The double cable neutral-grip lat pull-down is one heck of a back exercise because it really allows for full isolation and range of motion for targeting mostly the latissmus dorsi (Lats) muscles. When developed fully, the lats give wideness to the back and they also look really cool when posing.
But it’s a large muscle group which needs plenty of training and essentially every back exercise hits the lat muscles to some degree. Now, the cable lat pull-down has been used for decades and that’s because it works but it also hits the upper back muscles due to the nature of the movement which many people are unaware of.
This makes the double cable neutral-grip lat pull-down a fantastic upper posterior muscle exercise.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Latissimus Dorsi
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Cables, bench
- Difficulty: beginner
- Attach a single grip to each side of your body on a cable machine high enough to where you can grab them with arms extended.
- Position a bench between the cable attachments so you can sit comfortably underneath the handles.
- Grab the pulley cables and sit on the bench with your arms fully extended upward, back straight, and chest forward.
- Slowly pull the cables down by your sides until elbows almost touch your sides while squeezing the lats.
- Hold for a couple of seconds.
- Return to starting position with arms fully extended upwards.
- Repeat for desired reps.
Variations & Tips
- You can also perform this movement with a long bar on a cable machine.
- You can alternate with one arm at a time for more isolation.
- Try to engage your lats as much as possible to limit arm involvement.
- Kneel down to the floor on your knees if you don’t want to use a bench.
- The high pulley lat pull-down targets both the lats and upper back muscles.