How The Wide Grip Pulldown Enlarges Your Lats For Real Size

wide grip pulldown

Widen your lats with the wide grip pulldown

We tend to put a lot of focus on our front, meaning arms, abs, and chest, however the wide grip pulldown can ensure we don’t lose sight of what matters equal to our front, being our backs. Our backs tend to fall by the wayside, which is unfortunate because at the end of the day, they are equally as important as all other muscle groups. Sure, those bodybuilders with massive backs may put a little more emphasis than you want to but showing your back some love can make all the difference.

A great exercise like the wide grip pulldown will ensure your back doesn’t fall victim to neglect so you get a great workout to really boost strength and size. A strong back not only looks good and adds to a great aesthetic, but it also improves stability and posture, really giving those muscles the support they need to see the best gains. The wide grip pulldown is the perfect exercise to help you see the best gains possible for our backs.

Let’s jump right into this exercise and see what makes the wide grip pulldown so great. From what it is, to what muscles get worked, the many benefits of this exercise, and how best to perform it, you will have a well-rounded exercise to add to your back day routine so you only see the best gains.

wide grip pulldown

What Is The Wide Grip Pulldown?

The wide grip pulldown is a beginner level exercise perfect for enhancing those back and biceps muscles, so the focus is on strength and building your physique (1). It is, of course, very similar to the traditional lat pulldown, except the grip is wider and will work those lats and other muscles differently. What you will find with this exercise is that it will boost strength and improve posture in a highly effective way perfect for people and athletes of all experience levels.

Related: How The Close Grip Lat Pulldown Pumps Your Back & Bis

Muscles Worked

With the wide grip pulldown, your lats get some serious work done which is great because these are those essential pulling exercises. Able to support your spine and improve posture, your lats are essential in dealing with many movements, both sport specific and functional. As a part of this exercise as a whole, your biceps, forearms, delts, other back muscles, and abs will feel some work done as well. While the majority of the gains will happen to your lats, you will find that these other muscles will be worked as well.

wide grip lat pulldown

Benefits Of The Wide Grip Pulldown

The benefits of the wide grip pulldown are hard to ignore and can greatly benefit you in a number of ways. With this effective back exercise, you will only enhance sport specific and functional pulling movements, as well as many others, in efforts to see the best gains possible.

Benefits of the wide grip pulldown include:

  • Stronger lats: With your lats as the primary target for these muscles, you will find that they will not only grow stronger, but also bigger in size, this giving you the best possible chance at that massive physique (2).
  • Other muscle worked: With this exercise, you will also get those other muscles worked which is perfect for providing all around muscular development and working to support a well-rounded and symmetrical physique.
  • Better posture: By increasing strength in your lats, you back will be better supported and you will be able to improve posture and improve overall confidence.
  • Great for all athletes: As a beginner exercise, this is great for all athletes and can be performed easily and conveniently by all. Easy to learn also allows you to not sweat over trying to learn something complex.
  • Nice variations: This exercise has plenty of variations so you can effectively work the same muscles but use different machines.

How To Perform It

Performing the wide grip pulldown is relatively easy but does take the right form so you can properly execute this exercise. Be sure to not lean too far back and to use too much momentum when pulling down. You want your muscles to get work done, especially your lats, so focusing on that instead of pulling with your arms can make all the difference for you.

Here are the steps for performing the wide grip pulldown:

  1. Set yourself up on the machine and make sure you are in a comfortable position.
  2. Grab the bar with the widest grip you can. Your hands will be on the farthest most point of the bar with your palms facing away from you.
  3. When ready, engage your core and lean back slightly. Pull the bar down so it goes to around the bottom of your chest and squeeze at the bottom.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position in a controlled motion.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of sets and reps.

wide grip pulldown for back gains

Wide Grip Pulldown Alternative Exercises

The right alternative exercises can be a game changer when it comes to seeing great gains. What alternative exercises can do are diversify your workouts so you work those same muscles just in a different way. This will control muscle confusion so your muscles don’t have a chance to get used to any exercise and force you to hit a plateau.

Below are some great alternative exercises to the wide grip pulldown. What you will find is these will fire up your lats, but in a much different way so your growth never stalls.

  • Renegade Rows
  • Bent Over Reverse Fly
  • Wie Grip Pull-Ups
  • Barbell Rows
  • Dumbbell Rows

Wrap Up

The wide grip pulldown is a great exercise for increasing strength and size in your lats. As necessary muscles needed for pulling movement, both functional and sport specific, you will find that this exercise is perfect for those muscle building needs. An easy to perform exercise, the wide grip pulldown is perfect to add into your routine and can really round out your workouts perfectly.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Andersen, V.; et al. (2014). “Effects of grip width on muscle strength and activation in the lat pull-down”. (source)
  2. Newton, H. (1998). “The Lat Pulldown”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.