Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Behind Neck Lat Pull Down Overview

The behind the neck lat pull down is a variation of the lat pull down and an exercise used to build the muscles of the back. While the exercise will primarily target the lats, you will also notice a fair amount of bicep and middle back activation.

Behind the neck exercises are seen as a dated practice as the range of motion can put the shoulder joint in an unfavorable position. Some tension can be alleviated by stopping the rep at the top of the neckline.

That said, if you are experiencing pain while performing the exercise, it may be beneficial to experiment with other pull down variations.

The behind the neck lat pull down can be performed during your back workouts, upper body workouts, pull workouts, and full body workouts.

Behind Neck Lat Pull Down Instructions

  1. Attach a wide grip handle to the lat pulldown machine and assume a seated position.
  2. Grasp the handle with a pronated grip (double overhand) and initiate the movement by depressing the shoulder blades and then flexing the elbow while extending the shoulder.
  3. Pull the handle behind your neck until it nearly touches at the base of your traps and then slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Behind Neck Lat Pull Down Tips

  1. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through the spine.
  2. Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the dumbbells throughout the entirety of each rep.
  3. If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).
  4. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  5. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
  6. Allow the shoulder to internally rotate and shrug slightly at the top of the movement. You will obviously reverse the movement and depress the shoulder blade before you pull with the arm.
1 Comment
Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2013 - 22:56

thanks...but this seems to focus more on the upper mid back...that pains more