Your back muscles are some of the biggest muscles in your body, and giving them a good workout will help you increase your overall strength and muscle mass significantly.
A lat pulldown machine targets your lats with a simple up and down cable movement, which is why it deserves a place in your home gym.
There are many lat pulldown machines to pick from, and since this is a long-term investment, you need to educate yourself about the best lat pulldown machine on the market to make an informed decision. And that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with in this guide. So, let’s hop in!
Our Top Choices
Maximum Load Capacity
XMark Fitness Lat Pulldown
56.7” L x 48” W x 82.7” H
Valor CB-12 Lat Pulldown
50” L x 25” W x 80” H
Body-Solid Powerline PLM180X
48” L x 43” W x 81” H
Body-Solid GLM83 Pro
60” L x 32” W x 82” H
Powertec Lat Machine P-LM
55.3” L x 39.3” W x 82.1” H
64” L x 46” W x 83” H
Titan Fitness Lat Tower
86.5” L x 52” W x 86” H
Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage
57” L x 41” W x 87” H
Rogue Fitness Lat Tower
60” L x 40” W x 80” H
Alright, now that we’ve gone through the big picture, let’s take a more in-depth look at what each of these machines has to offer in terms of quality, durability, and versatility.
The 10 Best Lat Pulldown Machines for 2022
1. XMark Fitness Lat Pulldown
Our Top Pick
The XMark Fitness Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618 is a capable piece of equipment that has many tricks up its sleeve.
Featuring a chrome-plated lat pulldown bar and low row bar, this machine isn’t just durable but also versatile. It provides you with a well-rounded lat muscle workout by varying your workouts with different angles.
The aircraft quality cables are nylon-coated, ensuring outstanding durability and tension tolerance. We also like the flip-up diamond footplates and the oversized 4.33” vinyl-covered thigh pads that maintain your form throughout the workout.
The hand grips are very comfortable and non-slipping, thanks to the textured rubber design. Also, the seat is made of an extra-thick 3” Dura-craft cushion for ultimate comfort.
In addition, the XMark Fitness machine features skid-resistant feet to prevent the machine from moving or rocking during your intense workouts.
Not to mention, this machine can be used with standard or Olympic weight plates. However, there’s a bit of wobble when it’s loaded up with standard weights, so we’d recommend going for Olympic weight plates with this one.
What’s more, the XMark lat pulldown machine machine is equipped with chrome-plated Olympic adapter sleeves that resist bending and chipping.
The XMark Fitness Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618 is easily one of the highest-rated lat pulldown machines with its premium materials, stability, and high-strength cables.
2. Valor CB-12 Lat Pulldown
The Valor CB-12 Lat Pulldown/PLG/Low Row Machine is a compact and versatile piece of gym equipment that won’t set you back too much.
While this model is primarily a lat pulldown machine, it can be used for a variety of other lat pulldown exercises, including low rows, cable curls, and ab crunches. The lat pull bar can be moved out of the way when doing exercises to prevent accidental collisions.
The lat pull unit includes a 38” lat pull bar and a 20” lower lat bar. There’s also a harness strap that clips onto the lat pull cable so you can work your abs.
In addition, the Valor CB-12 flaunts a robust pulley mechanism that enables you to do standing upright rows, seated rows, and stand-up curls. You can even adjust the seat pad to nail your form.
The sleeves are designed to hold standard 1” weight plates but can also accommodate 2” Olympic plates. Plus, you get two spring collars to secure the plates in position when working out.
Moreover, the seat pad is made of high-density dual-layered padding for extra durability. On a side note, keep in mind that the Valor CB-12 can only withstand a maximum weight of 200 lbs.
If you’re on a strict budget, the Valor CB-12 Lat Pulldown/PLG/Low Row Machine will help you reach your fitness goals without breaking the bank. It has a small footprint, and the materials won’t let you down.
3. Body-Solid Powerline PLM180X
The Body-Solid Powerline PLM180X Lat and Low Row Cable Pulldown Machine features a heavy-duty gauge steel structure that feels durable and stable.
In addition, there’s a bottom pulley that lets you do seated rows and other exercises. It’s patented nylon bushings help you to operate smoothly. What’s more, the machine allows you to add other cable attachments to mix up your exercises.
Also, the Powerline PLM180X uses standard weight plates, but you get an optional sleeve adapter that enables you to use Olympic 2” weight plates instead of standard plates.
And the machine is pretty compact, so it won’t take up much space in your home gym. Not to mention, it carries a budget-friendly price tag.
There’s a small inconvenience with the design of the machine, though. You have to change the cable when switching from lat pulldown to low rows or vice versa. We also wish the seat was a bit wider to accommodate all users.
Body-Solid Powerline PLM180X Lat and Low Row Cable Pulldown Machine is one of the best choices for lifters that like multifunctional lat pulldown machines. It’s very smooth, and the frame is one of the best around.
4. Body-Solid GLM83 Pro
Best for Tall Lifters
The Body-Solid GLM83 Pro Lat Machine is more than just a lat pulldown machine. With top and bottom pulleys, this machine can be used for a wide range of exercises, including high and low pulley exercises.
What’s more, the GLM83 is equipped with a thick and comfortable DuraFirm seat pad coupled with 8” foam rollers that help you stay comfortable when doing your exercises. Another good feature is the nylon bushing design that ensures smooth weight carriage travel and minimal wear.
In addition, the Body-Solid GLM83 dimensions and design are very suitable for tall lifters, providing a full range of motion for individuals taller than 6’2”. We’d have preferred if the seat was adjustable, though. Oh, and the assembly will probably be a bit confusing, so be prepared for that.
If you’re a tall lifter, the Body-Solid GLM83 Pro Lat Machine would be an excellent choice for you if you want to ensure a full range of motion when doing lat pulldowns.
5. Powertec Lat Machine P-LM
Best for Olympic Weight Plates
The Powertec Lat Machine P-LM is one of the few lat machines out there that comes with an optional 190 lbs weight stack. This allows you to increase resistance and even add more weights for a total capacity of 500 lbs. Thanks to the angled stainless steel weight horns, you’ll be able to load up your Powertec machine with all types of Olympic weight plates.
What’s more, the Powertec P-LM machine is equipped with a two-position seat that can be locked in or pivoted out, giving you more options with your exercises with the top and bottom pulleys.
To add, the Powertec P-LM is suitable for tall users since you’ll be able to get a full range of motion in your exercise, even if you’re taller than 6’3”. This will naturally lead to better gains down the line.
This machine also comes with a long lat bar and a short triceps/row bar. But unfortunately, since Olympic weights have a 2” diameter, you won’t be able to use standard weight plates with this machine.
On a side note, keep in mind that assembling this machine requires some effort, and you’ll probably need a little bit of help with it.
If you already own some Olympic weight plates and don’t want to waste money and storage space on another set of standard plates, the Powertec Lat Machine P-LM is definitely worth checking out.
6. Body-Solid SLM-300G/2
Best Professional Choice
The Body-Solid SLM-300G/2 Lat Machine isn’t actually meant for home use; this piece of equipment is structurally and biomechanically designed for heavy gym use. Therefore, it’ll probably last for eternity in your home gym.
It features a high pulley that’s positioned directly over your head to fully isolate your back muscles for the best form and gains. On top of that, the hold-down thigh pads are adjustable, which further increases your stability and maintains your form during workouts.
In addition, the included pulldown bar is pretty long, allowing you to vary your grip between narrow, medium, and wide. Not to mention, the seat is wide and comfortable, ensuring that you don’t hurt your bones when sitting on it for prolonged periods.
Thanks to the innovative no-cable-change design, the machine lets you change to seated rows quickly. So, if you need to burn more fat and increase strength, doing supersets with this machine is a breeze.
Our only complaint is that since this is a sturdy piece of equipment, it’s very heavy, so setting it up in your home gym won’t be easy as it comes in four packages.
The Body-Solid SLM-300G/2 Lat Machine is a pro-grade piece of workout equipment that can resist long-term wear. It’s also fairly easy to switch between the high and low pulleys.
7. Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage
Best Versatile Alternative
The Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage is a versatile machine that lets you do a whopping 24 exercises, including lat pulldowns, chin-ups, tricep extensions, bicep curls and dips.
Featuring a heavy-duty tubular steel frame construction, the X-class can gracefully withstand your intense workouts.
Additionally, the machine is spacious enough for wide stance squats, with enough space for an extra spotter. What’s more, there are two 11.5” safety bars and J-Hooks that can withstand a load of up to 1500 lbs.
The pull-up bars have various hand grip positions so you can do a well-rounded workout for your arm, shoulder, and back muscles.
Moreover, the X-Class comes with lat pulldown and low-row cable attachments, so you don’t have to buy them separately.
However, despite offering lots of exercise options, this machine will take up considerable space in your home gym. It also doesn’t come with pegs for plate storage.
The Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage is a multifunctional machine that’ll spare the need of buying lots of workout equipment.
8. Titan Fitness Lat Tower
The Titan Fitness Lat Tower is a space-saving machine that doesn’t require weight plates.
Instead, it comes with a single weight-stack system with a total load capacity of 300 lbs divided over 10 lbs increments. This allows you to push your lat muscles to their limits without having to use weight plates.
Moreover, the Titan Lat Tower lets you do lat pulldowns and low rows, combining the function of two machines into one. You can even do bent-over rows in a standing position.
Not to mention, the footplate and thigh pads have eight adjustable positions, so you can adjust your form in the various exercises.
In addition to the lat bar, the Titan comes with band pegs that increase resistance and make your workouts more challenging.
And the pulleys and weight stack pin are made of anodized aluminum for long-lasting durability. The cable is quite robust, too, featuring aircraft-grade materials and integrity.
On a side note, we aren’t big fans of the aggressive knurling on the lat bar, but of course, you can get a new one if you don’t like it. There’s also a slight wobble in the machine when you load it up with heavy stacks.
If you need a small machine for lat pulldowns that can also take a heavy load, the Titan Fitness Lat Tower won’t disappoint you.
9. Rogue Fitness Lat Tower
Best Premium Choice
The Rogue Fitness Lat Tower sets a new standard for lat pulldown machines. It’s a big step forward over its previous version, occupying less space and offering smoother action with upgraded materials.
One of the things that make the Rogue Lat Tower stand out from the crowd is that it doesn’t require assembly since it ships fully assembled. Not to mention, you don’t need weight plates to use it since it’s equipped with 300 lbs weight stacks divided into 10 lbs increments.
The diamond-tread adjustable footplate prevents your feet from sliding while also helping you maintain proper form. What’s more, the included lat bar is made of premium stainless steel material with knurling that’s aggressive enough for you to maintain your grip.
You also get a set of custom-built black carabiners for lat pulldowns and low rows.
However, despite offering impressive aesthetics and performance, the Rogue Monster Lat pulldown machine carries a hefty price tag that may not suit budget-minded consumers.
The Rogue Fitness Lat Tower has all the latest and greatest bells and whistles in terms of design, materials, and smoothness.
TDS Super Lat Pulldown Machine
Best For Increasing Strength
The TDS super lat power machine is a great choice for those who are looking to increase their strength and muscle mass. It is very easy to use and can be set up in minutes.
This machine has a number of features that make it an excellent choice for those who are looking to improve their fitness level.
The weight stack that is included with the machine makes it easy to add resistance as you work out. It's pulley system allows you to change the intensity of your workout as you progress. The smooth, quiet operation makes it easy to use even in a noisy gym environment. It has a compact design means that it can be easily stored when not in use or adjusted in your home easily.
Benefits of Using a Lat Pulldown Machine in Home Gym
Lat Pulldown Machines are a great addition to any home gym because they provide an effective way to work the lower body. (1)
The benefits of using a Lat Pulldown Machine include:
• It helps build muscle and strength in the lower body.
• It can help improve your balance and coordination.
• It can help you increase your speed and agility.
Should You Get a Lat Pulldown Machine?
Absolutely yes! The lat pulldown is an essential exercise that should be fixated into your back workout routine. And while you can do lat pulldowns without a machine, you won’t be able to get the same results, especially if you’re a beginner.
However, it’ll take considerable space in your home gym, so make sure that the room can accommodate it.
What Exercises Can You Perform with a Lat Pulldown Machine?
Lat Pulldown Machines are perfect for exercises that target the back and biceps. You can use them to perform a variety of exercises, such as:
- Reverse Close-Grip Lat Pull-Down
- Underhand Cable
- V-bar Pulldown
- Straight Arm Pulldown
How to Choose the Right Lat Pulldown Machine for You
When shopping for a lat pulldown machine, you need to pay attention to some key aspects to shape your buying decision. Here are the most important ones:
Not all lat pulldown machines can accommodate big loads. So before buying a lat pulldown machine, check its load rating and make sure that it aligns with your current fitness level and future goals. However, it should be at least 50 lbs. You don’t want to buy a machine that can barely provide a challenge for you, at least if you want it to be useful for a while.
Also, keep in mind that your weight will probably change with exercise. You could gain a few pounds if you exercise and build muscle mass, meaning that you’ll need to exercise with higher loads.
Some lat pulldown machines use standard weight plates, while others have weight stacks. However, weights don’t come with lat pulldown machines, so you’ll have to use your own plates or buy some. Also, keep in mind that weight plates require extra storage space.
In addition, few home-use lat pulldowns support Olympic weights. Weight sleeves that take 1” standard plates should naturally take 2” Olympic plates, but they won’t be very stable when working out.
A lat pulldown machine will occupy significant space in your home gym, so why not use it for other exercises? Many pulldown machines come with a bottom pulley that lets you use it as a cable row machine or a curl machine. Some models also have a harness so you can do ab crunches.
You don’t buy a lat pulldown machine every day, which is why you need to make sure that it’ll last for a while before buying it. There are a few things to consider, like the frame’s construction materials and the quality of the seat pad and thigh pads. High-end lat pulldown machines have sturdy steel frames that provide them with top-notch stability.
The lat pulldown is an intensive exercise, and you don’t want to make it harder on yourself with an uncomfortable seat and thigh pads. Therefore, when choosing a lat pulldown machine, make sure that the seat and thigh pads are well-cushioned with adequate padding that can withstand wear and feel comfortable.
For a pulldown machine to be stable, it must have skid-resistant feet, especially if you plan on setting it up on smooth flooring. Of course, you can compensate for that by putting a sheet of rubber under the machine, but that won’t be the best solution from a functional point of view.
You should also consider the footplate. Footplates that are too smooth may cause your feet to move during low-row reps, which will also make the machine wobble.
When choosing a lat pulldown machine, keep in mind that only you (and maybe others within your household) will be using it.
You don’t need a very sophisticated lat pulldown machine that’s intended for intensive club use in your home gym. You can still get a very capable home-gym lat pulldown machine within the $500-$1000 range.
But of course, you can still opt for a high-end model if your budget allows it and you don’t want to waste any time maintaining it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Lat Pulldown Good for Athletes?
The lat pulldown is an excellent exercise for athletes no matter what sport they practice. Reinforcing your back muscles can help you do better in strength training, swimming, tennis, and many other sports. So, a lat pulldown machine in your home gym would definitely be a smart idea.
Do I Need a Lat Tower?
Lat towers utilize a pulley system, making them easier to set up and quieter than a conventional plate-based lat pulldown machine. They also cause fewer vibrations, and the best thing about them is that you don’t need to buy separate weight plates to use them.
Are Lat Pulldowns Better Than Pull-Ups?
Both lat pulldowns and pull-ups target your back muscles. However, lat pulldowns are much easier to perform with proper form, especially for beginner and intermediate lifters.
They’re also safer, and your risk of getting injured from exercising on a lat pulldown machine is much lower than that from using a pull-up bar.
Plus, many lat pulldown machines have lower pulleys that enable you to do additional exercises like seated rows.
What Muscles Does the Lat Pulldown Machine Work?
The lat pulldown machine engages the lat muscles in your back, as well as the biceps.
However, the primary target muscles are the lats, and you shouldn’t feel your biceps more than the lats. If you do, you must adjust your form by taking a wider grip and initiating the pull by pulling back your shoulders in a downward direction.
Can You Do a Lat Pulldown With a Cable Machine?
Yes, you can do a lat pulldown with a cable machine.
Raise the cable post at the highest position, hook up a pulldown bar, sit on the floor with the bar on top of you, and start pulling. However, you need to make sure that your body doesn’t move while on the floor.
If it’s a double cable machine, sit on your knees right in the middle of them with the posts on your sides and pull the cables with your hands.
How Many Sets and Reps for Lat Pulldowns?
As a general rule of thumb, aim for 3-4 12-rep sets when doing lat pulldowns on a machine.
This workout is more about proper controlled movement and form rather than load, so don’t put on more weight plates at the expense of lower reps or bad form.
You can also do 15 reps per set as you progress.
How Do I Do Lat Pulldowns Without a Machine?
You can do lat pulldowns without a machine by hooking up two resistance bands to a pull-up bar.
Grab the middle of the band with your hands, hold the band over your head while keeping your arms straight, bend your elbows, and hold for 2-3 seconds to perform a lat pulldown rep.
Should I Lean Back When Doing Lat Pulldowns?
No. One of the most common technical issues that beginner lifters go through when working out on a lat pulldown machine is leaning backward when pulling the cable.
This movement causes your lat muscles to only engage partially, resulting in fewer gains. Not to mention, you’ll overwork your shoulders and joints for no benefit.
To perform a lat pulldown in proper form, you need to maintain a neutral spine and raise your chest and chin upward while pulling the bar with your shoulder blades. Also, make sure that you only lower the bar until it reaches the middle of your neck.
So, that was our extensive buying guide regarding lat pulldown machines.
The XMark Fitness Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618 is one of the best lat pulldown machines out there. It’s stable, takes standard and Olympic weight plates, and has a load-bearing capacity of 400 lbs.
Alternatively, you can opt for the compact Valor CB-12 Lat Pulldown/PLG/Low Row Machine if you’re on a low budget. It’s also an excellent choice for those who want to use their lat pulldown machine for other exercises.
The Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage is a very good choice, too, especially if you’re looking for a versatile machine that can give you a full-body workout.
Finally, consider taking a look at the Rogue Fitness Lat Tower if you prefer professional, high-end lat pulldown machines.