Lateral Pull Ups vs. Pull Downs

If you go to Gold’s Gym for some back training, you’ll have to choose between lateral pull ups and pull downs. There are similarities between the two and they target the same muscle groups. While both are effective there are differences you need to be aware of.

Back Strength Requirements

Your back strength may decide which of the two you’ll do. Pull ups demand more from your back than pull downs so you’ll have to consider that. If you’re just starting out it might be better to go with pull downs first. If you want to do pull ups, start off with the assisted version.


Your level of experience also comes into play here. If you’ve been hitting the gym for a while now you’ll have no problems doing pull ups. It is technically more demanding so you’ll need to account for that before starting a workout program.

Beginners may also find it harder to establish the muscle mind link during pull ups. The mind body connection is required to get the best results. That is another reason why pull downs is more suitable for beginners.

Core Power Level

Your core strength determines how well you’ll be able to do pull up and pull downs. The reason is a pull up needs extra power to keep your body stable. Going through the lift is physically more demanding, so you’ll need to build up your core strength first.

Timing is Important

Aside from the factors mentioned above you’ll need to consider the timing. A lot of novices and intermediates like to do pull ups and pull down early so they’re not yet tired. Others prefer to do the routines later when they’re in rhythm.

The choice is up to you, but what’s important is that you do some warm ups before exercising. Even though pull downs are not as difficult as pull ups you’ll still need to do stretches before and after the workout.

Available Options

Your choice also depends a lot on what equipment is available in the club. All gyms have equipment for both so as long as the place is well equipped it won’t be a problem.


Some prefer one or the other, so in the end it’s up to you. You may incorporate both or just one, but what’s crucial is you perform the routines correctly. As long as you do it right you’re going to reap the benefits.

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