- Latissimus Dorsi
- Teres Major
- Lower Trapezius
- Pectoralis Minor
- Rotator Cuffs (Infraspinatus, Subscapularis)
Exercises working similar muscle groups
Lateral pulldowns are an upper body strength building exercise. Lateral pulldowns are an easier more manageable version of the chin up movement. Pulldowns can be perform on a lat pulldown machine or using a theraband. The latissimus dorsi is the prime mover being assisted by the biceps, brachioradialis and teres major muscles. As with the chin up movement the rotator cuff muscles, the infraspinatus and subscapularis are active in the arms above the head position. For this reason people with known rotator cuff problems should be careful.
The Lateral Pulldown with a theraband can be beneficial for a number of reasons. The theraband creates a changing resistance resulting in lower forces in the arms outstretched position and higher forces in the arms pulldown position. The advantage of this is less strain on the shoulders and the rotator cuff muscles in the overhead position. The exercise will also challenge the lower trapezius and rhomboid to a greater extent as they are more active in the end pull position. If you have shoulder problems the theraband is recommended.