Machine Pulldown

  1. Grip the bar with the palms facing forward, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar, bring your torso back around 30 degrees while sticking your chest out.
  3. Pull the bar down to about chin level or a little lower in a smooth movement whilst squeezing the shoulder blades together.
  4. After a second of squeezing, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended.
Grips Overhand
Mechanic Compound
Force Pull
Difficulty Beginner

How To Perform The Pulldown


First, adjust the thigh pad to a position that works well with your height. You should be able to put your legs under the thigh pad fully, but it should be low enough to keep you glued to the chair.

There are several grips you can use on a pull down.  In our demo video, we are doing a wide grip overhand pull down, so these instructions will be for that variation in particular.

Take an overhand grip just outside the part of the bar that bends downward. You can either use a thumbed or thumbless grip.

Hold on tight to the weight and sit straight down throwing your legs underneath the thigh pad. 


Before you start the rep, make sure your elbows are in a fully extended position. Your ears should be between your biceps. As you initiate the pull, lean back slightly. Imagine you are trying to pull your elbows in toward your rib cage, and not just downward. The bar should land between your collarbone and nipple line. 

Once you have tapped your chest begin the eccentric. Control the weight on the way back up. The rep will end with your elbows returning to their fully extended position.

Be careful about cheating on this exercise. It is very easy (and very common) to use momentum on this exercise. If you are using some body English and jerking the weight to get it from point A to point B and the weight is too heavy. Try going lighter and controlling during both the concentric and eccentric.