbbell Pullovers

Dumbbell pullovers are the best alternative for lat pulldowns but it’s don’t look like lat pulldowns. This exercise works well on your lats like pulldown but also works your pecs. You can also do this exercise with a barbell if you prefer.

How to perform:

  • Lie flat on a bench and hold a single dumbbell with both hands above your chest, keeping your arms straight.
  • Slowly, lower the dumbbell backward over your head until your upper arms are close to your ears. Make sure not to hyperextend your shoulder.
  • Then, pull the dumbbell back up to the starting position, over your chest.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

04. Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Single Arm Dumbbell Row

The single arm dumbbell bench supported row is a unilateral exercise that allows you to target one side of your body and this exercise is great for developing equal strength and mass through your right and left sides of the body.

This exercise targets your lats, traps, biceps and rhomboids.

How to perform:

  • Bend your right leg and place your right knee and right hand on a bench to support your body weight. So, your body parallel with the floor.
  • Start holding the dumbbell with your left hand with a neutral grip, palm facing you. 
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core and lats.
  • Row the dumbbell up to your chest, lifting it with your back and shoulder muscle rather than your arms.
  • Hold for a second at the top of the movement, then slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each hand.

05. Inverted Rows

Inverted Rows

The inverted rows are the simplest and most effective lat pulldown alternative, and this is ideal for home exercisers. This is compound exercise that will increase your upper body strengths and target your all-back muscles.

Also, improve your grip strength and work your glutes, hamstrings and give your biceps boost.

How to perform

  • Set the bar around your waist height, where your can grip with your arms extended.
  • Position yourself under the bar laying face up. Hold the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than a shoulder-width distance, palms facing away from you.
  • Keep you leg and back straight, with your heels on the floor.
  • Pull yourself up to the bar until your chest touches the bar. Hold for second at the top.
  • Slowly, lower yourself to the starting position with proper form.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 12 to 16 reps.

06. Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

If you do dumbbell bent over row with proper form then this exercise is one of the best and effective exercises, that will be the best alternative for lat pulldown. During this exercise you need to use both your right and left side.

This exercise improves your posture, works well on your upper, mid and lower back, and stabilizes your core. In particular, work your lats, rhomboids, erector spinae. Trapezius and your biceps.

How to perform: 

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbell with each hand.
  • Slowly, bend forward at the hips until your torso is at 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core, as well as maintain a neutral spine.
  • Then, row the dumbbells towards your rib cage, until it touches your sternum, elbows going out wide (45-degree).
  •  Hold the position of second at the top of the movement.
  • Then, slowly lower the weight back down again.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

07. Face Pull

Face pull is a great isolation exercise that will hit your lats, rear delts, lower and middle traps. It improves your upper body strength and targets most of the muscles in your back and shoulder. You can include this exercise in your overall workout routine.

How to perform:

  • Stand straight in front of the pulley machine and hold the handles of a band or rope with each hand.
  • Pull the handles back towards your forehead until your hands are in front of the shoulder.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Then, slowly straighten the arms, return back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 12 to 16 reps.

Do I Need Alternative Exercise to a Lat Pulldown?

The lat pulldown is one of the great workouts for your lats, biceps and in addition to some upper body muscles. So, needing an alternative for this exercise depends on your lifestyle, budget and access for this machine.

If you have access to a lat pulldown machine or any other proper gym equipment, that will be great to strengthen your workout. If you don’t have access to this machine, it’s a great idea to find the best alternative for lat pulldown.

We listed 7 best alternative exercises for lat pulldown that can improve your overall condition, develop muscles that want to target and reduce the risk of injuries.

FAQs on Lat Pulldown

What is the Best Lat Exercise?

The best exercise is depending on your anatomy, muscle insertions, your fitness level and other variables. One particular exercise might benefit someone better than others. Generally, pull-ups and lat pulldowns are excellent exercises that activate your lat.

Which Muscles Does Lat Pulldown Work?

A lat pulldown works multiple muscles at once, that’s why it’s considered an effective exercise for total strengthening workout. The lat pulldown mainly works your upper body, Upper back, lats, biceps and forearms.

What are Lat Pulldown Good for?

A lat pulldown has many benefits and works many muscles at once, but also this exercise is known as targeted muscles exercise.

This exercise is good for building muscles, activating upper body muscle groups and improving good body posture. Also, increase your metabolism rate and reduce the risk for arthritis and osteoporosis.

Should I Do Lat Pulldowns?

You don’t have to do lat pulldowns to build your biceps and lats. But to build muscles you need to do many exercises because they target muscles with different angles. So, depending on you that you’re doing lat pulldowns or other exercise.

Is the Lat Pulldown the Same as a Pull-Up?

The short answer is NO, a lat pulldown is differ from pull-ups, and the lat pulldown is generally easier for beginners because they take less effort to perform compared with pull-ups.

Final Words from Healthy Fit Pj

If you don’t have access to lat pulldown machines then there is no reason for your lats to miss out when you have this range of exercise that gives the same benefits as a lat pulldown.

The most common problem for everyone is using biceps and forearms too much during back workout. However, try to concentrate on your lats as much as possible. Here you have 7 best alternatives for lat pulldown, you can start using this exercise and get massive gain in size and increase upper body strength.

Try out a couple of these alternatives this week and leave us a comment in the comment box below, so we will know your favorite one!

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below.

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