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


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Rope Straight Arm Pull Down Overview

The rope straight arm lat pull down is a variation of the straight arm lat pull down and an exercise used to build the muscles of back. In particular, the rope straight arm lat pull down is used to work the lats by mimicking a pullover movement pattern.

The rope straight arm lat pull down utilizes a rope attachment to provide the trainee a more neutral hand positioning. This can help alleviate joint stress some may develop utilizing other variations.

Rope Straight Arm Pull Down Instructions

  1. Attach a rope to a cable stack and assume a standing position.
  2. Grasp the rope with a neutral grip (palms facing) and lean forward slightly by hinging at the hips.
  3. Keep the elbow slightly flexed and initiate the movement by depressing the shoulder blades and extending the shoulders.
  4. Pull the rope toward your thigh until the lats are fully contracted and then slowly lower under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Rope Straight Arm Pull Down Tips

  1. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the weight into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through the spine.
  2. 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).
  3. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  4. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
  5. If you can’t seem to feel your lats engaging, try to “screw your shoulders” into their sockets by pointing your elbows behind your body. Another cue that works exceptionally well is to “squeeze oranges in your armpits”.