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Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown [Exercise Guide]

kneeling single arm pulldown

What Is A Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown

The kneeling single-arm lat pulldown is a conventional lat pulldown variation performed in a half-kneeling position. This difference leads to delivering additional activation to the core and lower body. If you are looking for a lat pulldown alternative that involves most muscles in your body, this workout is just what the doctor ordered. To perform the exercise, you need a cable machine. You can use any kind of cable station if you don’t have a lat pulldown machine. Read on to know everything you need about the proper form, the movement’s benefits, and the targeted muscles.

What Muscles Does Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown Work

The kneeling single arm lat pulldown works:

  • latissimus dorsi
  • biceps
  • rear deltoids
  • trapezius
  • brachioradialis

Core muscles, abductors, glutes, and obliques work as stabilizers. 

How to Perform Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown

Step 1. Set up the cable machine

Set the pulley to the uppermost part of your cable machine.

Step 2. Get into the starting position

Get down on the ground on one knee so that your leg creates a 90-degree angle with the floor. The distance between your forward leg and the cable machine is one step. If your right knee is down, grab the handle with your left hand, and vice versa. The toes of your back leg should touch the ground. This little nuance is crucial for ankle mobility.

Step 3. Pull down

Make sure your shoulder blade is protracted (come out a little). To reach this position, slightly lean forward. Then, pull the handle down, keeping your chest nice and tall. Don’t allow your elbow to come past your torso.

Step 4. Go back to the start

Once you reached the movement’s climax and squeezed your shoulder blades together, go back to the start. That’s one rep.

Advantages Of A Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown

Strengthening your lats

Kneeling single-arm lat pulldown isolates latissimus dorsi and loads it to the maximum. A bigger back and attractive “wings” are not all benefits this workout can give you. You may think of latissimus as a stabilizing force for your whole body. As a result of lat muscle weakness, we often witness movement compensations, discomfort and/or an injury. That’s why it’s crucial to train the lats.

Balance on each side

By exercising the back one side at a time, you can concentrate on maintaining balance and getting the appropriate muscles to contract. Your body will let you know if one side is weaker, and you can fix it rather quickly by practicing this movement.

Constant tension

A cable machine makes the load on your muscles constant and stable. Even if you want, you can’t cheat and relax at some stage of the movement. This fact contributes to the exercise’s effectiveness. One more pleasant trifle is you can choose different handles.

Activates lower body

Unlike many other lat pulls, this exercise involves core muscles, glutes and hips. Of course, they work more as stabilizers, but many athletes prefer to simultaneously load as many muscles as possible. This full-body exercise enhances your hips and ankles’ mobility; it’s not just a back drill.

5 Kneeling Single Arm Lat Pulldown Alternatives

1. Pull-up

Pull-ups work the lats, biceps, teres major, and rhomboids simultaneously. Forearms and hands are placed under a lot of strain, strengthening your grip throughout the motion.

How to do a pull-up:

  • Make sure your bar is at the correct height. You should begin by hanging from the bar. The best grip is a neutral one with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your sternum to its highest point. You’re OK to go if your chest isn’t touching the bar. As you begin the pull, keep your elbows pressed against the floor.
  • The goal here is to maintain going in a straight line. Hold the tension until your chin is above the bar.
  • Go back to the starting position.

2. Standing Barbell Row

The barbell row is an important exercise for improving strength in the back. One of the advantages of practicing this move is that it helps you build strength in your shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors simultaneously.

How to do a standing barbell row

  • Your goal should be to position your middle foot such that it is just beneath the bar. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
  • After bending over, grab the bar with a neutral grip. While you are releasing the joints in your knees, be sure to maintain your hips raised.
  • As you bring the bar up to your ribcage, be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Lower the bar, returning to the start.

3. Pendlay Barbell Row 

The Pendlay row is another fantastic exercise that increases muscle mass and bolsters back strength. Your strength will increase in both the static and concentric planes as a result of this workout.

How to do Pendlay barbell row:

  • Put some weight on your barbell. To begin, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Rotate your knees outside of the bar’s route. Pushing your hips back is necessary for proper body bending.
  • Take an overhand grip on the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Row up, pulling the shoulders together. Your upper and lower arms should make a 90-degree angle at the movement’s peak.
  • Return to the starting position. You’ve finished one rep when the bar reaches the floor.

4. Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldown best targets latissimus dorsi, your back’s broadest muscle. As an added benefit, this exercise promotes good posture and strengthens the spine. It also activates a variety of muscles that help you extend and adduct your arms.

How to do lat pulldown:

  • The pads should rest on top of your quads as you sit at the machine.
  • Lock yourself and grab the grips while sitting down. Stay in a straight line with your legs.
  • Pull down, making sure the handles are at the tops of your shoulders.
  • Return to the top. Even at the peak of the action, keep your elbows slightly bent.

5. Chest Supported Row

The chest-supported row works the upper and middle back as well as the deltoids. To practice it the right way, you are going to need the dumbbells and an incline bench.

How to do chest supported row:

  • You’ll get the best results if you elevate a bench between 30 and 45 degrees off the ground. Lay on your back with a pair of dumbbells.
  • Raise your arms to your elbows in a rowing motion. Tight lats and midback are essential while lifting the weights.
  • To get the most benefit from an exercise, lift your elbows rather than your hands.
  • Return to the starting position.


The kneeling single-arm lat pulldown is an effective compound exercise that focuses on strengthening your lats. Most athletes use it to make the back bigger and build stability. One of the exercise’s distinctive features is that it engages lower body muscles, which is not possible for conventional lat pulldowns. Practicing this movement, you will also be able to find weak spots in one of the body’s sides and fix the problem, making your muscle development balanced. The kneeling single-arm lat pulldown also improves your posture and functionality.