Every single person who is passionate about building a muscular physique wants to have a wide and thick back.
A wide back is a prerequisite for getting the most coveted V-taper. When it comes to acquiring a wide and symmetrical back, the proper development of latissimus dorsi muscles becomes crucial.
Well-developed latissimus dorsi muscles aka lats contribute a lot towards enhancing the width of your back.
Any exercise that involves vertical pulling targets the lats.
Lat pulldowns are one of the most popular exercises that involve the element of vertical pulling.
Lat pulldowns primarily target your lats along with hitting your rhomboids, trapezoid, rotator cuffs, and arms to some extent.
If you work out in your home gym, there might be chances that you do not have the access to a standard lat pulldown machine.
This is pretty obvious too as most of us don’t have the unlimited budget to invest in acquiring top-class equipment in our home gym. In such a case, the question arises, “how to build a lat pulldown at home?”
Well, this post is going to be about the same. We are going to enlist some of the ways by which you can set up a effectively working lat pulldown system. Here we will be discussing “how to make a lat pulldown at home”. So without further ado, let’s proceed.
How To Do Lat Pull Down In Your Home Gym
Front lat pulldowns are a great exercise that targets your lats. Expecting a wide V-Tapered back without including them in your workout routine could be a bit superficial.
So is there any way you can perform the front lat pulldown at home and that too without a standard lat pulldown station? The answer to this question is YES.
And the best thing is that there is not just one but many ways by which you can mimic the movement of a lat pulldown at your home gym. All you need to do is to choose the one out of them that serves you the best.
Cable Pulley System
The cable pulley system is one of the most popular and convenient ways of doing a lat pulldown at home.
It simply emulates the lat pulldown machine that you can find in commercial gyms around the globe. A cable pulley system allows you to do multiple exercises on it.
With a cable pulley system, you can simply position your regular bench beneath it. You can also choose to sit on the ground to get a better stretch in your lats in the eccentric phase of the movement.
A cable pulley system is not an expensive fitness equipment. You can perform a multitude of movements on a cable pulley system like lateral pulldowns, straight arm pushdowns, reverse grip lat pulldowns, tricep press downs, etc. It can surely be a great addition to your home gym.
Power Rack Pulley Attachment
If you want a budget-friendly way to perform lat pulldowns at your home gym, you can go with the option of attaching a pulley to your power rack. It is a simple setup that does its job well.
The power rack pulley attachment consists of a cable and a pulley. The pulley can be attached to one of the top ends of your power rack. Weight plates are used to provide resistance. Now, on the other side of the cable, you will be attaching a lat pulldown bar. If you want to work on other muscles, you can switch the lat pulldown bar with either a straight bar or a V-bar.
While performing lat pulldowns on a power rack pulley attachment you can sit on the ground with your legs bent. You can also keep something heavy like a chain to stabilize them. The power rack pulley attachment is cheaper and exudes great simplicity.
Some good power rack pulley attachments:
- Spud Inc Pulley Attachment
- Monster Slinger Solo Pulley Attachment
- Mikolo Fitness LAT and Lift Pulley Power Rack Attachment
- Elikliv Fitness LAT and Lift Pulley Attachment
A cable machine can serve as a great option for performing a front lat pulldown at your home/garage gym. The biggest advantage that comes up with a cable machine is that it exudes a great deal of versatility.
With a cable machine, you can perform a variety of exercises for different muscle groups. All you need to do is just move the cable from a high position to a mid- or low position and you would be ready to go.
For performing lat pulldowns on a cable machine, you need to set up the pulley at the topmost position.
For executing the cable lat pulldown movement, you can either sit on the floor or a bench. Sitting on the floor while performing the cable lat pulldown movement ensures that you get a full stretch in the eccentric phase of the movement.
To ensure that your lower body is stable and firm while performing cable pull downs, you can keep your feet under a loaded barbell. You can also put some weights on your legs to stabilize your lower body.
A cable machine allows you to hit different areas of your back. You just need to change the positioning of the cable. Exercises like straight arm push-downs, unilateral/bilateral cable rows, zeus rows, rear delt flyes, etc. can be easily performed on a cable machine. You can also attach different kinds of handles including a straight bar, a D-Bar, a V-Bar, or a rope attachment to the cable machine.
Pull-ups are one of the best exercises for training your lats. They are functional in nature and require a decent level of upper body strength. They train almost all the muscles of your back.
Pull-ups also train your core muscles to some extent by engaging them to stabilize your upper body.
Pull-ups follow the same mechanism of a lat pulldown movement but in reverse. While performing the pull-ups, instead of pulling the weights down, you pull yourself up.
If you have a power rack in your home/basement gym, then you can use its top-most bar for performing pull-ups. However, if you don’t have a power rack, a firm and sturdy pull-up bar can serve you pretty well. You just need to attach it to a wall or doorway and you are ready to train your lats with your bodyweight.
Pull-Up bars are budget-friendly and a great investment for your home gym.
Lat Pulldown Resistance Band
Resistance bands are one of the most popular fitness equipment for home-based training. They are extremely portable and budget-friendly. They emulate the movement of cable machines.
To perform lat pulldowns using resistance bands, you need to attach a resistance band to a bar that is above you. The bar of a power cage or a squatting rack can also serve you pretty well for that purpose. Then insert a straight bar in the loop. Now you can either sit on the floor or on a bench to perform band pulldowns.
Since the back is a bigger muscle group, it requires greater resistance to get trained effectively. For performing band pulldowns, you would be requiring bands that are pretty heavy.
You can also combine 2-3 lighter resistance bands to get added resistance. If you only have one light resistance band, you can perform your lat pulldowns with a higher number of reps making sure to fully contract and stretch your lats during each rep.
Resistance band lat pulldowns allow you to put your hands in different positions. That way you get the opportunity of targeting different areas of your back. Resistance bands also allow you to train unilaterally to counter muscle imbalances.
Some good resistance bands for banded lat pulldown:
That’s it. We expect that by now you would have chosen the best lat pulldown set up.
Performing lat pulldowns at your home/garage gym with any of the above-mentioned options will ensure that your lats and other back muscles get quality training. You just have to maintain a strict form on them and you will surely get the lats that can blot the sun.