Close-grip pull-down

The close-grip pull-down is a variation on the lat pull-down that is performed with an overhand grip and the hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. This increases the range of motion beyond wider grips, and may increase the time under tension in each rep. This variation is usually performed for moderate to high reps as part of a back or upper-body workout.


  1. Emphasizes the middle of the back
  2. Easy to learn and execute
  3. Cables provide constant tension on the targeted muscles

Close-grip pull-down Images


Close-grip pull-down Instructions

Close-grip pull-down muscle diagram
  1. Sit down on a pull-down machine with a V-Bar attached to the top pulley.
  2. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  3. Grab the V-bar with the palms facing each other (a neutral grip). Stick your chest out and lean yourself back slightly (around 30-degrees) in order to better engage the lats. This will be your starting position.
  4. Using your lats, pull the bar down as you squeeze your shoulder blades. Continue until your chest nearly touches the V-bar. Exhale as you execute this motion. Tip: Keep the torso stationary throughout the movement.
  5. After a second hold on the contracted position, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  6. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Caution: Avoid the temptation to use a weight so big that you need to start swinging your torso in order to perform the exercise.