Rope Pull Over/Pulldown: How To, Tips, Benefits

Rope Pullovers are an effective and unique accessory back and shoulder exercise that targets the upper lats and posterior deltoids, by using the rope attachment on the cable pulley, for a full and wide retraction of the scapula. Rope pullovers are a great accessory back exercise that can isolate your lats and help build more muscle and definition. 

What Is The Rope Pullover/Pulldown: Muscles Worked

Rope pullover help target multiple muscle groups in the upper back, most notably the rear delts and latissimus dorsi or lats. Rope pullover will help improve overall physique and widen your back since it works directly on the outside lats. 

The delts are separated into three separate heads—the anterior, lateral (medial), and posterior. The anterior and lateral heads of the deltoid are often worked far more than the posterior, or "rear delts," because they're involved in pushing and pressing exercises., often used in exercises such as shoulder press, front raises, lateral raises, and bent over flys. Without working the rear delts sufficiently you can create muscular imbalances, resulting in injury and a forward arching posture. 

Rope Pullover/Pulldown Variations

  • Wide Grip Bar Pullover/Pulldown

Rope Pullover/Pulldown Benefits

The rope pull down targets multiple muscles groups, yet isolates the lats and rear delts exceptionally well. The rope pull down/pullover is a great accessory movement to build a wider, stronger frame, while also developing a well defined physique.

  • Increased Strength
  • Better Posture
  • Stronger Upper Back
  • Better And Wider Back Definition
  • Better Core Stability
  • Increased Core Strength
  • Improved Muscular Balance

How To Do Rope Pullover/Pulldown

  1. Set up the cable pulley, so that the pulley system is positioned at the top above your head.
  2. Reach up and grasp the rope handles with both hands with your palms facing out. Step back until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Facing the pulley grab the rope and take a big step back. Stand with a 30-40 degree bend at the hips, with your chest face down.
  4. Tighten and engage your core, then pull the rope down, driving your elbows back, until you feel your lats and shoulders engaged. 
  5. Reverse the movement and slowly extend your arms without allowing your shoulders or chest to roll forward as you extend maintaining good posture throughout the exercise.

Rope Pullover/Pulldown Tips & Tricks

  1. Make sure the load (weight) is light enough to maintain your balance and counter balance your weight when stepping back and positioning yourself. Find an optimal weight, that is felt when retracting during your concentric motion (lifting/pulling phase), yet not too heavy to neglect the full range of motion. 
  2. The rear delts are a smaller muscle group, therefore, start light and work your way up.
  3. You'll feel your lats engage, with more volume and better form

Rope Pulldown/Pullover: Takeaway

The rope pulldown/pullover is a fantastic accessory strength training movement. Adding variety into your workout is an important factor to continue building strength and lean muscle mass. Pulldown is a great way to target and isolate your lats and rear delts giving you a better more well rounded physique.

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