You've seen lat pull-downs done in front of the neck and behind, but which version is better? you can walk into practically any gym and see someone doing behind-the-head lat pulls? Some people like this variation because it places a different angle of emphasis on the traps, which they believe will lead to better results. Still others are actually using it as a trap exercise—which makes no sense, because there are plenty of trap-specific exercises out there that work better.muscle activation isn't the only consideration when evaluating the lat pull-down; stress on the shoulder joint is an important factor as well. According to a study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal, when the shoulder joint is placed in a position of horizontal abduction combined with external rotation (as seen with behind-the-neck lat pull downs), more stress is placed on the rotator cuff in order to stabilize the head of the humerus.3 This forces the rotator-cuff muscles to work harder to stabilize the joint, making them vulnerable to injuries such as tendinosis and pain.