How to Get Your Lat Pulldown on at Home

Looking for a great Lat Pulldown Machine for your home gym? Look no further. We have done our research to help save you time and dollars! It is a moderately-priced, solidly-built, compact lat pulldown machine …

Best Lat Pulldown Machines

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Looking for a great Lat Pulldown Machine for your home gym? Look no further. We have done our research to help save you time and dollars!

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Our Top Picks

Our List of the Best Lat Pulldown Machines

🏆 Our Top Pick : Titan Plate Loaded Lat Tower V2

It is a moderately-priced, solidly-built, compact lat pulldown machine with a 400 lb weight capacity, which makes it suitable for beginner to intermediate-level trainers. It is so compact that it hardly takes up the space of one horse stall mat. And yet, the Titan Fitness LAT pulldown machine provides high value for money to people who rather take their workouts seriously. 

Of course, you can find more affordable products (I have reviewed some of them below), but if you are looking for something that could last four years without requiring much maintenance or repairs, Titan Fitness is a company that you can count on. 

Features and specifications of the Titan Fitness LAT machine 

  • Dimensions: 85” X 57” X 47”
  • Weight- 120lbs
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 400lbs 
  • Comes with floor anchoring holes and the necessary hardware 
  • Has 13” loadable steel 
  • The Titan Fitness LAT pulldown machine comes with a low row handle, so make sure you have a flat bench or adjustable bench because the seat may not provide you with enough depth. That's common with almost all LAT machines. 
  • There are 4” thick thigh pads to help your legs stay comfortable during training. 
  • Resistance ratio- 1: 1 i.e. you get the same resistance that you load. For example; if you load 100lbs on it, you will get 100lbs resistance. Just in case you are wondering if this information is needed; functional trainers provide 2: 1 resistance i.e. you get ½ the resistance that you choose. 
  • Covered by Titan’s standard 1-year warranty 

Titan Fitness LAT pulldown machine is 85” tall and allows full extension of the body

Low-cost, compact machines usually have a low height, which makes them uncomfortable for tall users. But, Titan Fitness has made this machine tall enough for people up to 6.4’. You can adjust the bar to the highest possible setting and make sure you get a full back and arm extension. 

13” sleeves can hold enough weight for you to train hard 

As mentioned above, it has a weight capacity of 400lbs, which might not be enough for athletes and bodybuilders but it is much more than what a fitness enthusiast like me can handle. The sleeves can hold 4 to 5 plates, depending on which ones you are using. You can add standard 2” Olympic bumper plates and don’t forget to secure the plates with a barbell collar

Wondering if the 400lbs weight capacity is true? 

Well, if you don’t secure the Titan LAT machine to the floor, it may start to wobble once you reach 200lbs. If you want to use more weight, then you must bolt it to the floor or your weightlifting platform. 

Here is how you can build your own weightlifting platform

The build quality of the Titan LAT pulldown machine is pretty impressive 

The welds are well done and the finish is good too. It has a very basic powder-coat finish but it can keep your machine rust-free for at least a few years. The seat measures 11” X 12” and, to be honest, it isn’t too comfortable, especially if you have a large body type. It could have been a bit larger but it is not meant for you to relax. 

The leg/knee holders can be adjusted to 4 different heights, so you don’t have to struggle to accommodate yourself. Numerous buyers have confirmed that the pulley system is smoother than expected and doesn’t lag or get stuck even when you are training fast. The fluid motion helps keep your joints safe. 

Since the Titan Fitness LAT pulldown machine is meant for home gyms, it provides an almost quiet operation. 

The assembly process is pretty straightforward but instructions could have been better  

A buyer's feedback regarding the quality of Titan LAT machine

This is a standard issue with almost all Titan Fitness products. In fact, too many brands often ignore sending detailed instructions. But, don’t worry. The process is rather simple and the pictograph can help unless you haven’t ever assembled anything. 

We are giving this a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0.

⭐️ Our Top Pick on Amazon : Valor Fitness CB-12 Lat Pulldown Machine

If you are looking for a decent LAT pulldown machine that won’t rip your pocket and can be kept in a corner of your home gym or garage or basement, the CB-12 is a good choice. Don’t expect it to provide you with a professional-grade experience though because some buyers have reported that the cables come off occasionally and the machine may wobble if you train fast. 

However, most of the buyers have still agreed that it is a great equipment to have in your home gym, especially if you want to tone your upper body. It works as expected, so the minor issues can be ignored considering its low cost. No wonder why it had made it to my list of best LAT pulldown machines for home gyms. 

Features and specifications of the Valor Fitness CB-12 LAT pulldown machine 

  • Dimensions: 80” X 53.5” X 24” 
  • Weight-84lbs
  • Weight-bearing capacity- 200lbs 
  • Valor Fitness CB 12 lat machine can’t be bolted to the floor
  • There are four weight sleeves; two on each side and they are long enough to let you load 200lbs of weight. 
  • Valor Fitness LAT pulldown machine comes with a bunch of accessories such as a LAT bar, a low bar, a harness strap, spring collars, etc. The spring collars are OK but you may want to buy a set of barbell collars
  • Resistance ratio is 1:1. That's what almost all LAT machines for home gyms provide. 
  • Warranty- 3 Year Frame, 2 Year Pad, 2 Year Cable, 1 Year Popper Pin

Valor Fitness CB 12 LAT machine may not be enough for intermediate to advanced trainers 

Compact size of Valor Fitness Lat pulldown machine

That’s because it has a max weight-bearing capacity of 200lbs, which is fine for beginners and recreational trainers. But if you are an already active person with decent strength and stamina, you may outgrow it sooner than expected. 

Although the max weight is 200lbs, I do not recommend loading more than 150lbs on it because it is made of 2” X 2” 12 gauge steel frame which is not quite reliable for rough use. 

It may not provide a full extension to people taller than 6’

As I have mentioned above, it is 80” high, so if you are taller than 6’, you may have to compromise with your form. You may have to keep the seat to its lowest position, which means your knees may have to remain bent at an unconventional angle. These are minor issues though because you won’t be spending an hour on it in the same position. 

Valor Fitness Lat pulldown machine provides a full body workout

This is the main reason why it has made it to my list of best LAT machines for home gyms. There are three sets of pulleys; high pulley, mid pulley, and low pulley systems. Each of these helps you target different muscle groups of your body. 

Low pulley is not a common feature of affordable LAT machines, so this product definitely gets an edge over others. You can perform a wide range of exercises such as seated rows, bicep curls, standing rows, kickbacks (ankle straps to be bought separately), and much more. The mid pulley is great for ab workouts. This is one of the most versatile LAT pulldown cable machines that I have come across.  

Although highly affordable, the build quality is exceptionally good 

Buyer's response on quality of the Valor LAT machine

As mentioned above, it comes with a bunch of accessories that can help you try a variety of workouts targeting many different muscle groups. The weight sleeves are designed to hold 2” as well as 1” plates but you may have to buy a sleeve adapter separately. 

The cable system is pretty smooth, as confirmed by hundreds of buyers. The cables may come off occasionally though but you get what you pay for. And, it's OK if you need to fix it once in a while. 

The seat is adjustable, which is an exceptional feature in such a low-cost LAT machine. You can adjust its height to 4 different positions to get a 5” change in total. 

Assembly, as expected, can take a couple of hours and some brainstorming. But, don’t worry it is rather simpler than expected. Just make sure you label the parts before you begin to avoid mix-ups. Also, do not tighten anything beforehand. Assemble the LAT pulldown machine completely and then tighten the screws. This will help eliminate the wobble.

We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

🤑 Cheap but gets the job done : GDLF Lat Pull Down Machine

GDLF LAT machine is a very basic product with two pulley systems; high and low pulleys. It is an average-quality product that gets the job done without ripping people’s pocket and that’s why it deserves to be on my list of best LAT pulldown machines for compact home gyms. If you want to purchase it, be ready to adjust with or ignore some minor issues such as a wobbly frame, very low thigh pads, poorly padded seat, cable coming off occasionally, etc. 

These issues may sound too much to be ignored but, as I said above, it works as expected and you obviously get what you pay for. 

Features and specifications of GDLF LAT pulldown machine 

  • Dimensions: 77” X 59” X 26” 
  • Weight: 68lbs
  • Weight-bearing capacity: 500lbs (as per the manufacturer but I don’t agree at all)
  • GDLF LAT machine is not meant to be bolted to the floor
  • It has two weight sleeves; one on each side. They are not quite long and they can’t hold 500lbs of weight as claimed by the manufacturer. 
  • Weight sleeves are compatible with Olympic plates but this LAT pulldown machine comes with adapter sleeves, so you can use 1” plates too.
  • Doesn’t come with any additional accessories except the LAT bar and short bar. 
  • Resistance ratio is 1: 1 i.e. you will feel with the same weight that you will load the machine with. 
  • The seat and the thigh pads of the GDLF LAT pulldown machine can be adjusted to 4 different positions. 
  • The manufacturer hasn’t provided any information regarding its warranty. 

The pulleys of the GDLF lat pulldown machine are made of nylon

pulleys of GDLF Lat Pull Down Machine

I pretty much expected this. After all, it is a low-cost machine meant for beginners and recreational lifters. 

The nylon pulleys may not sound quite convincing but they are pretty durable; in fact, more durable than hard plastic. They are strong enough to bear 180-200lbs of weight and may not fail even when you use the LAT machine almost every day. The bushings are also made of nylon, just so you know. 

Because of nylon pulleys and bushings, it is obvious to doubt the smoothness of operation of this LAT machine but I have been using it for a few months now and I haven’t experienced any jerky movements. The machine feels almost as smooth as the more expensive LAT pulldown machines that I have used in commercial gyms. 

I can’t guarantee its durability but from my firsthand experience, I can confidently say that the GDLF lat pulldown machine can easily last for about 5 years, provided you use it within its weight limit and do not use it roughly. 

The manufacturer’s 500lbs weight-capacity claim can’t be trusted 

As I said above, it can hold up to 200lbs of weight and, even with that weight, you can expect some wobble. That's because it is just an 80lbs machine. The frame is basically a steel tubing with average-quality cables and chains. They are not heavy-duty parts used for machines that can be loaded with 500lbs weight. 

Well, that doesn’t mean the GDLF lat pulldown machine is cheap junk. I have been using it with 120lbs of weight and I never experienced any issues. It works as expected for fitness enthusiasts like me who want to stay healthy from the comfort of my home. It may not be enough for budding athletes and fitness freaks though. 

Please keep in mind that the GDLF lat pulldown machine is just 77” high 

dimensions of GDLF Lat Pull Down Machine

The Titan Fitness LAT machine I reviewed above is 85” high whereas the Valor Fitness one is 80” high. 

77” height is enough for people who are up to 6’ tall but if you are taller than that, you may not get a full extension of your back muscles. You may have to adjust the seat to its lowest setting, which could be uncomfortable to sit on with knees bending at an unconventional angle. 

I am a 6.2′ person and I struggle a bit to get a full extension of my back, shoulder, and arm muscles. But, at such a low price, I don’t mind the height and I absolutely don’t mind adjusting my sitting position. I don’t anyways train in the sitting position for more than 10 minutes in a single session. 

Assembly instructions aren’t that great but the process is pretty straightforward 

Buyer's feedback on the build quality of GDLF Lat Pull Down Machine

That’s a common problem with almost all low-cost products but if you have some basic assembly knowledge, you should be able to put it together in about two hours. 

The instructions are mentioned as pictographs and they could have been better but there is nothing that you won’t be able to figure out. One tip that I have for you is to make sure the longer cable goes on the top. Don’t reverse their position or else you may have to undo it.

We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

👑 If Money is No Object : Rogue Monster Lat Pulldown

All of the LAT machines I have reviewed above are budget-friendly products that do not come with their own weight stacks. They are meant for beginners to intermediate-level trainers. Plus, being affordable, they are not quite comfortable, although they work as expected. If you are looking for a rather beefier product that can cater to advanced trainers who train rather roughly, Rogue Fitness is a brand that will never disappoint you. 

Its monster LAT pull down machine is built as per all its monster-series products’ specifications and that's why it is compatible with all of them. Just like Rogue RM Series Monster Racks, the Monster LAT pulldown machine too is made of thick 3” X 3” 11 gauge steel with bigger hardware and pulleys to provide you with a better workout experience. It has Rogue’s typical beastly appearance that gives you enough confidence to use it as you want. 

Features and specifications of Rogue Monster Lat pulldown machine 

  • Dimensions: 96” X 58” X 40”
  • Weight: 605lbs, which includes the weight of the stack.  
  • Comes with 300lbs of weight stack
  • Provides 10lbs weight increment 
  • Comes fully assembled 
  • Rogue Monster LAT pulldown is a standalone machine but you can accessorize it with Monster series attachments 
  • Both the seat and the thigh rollers are adjustable
  • Has resistance band pegs for adding extra resistance. You can buy Rogue Fitness bands for that. See the image below for reference. 
  • It comes with only a Lat bar. You will have to buy all other handles separately. 
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty 
how you can add resistance bands to the Rogue Monster Lat Pulldown machine

Rogue Monster LAT pulldown machine has huge 6” pulleys and thicker cables

As I said above, there are two typical features of the Rogue Monster series products; thicker, heavy-duty frame and beefy hardware. In this Lat machine, the pulleys are beefy. They have a diameter of 6” and are coated with UHMW plastic. Rogue claims that this helps reduce friction and prolong the life of the cables. The lining also helps provide a quieter operation. See the image below.   

pulleys of the Rogue Monster Lat Pulldown machine

The cable too has a diameter of 0.25” and is independently tested to meet military specifications as an aircraft cable. It has a nylon cover for extra durability. 

Honestly, these features are not necessary if you are a recreational trainer but if you have a surplus budget and if you want the finest quality equipment that will probably last a lifetime, it is worth spending money on the Rogue LAT machine. 

You will love the stainless steel LAT bar 

Rogue Monster Lat Pulldown bar

Look at the image above. Who wouldn’t fall in love with it? 

It is not the ordinary LAT bar that you get with plate-loaded machines. It is as good as a mid-priced barbell with proper knurl marks that give you a strong grip that you need when you are training with 200+ lbs. It is fully knurled with Rogue’s typical knurl marks that some find aggressive while others appreciated for being the most perfect knurl marks ever. 

Rogue Monster LAT pulldown machine comes fully assembled (which could be an issue) 

If you have read the LAT machine reviews above, you would have concluded that the major issue that buyers have with the affordable range of products is assembly. The instructions are often lacking or insufficient. And, sometimes some of the necessary hardware may be missing. 

Spending extra money for a fully assembled LAT pulldown machine makes sense because assembling it is anyways not an easy task. There are cables that need to be routed through various pulleys and if you do not have enough assembly experience you may just end up with a wobbly machine. 

Rogue tried to address this by coming up with a standalone machine that comes with its own weight stacks. And, it has made lives easier. But, a few buyers have stated that the pallet is too big to carry to a basement or a home gym upstairs. There is no way you can partially disassemble it for moving. You will need at least 4 to 5 people or maybe a forklift to carry it upstairs or into the basement

Well, that's just a small issue that you need to deal with if you want a great product. 

Rogue strongly recommends bolting its LAT machine to the floor 

The machine weighs about 600lbs out of which the weight stacks alone weigh 300lbs. So, you might wonder if it is necessary to anchor it to the floor because a 600lbs Lat pulldown machine shouldn’t wobble. 

Well, the manufacturer has clearly mentioned that you must bolt it to the floor and you need to buy anchoring hardware separately. 

In my opinion, anchoring any home gym equipment adds extra safety to the overall setup. If you can, you must bolt it to the floor but if you are not ready for that, you may use it directly but remember that the machine may wobble or, if you apply too much force, it may shift from its place, chances of which are rare unless you are a hulk.

We are giving this a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0.

⭐️ For Rep Fitness Rack Owners : Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown & Low Row


Do not buy it if you don’t have any of them or if you have them but do not have their rear stability bar where the Lat machine needs to be attached. While buying make sure you choose the right model because although both PR 4000 and PR 5000 have the same dimensions and frame size, they use different hardware, which may cause compatibility problems. 

In case you have any other model of REP Fitness squat racks, don’t worry you can get a compatible LAT pulldown machine because the company manufactures various models to go with its various squat rack series. 

Features and specifications of REP Fitness LAt pulldown machine 

  • Dimensions: 22” width X 23” length X 80”/93” height depending on the model of squat rack you have 
  • Weight-11 lbs. Yes, that's unbelievable!
  • Weight-bearing capacity- 550 lbs 
  • It is a very basic LAT pulldown machine that doesn’t even come with a seat or thigh rollers. You will have to use your own bench. You can check out FLYBIRD Adjustable Bench if you don’t have one already. 
  • Only a LAT bar and a straight bar are included. All other accessories have to be bought separately, in case you need them. 
  • REP Fitness LAT pulldown machine provides 1:1 resistance, which means if you load 10lbs on it, you will be getting 10lbs of resistance. 
  • As mentioned above, your squat rack must have a rear stability bar where this LAT machine needs to be added. 

REP Fitness also sells Selectorized Lat Pulldown & Low Row machines for its PR 4000 and PR 5000 squat racks. These add-ons come with their own weight stack. If you don’t mind paying more, you can go with that instead so you don’t have to keep adding or removing plates. 

REP Fitness LAT Pulldown machine has a very compact footprint 

REP LAT machine attached on REP PR 5000 squat rack

As mentioned above the footprint is just 22” X 23” and that's because it isn’t a standalone machine that has to have a larger footprint to ensure stability. 

The compact footprint makes it a better option for people who have a small home gym and yet want to accessorize it with almost all necessary home gym equipment. See the image above to get an idea of its space-saver design. 

You basically have to attach it to the rear stability bar and the rear horizontal post at the top. The working area will be inside the squat rack, so you don’t need much clearance outside. That’s why it is counted among the best compact LAT machines for small spaces. 

You may find it expensive 

Not many of us will be willing to spend $450 to $600 for such a basic LAT machine that doesn’t even come with any additional attachments or fancy features. 

But, if you already have a PR 4000 or PR 5000 rack, it makes sense to spend a few more dollars because this LAT pulldown machine can help you minimize the space consumption. Plus, as expected from any REP Fitness product, it has superb build quality, fluidly smooth pulleys, and a 3” X 3” 11 gauge frame that can take any amount of beating. 

This product is meant for intermediate to advanced trainers and if that's what you're looking for, don’t think twice about spending a bit more. 

Assembly instructions are unreliable 

That's the only major issue buyers have experienced with the REP Fitness Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown & Low Row machine. The instructions are basically diagrams, just like you get with the IKEA products; be prepared for that. REP Fitness has also created an assembly video but it too lacks some basic details. 

Since it is a very basic LAT machine, you will still be able to assemble it though. 

We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.

🤑 Another Affordable Amazon Option : Vanswe Lat Pulldown Machine

This is another inexpensive LAT machine suitable for recreational trainers who want something basic to stay fit from the comfort of their homes. Being a low-cost product it has some obvious issues such as a wobbly frame and a low weight-bearing capacity but it still works as expected. Plus you get what you pay for. 

Features and specifications of Vanswe LAT pulldown machine 

  • Dimensions: 59″(L) x 24″(W) x 77″(H)
  • Weight: about 60lbs 
  • Weight-bearing capacity- 250lbs 
  • Made of 2” X 2” steel frame with nylon pulleys 
  • Comes with adapter sleeves so you can use both 1” and 2” Olympic plates
  • The height of the seat is adjustable but the distance of the seat is fixed. 
  • Comes with a curved LAT bar and a low bar. 
  • Due to the lack of anchoring options, you can’t bolt the machine down to the floor or your weightlifting platform.
  • It provides 1: 1 resistance just like most of the best LAT pulldown machines that I have come across
  • No information on warranty provided. 

It is pretty short and may not provide a full range of motion to people taller than 6’

As I have mentioned above, the height is just 77”. If you are a taller person, you will have to adjust the seat to its lowest level to get a decent range of motion but that means your knees have to remain bent awkwardly. Plus, if you are taller than 6.2’, you may not get a complete range even after that. So, keep this in mind before ordering. 

Vanswe LAT pulldown machine needs to be weighed down for safety 

It weighs just 60 lbs so this is pretty expected. If you are pulling this machine with just 40lbs, it can wobble and may even skid or fall over even if you don’t apply too much force. Make sure you weigh it down using some sandbags or extra weight plates. If you are a crafty person, you may drill holes in the frame, buy the necessary hardware from a store near you, and fix it to the ground. 

I am not saying the machine is unsafe for use. All I am trying to say is that you must be careful because it is a lightweight, low-cost Lat pulldown machine. 

It is a decent product for home use 

Assembly could take time due to poor instructions, which is a common issue with even REP and Titan products. The pulleys, although made of nylon, are pretty smooth and strong enough to last for a couple of years. 

The cables have a plastic coating that may tear up with time but that mostly happens because of friction. Make sure you examine the LAT machine regularly to ensure that the cable isn’t coming in contact with the frame or any part that could damage it. The frame is strong and has proper welds and holes. About 90% of buyers have mentioned that they are satisfied with the quality of this product and that's why it has made it to my list of best LAT pulldown machines for home gyms. 

We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.

Lat Pulldown Machine Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you are looking to add a lat pull down machine to your home gym, then these four machines are a great place to start your search. There is no right or wrong in choosing one, it all depends on your fitness needs and goals. And, who knows, maybe in your search you might find one that best fits your needs that never even made this list.

Just like always, if you have any opinions, suggestions or products you think should be on the list, feel free to contact me.

Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind while choosing a LAT pulldown machine. 

Plate-loaded versus weight stack 

Most low-cost and many of the mid-range LAT machines do not come with their own weight. They have weight pegs where you can load your own weight plates. This is the reason why they are inexpensive. They are compact too. Some of them hardly occupy the space of one horse stall mat. If you have your own weight plates, you can save some money by investing in them. 

Although they are inexpensive, they need you to use your own plates, which means you will have to load and unload plates when needed. If you like to change weights frequently during your workouts, this could get annoying. And, that's the issue the LAT machines with weight stacks address. They come with their own inbuilt weight and you can choose the weight by just changing the position of the pin. 

Stability of the LAT pulldown machine 

As expected, the ones that come with their own weight stacks are heavy and do not usually wobble unless you are using a heavy load and are training really fast. The plate-loaded LAT pulldown machines, however, aren’t heavy. 

Some good ones such as the Titan Fitness LAT machine may still weigh around 150lbs but the low-cost ones hardly weigh 60-80lbs. They may not wobble when you are on the seat but if you are using the low pulley, they will most likely wobble and might even skid or fall over. Don’t worry, such incidents are very rarely reported, especially when you use the machines roughly. All you need to do is to secure them to the floor or weigh them by keeping spare plates on the base. 

Smoothness of the pulleys 

Whether you are buying a low-cost machine or a heavy-duty one,  just make sure the pulleys are absolutely smooth to use. They must not lag or provide a jerky motion. Because if that happens, you will not be able to enjoy the workout. Moreover, a jerky pulley will strain your muscles. 

Now, it is difficult to figure out how smooth a lat machine is unless you have used it personally. That's why you need to rely on other buyers’ feedback and genine advice from experts like us. 

I have created this list of the best LAT pulldown machines to help you eliminate the guesswork and select the right product. 

Overall height of the LAT pulldown machine 

LAT pulldown

Machines that are 80” or taller with height adjustable seats are suitable for almost everyone, even people who are 6’ or more. They are tall enough to provide you a complete range of motion. See the image above. The back muscles, arm muscles, and shoulder muscles are all experiencing unrestricted movement and you need that. 

Now, imagine how you will feel when the height of the LAT machine is short and your muscles do not get full extension. You will feel restricted and your muscles may not be able to get a solid workout. 

There is one way you can address this issue; by setting the seat to the lowest height but then, your knees will have to remain bent unconventionally. 

But, do you care? 

You won’t be using the machine for more than 10 to 15 minutes in the seated position, so some inconvenience should be OK if you are looking for a low-cost product. 

How to use a lat pulldown machine?

The above video should help you understand how you can safely use a LAT machine at home without straining yourself while still engaging the right muscles. Here are a few more things that you must keep in mind: 

  • While doing LAT workouts, make sure you lean back but do not curve your spine. Maintaining a neutral spine will help you engage the right muscles as well as keep your lower back safe.
  • Always use your Lat and tricep muscles; not your forearms. If you are feeling the pressure on your forearms, you are in the wrong form. 
  • There are multiple gripping positions to try but no matter what, make sure the grip isn’t wide enough to make you curve your spine or keep your elbows pointed out. The elbows should always remain tucked in. 
  • Do not choose a weight that makes it difficult for you to get fluid motion. If the weight is too much, you might end up stopping your rep midway, which could strain your muscles. 
  • Taking the help of momentum is the most common mistake people make while doing weighted exercises. The force of momentum may make it easier for you to do more reps and easier reps but that's of no use because your muscles won’t get to do the work they are supposed to do. So, exercise slowly and focus on breathing.

What muscles do LAT pulldown machines work? 

LAT pulldown muscles worked

Image source: Parallel Coaching 

Lat exercises are majorly meant for targeting the upper body muscles, especially the ones you can see in the image above. The name LAT machine itself indicates that it is meant to activate the LAT muscles i.e. the latissimus dorsi muscles. 

Just in case you don’t know, LAT muscles are extremely helpful for functional movements of our body. Whether you are swimming, pulling, taking down a heavy box from the shelf, or just walking with arms swinging freely, the lat muscles play a major role in these movements. That's why it is really important to exercise them at least a few times a week. 

Being an upper body blaster, LAT pulldowns also help you target the pec muscles, delt, traps, biceps, and triceps. 

Want to build a well-defined chest? How about buying a dedicated pec deck machine for that? Here are some of the best pec deck machines that I recommend.  

How to do lat pulldown without a machine?

If you do not have enough space or budget to accommodate a lat pulldown machine, you can try the below-mentioned alternative exercises. They may not be effective enough to help you build a well-defined V-taper but they are still a good option for people who want to stay fit and active. 

Some LAT pulldown alternatives that I recommend are: 

  • Pullups and chinups- can be done on a doorway pullup bar in case you don’t have a squat rack. 
  • Resistance band pulldown- This is the easiest possible LAT pulldown alternatives for people who are just getting started and do not have enough strength to do pullups and chinups. Here are some of the resistance bands that I recommend for home gyms. 
LAT pulldown with resistance bands
  • Dumbbell rows: These are also beginner-friendly LAT pulldown alternatives. You can do them with one or both hands while standing or using a workout bench. You can also do it with a barbell or a landmine, if you have one. 
lat pulldown alteernative

How to build a lat pulldown machine?

This is the best video I can find for you. But, I strongly advise you not to build your own LAT pulldown machine unless you are skilled enough to work with steel tubes, pulleys, cables, etc. 

As you can see in the video, making your own LAT machine is not that easy. You need to source too many materials and you will need high-end tools to do the drills and cuts. 

If you are not highly skilled, you may not be able to complete the project or you may end up building something that may not work or could collapse anytime, and that could be risky. So, it is better to buy a low-cost Lat machine than to take a huge risk with machines that use weights. 

Where to hold the lat pulldown machine?

For safe training, you must hold the lat bar at about shoulder-width grip. You may adjust the grip slightly depending on your comfort but do not go too wide or too narrow. Basically, the grip should be the same that you choose while doing pull ups. 

Are lat pulldown machines worth it?

It depends on what you want from them. If you are someone who aspires to have a well-toned body, especially upper body or if you are an athlete who wants to improve your functional movements, a Lat pulldown machine is a worthy investment. 

But, if you do not have enough space in your home and if you do not really love to have too many machines around you, you may go without a dedicated LAT machine and try the LAT pulldown alternatives. 

What is the lat pulldown good for?

The primary function of lat pulldowns is to strengthen the LAT muscles i.e. the latissimus dorsi muscle, the broadest muscles of your back. This muscle is responsible for balancing your spine and providing strength that your upper body may need for various functional movements. Lat pulldowns are good for keeping the LAT muscles healthy and strong. 

Lat Pulldown Machine Wrap-Up

I hope this guide has provided you with all the necessary information that you may need for buying a lat pulldown machine for your home gym. If there is something that I missed, please email me or leave a comment so I can add that piece of information. 

I recommend only those products that are tried and tested by hundreds (possibly thousands) of buyers. Plus, I try to test as many products as possible before recommending them so I can provide you with a firsthand review. I hope my recommendations help save your time and efforts. 

That’s it for this article. Don’t forget to check out my list of best battle ropes, best leg press machines, and best squat stands for home gyms.