Chest pulley exercise - Correct Technique For Beginners

The chest pulley exercise is one that you cannot miss in a gym back routine.

This exercise is ideal for developing the volume of the lats and the broad muscles of the back.

This article describes the correct chest pulley technique and what common mistakes are in beginners.

Chest Pulley – A Basic Exercise for the Back

The chest pulley or pulldown is crucial for developing the back and upper body muscles.

The biomechanics of this exercise is similar to that of chin-ups. However, you can better control your weight by doing a chest pulley, which is ideal for a beginner to achieve muscle hypertrophy.

As the name implies, the correct chest pulley technique is exclusively towards the chest: never behind the head. Although an advanced athlete can perform different variants of the exercise, when a beginner pulls the pulley behind the nape of the neck, they are likely to feel pain in the neck in the following days.

Pulley to the chest exercise- What muscles work?

The back and deltoid muscles are the leading muscle groups that work when performing the chest pulley. However, the technique can be modified so that the biceps take an extra load. Combining chest pulley with dumbbell back exercises is an ideal strategy to strengthen the upper body.

The wide opening of the arms increases the work of the back muscles. The pectoral muscles participate in the exercise if the shoulder joints are rotated or the components are held in parallel.

Chest pulley step-by-step technique for beginners:

The key to chest pulley mechanics is engaging the back muscles. Ensure the shoulder blades meet and the back is held in a fixed position. Without leaning back or diverting the spine to the sides. The correct chest pulley technique is:

  1. Starting position: sitting on the bench, legs and abdomen fixed.
  2. Hold the bar with your palms; the thumb should cover the bar. The width of the grip should be slightly wider than the shoulders.
  3. Slightly strain your abdominal muscles and feel your back muscles.
  4. Lower your shoulders, bringing your shoulder blades together, and pull the bar toward your chest.
  5. The back should not bend, and the chest should stick out forward.
  6. Legs must be fixed to the ground at all times.
  7. The gaze is directed forward (avoid looking down or towards the bar)
  8. The lower back should retain the natural curvature of the back.

The key in the technique – the shoulder blades should be brought together.

At the bottom of the movement, hold the position for a few seconds and try to touch the shoulder blades. The bar should be located 3-5 centimeters from the thorax at the lowest point but without touching.

They are actively feeling the work of the broad muscles of the back. The elbows are located slightly, pointing back. The movement must be controlled at all times.

Chest Pulley – Common Beginner Mistakes

One of the main mistakes when doing a chest pulley is excess weight. This makes it impossible to control the technique (particularly bringing the shoulder blades together). This error shifts the load to the shoulders, arms, and other muscle groups that must work secondarily.

In the chest pulley technique, the body must remain fixed. It would help if you never leaned back or twisted your spine. The load must be controlled, and the movement must be slow and controlled. The bar should be lowered without the action being rapid or violent.

The technique is always behind the head.

When you start the gym, you mistake of doing a chest pulley behind your head. This variant transfers a large part of the load from the muscles of the shoulders and spine.

By performing this exercise from behind the head, the risk of injury to the joints and neck significantly increases, so it is not particularly recommended for beginners.

This exercise variant requires perfect knowledge of the correct traditional chest pulley technique. A slow speed and the use of a suitable weight are recommended.

Pulley to the chest exercise how many series, how many repetitions?

Beginners should do 12-15 chest pulley reps, weighing not more than half bodyweight. Increase the load only after feeling the back muscles, not the joints or the biceps doing the force.

Remember to broaden your back; the first thing is to learn to feel the muscles. The chest pulley exercise is one of those that cannot be missed in the back routine. A beginner should not attempt to break speed or weight gain records when starting the gym. This is a goal to pursue after learning the proper chest pulley technique.


  • The chest pulley is one of the basic exercises for developing the back muscles. Including it in a back routine at the gym is essential to building solid delts.
  • The most common mistakes in the chest pulley technique are doing the exercise behind the head and using excessive weight.
  • Working the movement quickly does not allow the muscles to engage in the activity thoroughly.

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