Lena Boone tells us: “There are many errors in form I see made by both men and women in the gym, but I’ve seen numerous women making the same mistake on one particular exercise: the wide-grip lat pull-down. They key word in this exercise is “lat,” as in latissimus dorsi. This is one of the large muscle groups of the back.
A lat pull-down is meant to work the back. However, I will often times see women pulling the bar down using only their arms and pulling it down way too low, to about stomach level.
The correct form on this exercise is to grasp the bar with the hands a little wider than shoulder width apart and pull the bar just above the chest, letting the body lean back slightly as you pull down.
As you do the exercise, try not to grab the bar too tightly. Imagine the exertion is only coming from the back rather than the hands. This will help keep the work out of the biceps. If you plan on bumping the weight up quite a bit, I’d suggest investing in a good pair of lifting straps.