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Best Lat Pulldown Alternatives With Dumbbells

06th Nov 2022

Table of Content

What is a Lat Pulldown Exercise?

Lat pulldown is the exercise where the weight is pulled down with the arms extended, in a straight line and parallel to the body. It is a compound exercise that is primarily used for the upper body. This is a highly functional exercise as it requires you to use a large number of your muscles to stabilize your body. 

The Lat pulldown is a core exercise that works the back, and the latissimus dorsi, which is a muscle that’s used to pull the arms and hands up to the shoulders.

The Lat Pulldown is a compound exercise, which means it requires more than one muscle group to perform. It is one of the most popular compound exercises and is a great addition to your workout routine.

Benefits of The Lat Pulldown Exercise

Lat Pulldown Alternatives With Dumbbells

Lat Pulldowns are one of the most important exercises for the upper body. It’s also one of the most underrated exercises. The Lat muscles are also the “glutes” of the body.

When done properly, the Lat muscles are the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. The lat muscles have a great impact on the quality of your life.

When you’re able to perform Lat pulldowns correctly, you can gain strength, improve your posture, build your shoulders, increase your core strength, and build a powerful upper body.

It’s no wonder that the Lat muscles are one of the most important muscles for building a powerful upper body. You can do the Lat pulldown exercise with or without weights.

If you’re not using weights, you can use your body weight to perform the Lat pulldown. However, the Lat pulldown with weights is the best way to perform the exercise. You’ll need to perform a Lat pulldown with a weight that you can perform 8-12 reps with.

Alternatives to Lat Pulldowns Exercise with Dumbbells (To Do at Home) 

1. Standing Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Bent-over rows are excellent alternatives to Lat Pulldowns exercise for working the lower back, which is the most common area of injury in powerlifters. They are also a great exercise for building the strength and size of your delts.

What is a bent-over row?

The bent-over row is an exercise that is performed with the upper back arched, the torso leaning forward at a 45-degree angle, and the lower back and legs straight. The lower back and glutes should be extended and the weight should be held in the hands.

For a variation of this exercise, you can place your hands on a bench and perform a dumbbell bent-over row instead of the barbell version.

Standing Dumbbell Bent-Over Row workout Guide

2. Dumbbell Pull-Over

A Dumbbell Pull-Over workout can be an alternative option to Lat Pulldowns. It is a compound exercise that uses the upper and lower body together to work the back, shoulders, chest, and core. It is an excellent exercise for beginners and seasoned lifters.

However, not all pullovers are created equal. Some are better than others, and there are two main variations of the pull-over: the single-arm and the double-arm.

Dumbbell Pull-Over works your chest muscles. These muscles include your pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior.

Dumbbell Pull-Over works your triceps. These muscles include your triceps brachii.

What is a Dumbbell pull-over?

The pull-over is a compound exercise that works the back, shoulders, chest and core. It is performed by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand and pulling the dumbbell over your head.

The key to a successful pullover is the grip you use. The grip you use determines the size of the muscles that you will work.

For example, if you use an overhand grip, the muscles that you will work are the biceps and forearms. If you use a close grip, the muscles that you will work are the triceps and shoulders.

How to do a Dumbbell pull-over?

3. Incline Dumbbell Bent-Over Bench Row

Another lats pulldown alternative exercise for building your upper back is the Incline Dumbbell Bent Over Bench Row.

An incline dumbbell bench row is a perfect exercise for building a toned and strong back. It is a compound exercise that targets the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and arms.

How to do Incline Dumbbell Bent-Over Bench Row?

4. Single Arm Bench Supported Row

Single arm bench supported row is a rowing exercise that involves using only one arm to pull against a weight or resistance while holding onto the edge of a bench.

To begin with, support your body weight on the bench, having a neutral spine and neck. Start holding the dumbbell on an extended arm and pull the weight upwards toward your ribs. Hold for a second at the top of the movement then bring the shoulders down.

How to do Single Arm Bench Supported Row?


Alternatives to Lat Pulldowns Exercise (Non-dumbbell)

1. Seated Low Cable Row

This is a seated low cable row exercise where you sit on the floor with your legs and feet straight out in front of you and then lift your legs and feet in a low cable row. The purpose of this exercise is to train your back, glutes, and hamstrings and increase your grip strength.

In this exercise, you are sitting in a chair with a low cable attached to your body and you are pulling it down toward your feet. The idea is to row with a straight back and to hold the cable at your body height.

To get started, you should first perform a few low cable rows without the cable to get a feel for the movement. You should sit in a chair with the cable attached to the floor. Once you are comfortable with the movement, you can attach the cable to a low pulley on a cable machine.

Why perform a seated low cable row exercise?

The seated low cable row is a great exercise to increase your grip strength. It will also strengthen your back, glutes and hamstrings and improve your posture.

How to do Seated Low Cable Row?

2. Pullups

Pull-ups are one of the most difficult exercises for beginners, this exercise can be done anywhere. You can do them in your garage, backyard, on a bar at the gym

Pull-ups are great for developing your upper body, shoulders, back, and arms. The way I learned how to do pull-ups was by watching YouTube videos and doing the exercises at the gym. 

If you’re new to pull-ups, it can be challenging to know how to do them correctly. If you’re an experienced pull-up enthusiast, you’re probably aware of the basics, but there are some things you may not be doing correctly.

How to Perform Pull-Ups?

The goal of the exercise is to perform a pull-up, which is when you lower your body by hanging from a bar and pulling your upper body towards your knees.

Pullups Workout Guide

3. Kneeling Straight Arm Pulldown

Using barbells we should now begin preparing sane muscle mass to increase weights with fewer recovery. This first resistance band move will require laying down straight arms with knees.

This exercise is somewhat more efficient than the cable counterpart and it earned a place here. The individual handles on the bands mean that there will be more freedom of movement on both sides. The bands add additional resistance with every twist, making the lats tighter.

4. Suspended Row

One other excellent body weight option is the inverted row or the suspended row inverter. This exercise is essentially a lat pull-down, as its weight is scaled and adjusted according to any fitness level.

Its potential advantage over a pulldown at lat is a mindset adjustment, which is not possible on the lat pulldown. The pronated or overhand grip produces the maximum level of activation in a training program. 

5. Yates Row

The Yates rows, primarily a bent-over row, earn a spot as a good weight-lifting exercise for the back or the hands. In my opinion, the Yates column provides a great connection with the lats when pulling elbows upward or downward.

It is also important to introduce this exercise because it is a full-bodied motion that requires a lot of muscle and coordination. Fitness gear is a must-perform exercise.

6. Plate loaded single arm row

Separate weight on one side provides diverging and converging motions for muscle development. Multiple variations can be applied to target different muscles and can be a great alternative lat pull down workout.


The lat pulldown is a great exercise for building the entire upper back. But, it is also great for our biceps and triceps. The main purpose of this exercise is to work on the largest muscle group in your upper body, but, also helps to create a nice shape.

We hope these different alternative exercises to the lat pulldowns with dumbbells have helped you to explore more variations of the workout. It's best to work out a balance between the rear and front muscles of the body. When you balance your back and front chest muscles, you will be able to strengthen your upper body.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

1.  What are the other wide-grip lat pulldown alternatives at home? 

 Pull-up and Chin-up are the best options in contrast to the conventional wide hold lat pulldown 

2.  What are the other close grip lat pulldown alternatives at home?

 A pushup is the best close grip workout as it works the most comparative muscle gatherings