Out of most of the major muscles in the body, the lats may be the hardest to
isolate with a single joint exercise. Straight arm pulldowns are one of the few
isolation exercises for the lats. They also happen to be one of the more
difficult exercises to to master the proper form. The form requires you to
retract and stabilize your shoulder blades for the entire motion.
Straight arm pull downs are not going to be anyone's primary lat exercise
but they can be used for bodybuilders and those looking to completely work
and build the lats. The nickname of 'swimmers' is because they may also be
used by swimmers in attempt to strengthen the arm stroke.