The Straight Arm Band or Cable Pulldown

Many people have issues with scapular control that manifests and scapular winging and is also referred to as scapular dyskinesia (see here for how to assess if your client has this issue: Clients with this issue will often show shoulder elevation during overhead movements and the scapula will wing out away from the body. The straight arm pulldown is a great exercise to work the latissimus muscles without having to go overhead and learning to keep the shoulder down and preventing scapular winging.

The exercise can be done with a cable or two cables or a resistance band.


Grasp handles or if using a flat circular band wrap the hands through the center and grasp both sides of the band while keep the hands apart. Position the arms and anchor position of the band so that the shoulders are 90 degrees from the ground with elbows straight. Keep knees soft and maintain a neutral spine. Keep shoulders down, draw in navel to activate the transverse abdominus, and keep head and neck in proper alignment.

Pull the arms down to the hips pausing for a full count in the bottom position then slowly perform the negative allowing the hands to return to the starting position. Do the negative/eccentric portion slowly and under control and do NOT allow the shoulders to shrug or scapula to wing out. Do 8-12 reps and 3 sets.

Video of exercise: