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Wide-grip lat pull-downs

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

When done properly, wide-grip lat pull-downs will help you build a broader, stronger back and improve your posture. When done improperly, they’ll wrench your back out of whack. If you want that sexy "V" shape between your shoulders and your waist, this is a keeper.

Muscles worked
Lats (triangular muscles on either side of the back)

Starting position
Seat yourself at a cable station beneath a long-bar attachment suspended from the cable. Stabilize yourself using the pads above the knees. Reach up and grip with bar with palms facing away from you, hands a little more than shoulder width apart (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, pull the bar downward toward your chest. Keep your shoulders down throughout the movement. As you pull down, broaden your chest, pull through your pinkies and slightly tuck your elbows a little bit forward to isolate your lats (see Photo 2).
  2. Bring the bar close to your chest, as you exhale and squeeze your lats (see Photo 3).
  3. Slowly resist the upward motion of the bar as you return to the starting position (see Photo 4). Repeat until the set is complete, and do a total of four sets.
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of Diakadi Body Personal Training and Wellness Center, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.