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If you're looking to work on and build your lats to get that beautiful V shape body, then you don't need any introduction with lat machine.
So, In this roundup we'll check what is the best lat pulldown machine for home gym.
We've done the hard work for you and narrowed down the massive list of available machines out there to 5 that we believe will be a great addition to any home setup.
5 best lat pulldown machines for home gym
What Is A Lat Pulldown Machine?
The most upfront and basic answer will be: A lat pulldown machine is a fitness equipment designed to enable you to work your lats.
But that answer won't do justice with this type of equipment that really can offer you more than that.
Like a cable machine, it uses a system of pulleys and cables that are connected (in some cases) to a weight stack.
However, the majority of in-home lat machines use external weight plates as the resistance.
Anyway, the use of a pulley system enables you to lift more weight, compared to how much you can lift with free weights.
For you to do the lifting, you'll be using a lat bar, row bar, handlebars, hand grips, V bars, straps, and so on.
The amount of attachments you can hook to your lat pulldown machine is what will allow you to diversify your workout.
Also, it will enable you to target major muscle groups, as well as helper muscles.
So, as you probably understood by now, it can be really versatile.
All these together make the average lat machine an excellent solution for beginners, but at the same time, it's also a machine that you can use as you progress.
Above all is the fact that it provides constant resistance to your muscles in both concentric and eccentric contractions.
What Are The Benefits Of Lat Pulldowns?
First of all, the lats are what can give your body that desired V shape that will make you look strong and wide.
Being that the lats are the largest and strongest muscle group in your back.
But apart of their aesthetic benefits, the lats play a major part in shoulder and spine mobility.
Whenever you throw, lift, bend, twist, you're using the lats.
So having a strong lats usually means better stability and posture, flexibility, and strength in your upper body.
In addition, they also assist the movement of your arms, and protecting your spine. In fact, they're main mission is to assist the movement of your arms.
Therefore, stronger lats also means, stronger arms and shoulders.
Furthermore, strong lats also help tightening your abs, and pulls your shoulders back. This helps take pressure off your lower back, and it helps with maintaining balance.
Finally, and I guess this is isn't the main reason why you're interested in building your lats, lats help with various sports activities.
From basketball and football to golf and tennis, as well as swimming and rowing.
Having strong lats means you have a strong core, which is essential with these kinds of sports activities.
Muscles Worked On A Lat Pulldown Machine
Despite its misleading name, a lat pulldown machine can be used to work various muscles in your body.
That's due to the fact that a simple pulldown is a compound movement involving three joints.
The elbow, shoulder, and the shoulder girdle.
And while the main muscles working are the lats, you'll also working your biceps and forearms.
Since they act as helper muscles.
However, because you can perform various exercises on a lat pulldown machine, you'll also be able to specifically target your:
It all depends on the versatility the lat machine offers, and basically whether or not you can use attachments.
What Can I Do Instead Of Lat Pulldown?
A lat pulldown machine is not something everyone can afford.
Maybe you can't afford it at the moment, or perhaps you don't have enough room for one.
That doesn't mean you can't work and strengthen your lats and back in general.
Thankfully, there are plenty of exercises that can work your lats without you having to spend a dime.
Check out these exercises. Each and every one of them work your lats.
- Chin-up [See instructions]
- Parallel Close Grip Pull-up [See instructions]
- Pull-Up [See instructions]
- Rear Pull-Up [See instructions]
- Barbell Pullover [See instructions]
- Barbell Bent Arm Pullover [See instructions]
- Dumbbell Lying Row [See instructions]
- Dumbbell Bent-over Row [See instructions]
- Inverted Row [See instructions]
- Barbell Bent-over Row [See instructions]
As you can see, there quite a few exercises that you can do, and all without breaking the bank.
5 Best Lat Pulldown Machines For Home Gym
There are more than enough lat machines out there.
We started our research by filtering out machines that were outdated, poorly made, or just plain bad.
Then, we've set the bar high to the rest of them by looking at their:
And after only 13.5 hours, (who'es counting?) we've managed to narrow our list down to 5 machines, that we believe will be a great addition to your home gym.
So, let's start.
1. Valor Fitness CB-12 Plate Loading Lat Pull Down
The CB-12 is the second cheapest lat machine on our list.
But even though it's quite affordable, it can still stand up to the big and more expensive machines.
First of all, the max user weight is 325 lbs, which kinda gives you an idea of how solid and stable this machine is.
As for max weight, this is where I think it might turn off some users since it can only support up to 250 lbs of weight load.
On the other hand, though, you might say that 250 lbs are more than enough for you.
So it's really up to you to decide if this weight load is going to be enough for you as you progress.
One cool feature I like is the plate storage sleeves, which will allow you to store your plates right beneath the plate carriages.
Besides that fact that it will be a lot easier and faster for you to load/unload plates, you also won't have to spend money on a plate rack in case you don't have one.
As for working out, well, it's got upper and lower stations, and you can do exercises like seated row, bent-over rows, and triceps pushdowns, to name a few.
2. Powerline PLM180X Lat Machine
So, this lat pulldown machine is the cheapest on our list.
But in this case, cheap doesn't necessarily means low quality.
This lat machine is straight up basic as it can.
It does have upper and lower pulley, but it's rather tricky to use the lower one.
You'll have to remove the seat and run the extension cable that comes with it through the lower pulley.
However, removing the seat is quite easy, since you can easily just pull it up.
Still, it's not the best solution out there, but if you're on the budget, that'll just have to do.
On the good side though, it is a pretty solid machine and its pulley system is rather smooth, so you get a clean and uninterrupted motion.
Finally, it does have a small footprint, 48" L X 25" W, so it might be a good option to consider if we're talking about small space.
3. Powertec Fitness LAT Machine
The Powertec is certainly the most interesting one on our list.
But, It's also the most expensive one.
For starters, it's got a slick design and look that is slightly different from other machines we saw.
With the upper and lower pulley on this one you can actually still get full range of motion, even if you're scratching the 6'3 mark.
Another cool feature is the swiveling seat that you can move aside when you want to use the lower pulley for seated rows, or to use free weights.
But, moving the seat out of the way not only enables you to do a low row, but also other exercises like triceps kickback and wood-chops.
As for max weight, well, it supports up to 500 lbs.
But, as default, it only support Olympic weight plates, so if you have standard plates you'll have to get sleeves adapters.
And, if you're more into weight stacks that weight plates, then you can upgrade your unit with a 190 lbs weight stack.
Though you should know that it will increase the already quite expensive price of this machine.
If Powertec had included attachments than it might had sweeten the deal a bit more.
Nevertheless, this is a solid lat machine, and if you've got the budget for it, you would be wise to seriously consider it.
4. XMark Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618
This lat pulldown machine from XMark is another solid build piece of equipment.
With its upper and lower pulleys you can attack your muscles from all different places.
But, what I really like about it is the fact that it can handle up to 400 lbs of weight, which leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Plus, it means you won't have to buy a new machine or weights further down the line.
It's also got a flip footplate, which can come in handy for those seated rows.
The cables on this lat machine are quite durable. They've tested to handle 2200 lb. I don't think you'll ever need to pull 2200 lb, but, it's good to know.
As for the weight plates, you can use standard, though they will wobble as you pull.
But, if you got Olympic weight set, then there's an Olympic sleeve adapter that assure your plates sits well and won't budge when you pull.
On the downside, you won't be able to complete full range movements if you're taller than 6'3.
5. Body-Solid Pro Lat Machine
This one is also from "Body-Solid", a well established and known brand in the fitness equipment industry.
it's got two pulley stations, upper and lower.
The kick though, is in the "you don't need to change cable when switching from upper to lower pulley" system.
Or as Body-Solid like to call it: “No-Cable-Change Technology”.
This is useful and might actually come in handy when you want to switch fast from doing lat pulldowns to low row.
As for low row, it doesn't have a flip-up footplate like the PLM180X, but, it does have foot brace to act as a counter when you're doing low row.
But, like the PLM180X the weight carriage motion is smooth, so you are getting a clean and uninterrupted motion.
And, if you're taller than 6'2, by you'll be able to get full range motion by just leaning slightly backwards while you pull.
Unfortunately, there is no room to store your plates, so if you don't have a plate rack you'll might have to consider getting one.
Another noteworthy downside is the assembly manual not being very clear, since it's basically just a drawing of all the parts and where they should go.
So unless you have experience in assembling fitness equipment, you're going to have a hard time trying to figure this one out.
But aside of that, this one is actually a solid lat machine that can be a great addition to your home gym.
Who's The Winner?
There's no doubt that there are plenty of solid and well-built lat machines out there.
But, in my opinion, the PLM180X is the winner of this roundup.
Well, for starters, it's got a reasonable, and even a quite affordable price tag If I might say.
Furthermore, it's got a massive frame that can support a user weight of up to 325 lbs.
Two pulley stations, plate storage sleeves so you don't have to pay extra on a plate rack, and you won't just have them lying around the machine.
And it's got a couple of other cool perks like adjustable height seat, a flip-up footplate for your low row's, and it comes with a couple of attachments.
Working out on it is a really smooth ride, and there's really no noise besides the typical sound of up and down the rail, that pretty much every fitness machine has
In my opinion, it's got everything a lat machine should have.
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