Exercises to Superset with Lat Pulldown

10 Best Exercises to Superset with Lat Pulldowns

Supersets are a powerful tool in strength training, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workouts by performing two exercises consecutively without rest.

Lat Pulldowns are an excellent back accessory exercise and one that I use often in my programming – and most often as part of a superset.

I’ve been a collegiate sports performance coach for 20 years and utilizing supersets is something I’ve done my entire career. In this article, I will share with you the top exercises to superset with Lat Pulldowns, helping you optimize your training program.

Whether you’re an experienced athlete or just starting out, these supersets can help you maximize your workouts, offering innovative ways to get more from your Lat Pulldown sets.

Keys to Choosing a Lat Pulldown Superset Exercise

When choosing an exercise to superset with Lat Pulldowns, consider the following key factors:

Antagonistic Muscle Groups:

To create a balanced superset that fosters muscular harmony, opt for exercises that target antagonistic, or opposite, muscle groups to those engaged during Lat Pulldowns.

While Lat Pulldowns mainly work the latissimus dorsi, coupling it with a movement that targets, for example, the chest or triceps can offer a well-rounded approach to your upper-body training

Equipment Availability:

Ensure the necessary equipment for both exercises is readily available, to facilitate a smooth transition between exercises without rest periods.

This may seem simple and obvious, but this can be a real factor – especially for at-home workouts – where some exercises may ‘share’ the same piece of equipment.

Goal Alignment:

Align the supplementary exercise with your broader training goals, whether that be muscle growth, endurance, or fat loss.

Exercises to Superset with Lat Pulldowns

Here are my favorite exercises to superset with Lat Pulldowns, in no particular order:


Athlete Doing Push-Ups

Why: Push-Ups target the chest and triceps, creating a balanced upper-body workout by engaging the antagonistic muscle groups to the latissimus dorsi.

How To

  • Begin in a plank position, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and feet together or slightly apart. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your body towards the floor while maintaining a straight spine.
  • Get as close to the floor as possible without touching it with your chest.
  • Extend your elbows, pushing your body back to the starting position.

Bench Press

Athlete Bench Pressing

Why: Bench Press works primarily on the chest and triceps, promoting muscular balance and symmetry by focusing on the opposite muscle groups worked during Lat Pulldowns.

How To

  • Lie flat on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground. Your back should be naturally arched with the shoulder blades retracted.
  • Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The grip should be firm and your wrists straight.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and hold it straight over your chest with your arms fully extended. This is your starting position.
  • Lower the bar slowly and controlled to your chest. The bar should be in line with your mid-chest.
  • Push the bar back up to the starting position by fully extending your arms. Engage your chest, shoulders, and triceps to power the lift.
  • Once you have completed your set, carefully rack the bar back on the bench rack.

Overhead Press

Why: Overhead Press targets the shoulders and triceps, helping to build balanced shoulder musculature and complementing the pulling motion of Lat Pulldowns with a pushing motion.

How To

  • The grip should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Elbows should be under bar.
  • Torso should be erect.
  • Move the bar off the rack.
  • Keep your chest up.
  • Push the bar up to full elbow extension.
  • As soon as the bar passes the head – ‘pull the head through’ – so that the bar is being locked out directly over the ears.
  • Lower the bar slowly and under control to shoulder level.


Dips Being Done Outside on Parallel Bars

Why: Dips effectively target the triceps, an antagonistic muscle group to the biceps, promoting balanced upper-body development.

How To

  • Attach your dip rack to your rack. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Starting position is hands on bars, arms extended, knees slightly bent and feet crossed (crossing feet is optional but does help with unwanted swinging in my experience.
  • Descend down by bending the elbows and slightly leaning forward.
  • Lower yourself under control until the triceps become parallel with the ground and then drive yourself back up to the starting position.
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Barbell Curls

Barbell Curl Side View

Why: Barbell Curls are a compound set, a type of superset where both exercises target similar muscle groups rather than opposite.

Curls pair well with Lat Pulldowns by offering a different type of tension and stimulus to the biceps, which are secondary muscles worked during Lat Pulldowns.

How To

  • Stand tall, back straight, head up, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell with both hands, palms up (supinated grip).
  • Start with the bar at arm’s length against the upper thighs.
  • Curl the bar up towards the shoulders until the forearms touch the biceps.
  • Keep upper elbows close to the side.
  • Lower the bar back to starting position using the same path.

Dumbbell Flys

Dumbbell Fly Full Contraction

Why: Dumbbell Flys target the chest, working the opposite muscle group to the back muscles engaged during Lat Pulldowns, allowing each muscle group to rest while the other is working.

How To

  • Grab your dumbbells, sit on the edge of the bench, and sit the dumbbells on your thighs vertically.
  • Take a deep breath, lie flat on your back on the bench, and get your dumbbells in position ready to press.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and your butt on the bench.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and keep the back of your head on the bench. You will slightly arch your back. Keep your core tight and keep the shoulder blades pulled back tight.
  • Press the dumbbells up.
  • Now, keep a slight bend in the elbow and lower the dumbbells down until they’re at shoulder height.
  • Finally, flex the chest and pull the dumbbells together, back to arm’s length over the chest.

Skull Crushers

Skull Crushers Flexed Position

Why: Focusing on tricep engagement, Skull Crushers counter the bicep engagement in Lat Pulldowns, fostering comprehensive arm development.

How To

  • Grab a bar with an overhand grip, lie flat on a bench with head down, chin up. If you don’t have a bench, you can simply lay on the floor.
  • Press the bar to arm’s length above the shoulder.
  • Lower the bar until it almost touches the top of the forehead, bending arms at the elbows, keeping upper arm vertical and elbows in.
  • Drive the bar back up to the starting position and repeat.

Cable Face Pulls

Cable Face Pulls with Rope

Why: Cable Face Pulls help to strengthen the rear deltoids and upper back muscles, which are important for shoulder health and can complement the strength built through Lat Pulldowns.

How To

  • To begin, adjust the cable machine to a high setting and attach a rope attachment to the pulley.
  • Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the rope with both hands, using a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  • Extend your arms in front of you so that the rope is taut, and step back slightly to create tension in the cable.
  • Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine as you pull the rope towards your face, keeping your elbows wide and your hands level with your ears.
  • As you pull the rope towards your face, squeeze your shoulder blades together and imagine that you are trying to pinch a quarter between your shoulder blades.
  • Hold the contraction for a moment, then slowly release the tension in the cable and return to the starting position.

Russian Twists

Russian Twist with Medicine Ball

Why: This core exercise encourages rotational strength and stability.

Incorporating Russian Twists in your superset can work to strengthen the obliques and abdominal muscles, creating a strong foundation for other lifts while enhancing overall functionality and core control.

How To

  • Start by grabbing a medicine ball and taking a seat on the floor.
  • Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
  • Start by rotating your torso to the left and lightly tapping the med ball against the ground.
  • Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right and, again, lightly tap the ball against the ground.
  • Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers (1)

Why: Mountain Climbers add a cardiovascular element to your workout while engaging different muscle groups, including the core, for a more diverse training plan.

How To

  • Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
  • Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
  • Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
  • Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
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Final Thoughts

Integrating supersets with Lat Pulldowns in your strength program can significantly improve muscle balance and growth (and maximize your time in the weight room).

The exercises listed above will help ensure you target a range of muscle groups, promoting well-rounded development.

Don’t forget to always focus on maintaining correct form to maximize gains and prevent injuries!

More Links and Info

Want more superset ideas to ramp up your workouts? Check out the best exercises to pair up with some other popular movements:

Best Exercises to Superset with Barbell Curls

Shoulder Press Supersets to Optimize Shoulder Day

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