The reverse grip pulldown is also knowns as the reverse grip lat pulldown. It is a strength-building exercise that targets the lats while also strengthening the back, forearm, and biceps. It entails a downward rotation of the back of the shoulders as well as shoulder joint extension.

It emphasizes your forearms, biceps, triceps, and back muscles more than other variations of lat pulldowns because it is performed with a supinated or underhand grip.

The trapezius muscles help to complement the shoulder muscles and improve lower back stability while performing the exercise.

It helps to stimulate the lower latissimus dorsi, thereby making the lats appear more thicker and fuller.

How to Perform a Reverse Grip Pulldown

Reverse hip exercise

Assume a sitting position after attaching a wide-grip bar to the cable pulldown machine. Check that the knee pads are adjusted to a level that is appropriate for your height.

Hold the pulldown bar with a supinated or underhand grip, palms facing your torso, at a distance slightly closer than your shoulder width.

While both arms are extended in front of you, bring your torso back at a 30 degree angle, bending your lower back and protruding your chest out. It’s the starting point.

Draw your shoulders and upper arms down, bringing the bar closer to your body until it touches your upper chest.

Hold the contracted position for a second before slowly bringing the bar back to the starting position when your lats are stretched and your arms are fully extended.

Rep until you’ve reached your desired number of reps.

Tips for Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns

Once you’ve reached maximum contraction, make sure to squeeze your back muscles and keep your elbows close to your body.

Maintain a static upper torso while bringing the bar closer to your body, only allowing your arms to move.

Throughout the movement, only use your forearms to hold the bar.

What muscles do reverse grip pulldowns work?

Riverse hip exercise

The Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown works the back, as well as the shoulders, biceps, and forearms. During the exercise, the latissimus dorsi (lats), a broad fan-shaped back muscle, is specifically targeted. required.

While you are standing, hold the lat pulldown bar with an underhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Holding onto the bar, take a seat on the provided seat, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. The purpose of the pads in most lat pulldown machines is to keep the legs from moving while you are exercising. The pads should be placed comfortably on the tops of the thighs.

Strengthening phase: Pull the bar slowly to your collarbone until you feel the muscles contraction. Maintain an upright posture throughout each repetition. The resistance level selected should be difficult enough to fatigue the muscles by the end of the set.

While you are maintaining your torso position, return the bar to the starting position very slowly while continuing to securely grasp the bar. Repeat for as many times as you wish.

If you do not have access to a Lat Pulldown machine, you can perform the exercise using resistance bands while seated or standing. Ensure that the bands are securely fastened to a stable overhead surface and that the tension is sufficient to reap the strength benefits.

While a shoulder width apart grip is the most common way to perform a Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown, you can also use a narrower grip. Just keep your elbows from flaring out to the sides as you pull.

During the strengthening phase, try to pull primarily with your back muscles rather than your biceps. At and near the end of the repetition, pulling the shoulders slightly back and downward can help.

Chin Ups can be used in place of the Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown for those who are strong enough to pull their own body weight.

If you are a beginner, begin with 1 to 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, two to three times per week, with a day of rest in between. As you gain strength, you can increase the resistance, repetitions, or sets.

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your doctor for advice if you have pre-existing joint problems or medical conditions.

How do you do a reverse grip pull down?

The reverse-grip lat pulldown strengthens the back, biceps, and forearms. The underhand grip emphasizes the biceps and forearms slightly more. This exercise also improves lower back stability.


i. Take an underhand grip on a straight-bar attachment, with your palms facing you, and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be fully extended upward at this point. This is where you’ll begin.

ii. Pull your elbows down and back slowly while squeezing your shoulder blades together. The bar should rest in front of your chest. Pause for a moment, then slowly return the bar to its starting position.

Trainer Suggestions

Drive your elbows toward your rib cage and squeeze your shoulders together to activate the muscles in your back.

Don’t limit yourself to a limited range of motion. Pull the bar all the way up to your sternum.

Avoid rounding the upper back. Make sure you stand tall, chest up, and put your shoulders to the back.

Is a reverse grip lat pulldown effective?

Lat pull-downs are a powerful weight-training exercise. They can be done on a cable machine at your gym or fitness center by using a variety of grips and positions to develop several muscles in your upper body. You can target the lats while also strengthening the shoulders, biceps, and middle back by performing reverse-grip lat pull-downs.


Reverse-grip lat pull-downs, also known as underhand cable pull-downs, are exercises that specifically target the latissimus dorsii, or lats, which is the broad muscle that runs across the middle of your back. It connects to the ribs, spine, pelvis, and upper arms and is responsible for many shoulder joint movements such as straightening, extension, and moving the arm closer to the middle of the body, adduction. The lats also help you rotate your arm inward, also known as medial rotation.

While not the primary muscle targeted, the biceps brachii is also worked out during reverse-grip lat pulls. When you curl your arm up and flex, you can see the biceps, which are the main muscles in the front of your upper arm. It runs from the shoulder blade to the radius bone in the upper forearm. The biceps assists in flexing the elbow and also rotating the forearm upwardly. They are most commonly associated with lifting movements.


Reverse-grip lat pull-downs can also work your shoulder muscles, deltoids, and rotator cuff. The deltoids are the rounded muscles that cover the area and attach to the scapula, clavicle, and humerus. They enable you to press your arms up, raise them to your sides, and move them forward and backward. The rotator cuff’s inner shoulder muscles also help stabilize the shoulder and allow for proper rotation.

The Upper Back

You can strengthen the muscle associated with tension and neck pain by performing reverse-grip lat pulls. The trapezius muscles are responsible for elevating, depressing, and adducting the scapula and connect to the skull, spine, clavicle, and scapula.

Chest Reverse-grip Lat Pulls work the front of the body as well by strengthening the chest muscles. The pectorals, which run from the sternum and ribs to the humerus, are primarily responsible for upper arm movements such as flexion, moving the arm close to the body, and rotation.

Safety and Specifications

Maintain control of the cable and bar when performing lat pulls and avoid allowing it to pull you up off your seat. You can maintain control by using a manageable weight, which will also aid in proper form. Keep your core engaged to relieve pressure on your lower back, and if you’re just starting out, start with a light weight until you’re comfortable with the movement, then gradually increase the weight as you gain strength. During each session, aim for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Reverse grip lat pulldown alternatives

The reverse-grip pull down is an exercise that works on the back and biceps. It is done on a pull-down machine, which can be found in gyms or health clubs. Alternative exercises for the reverse-grip pull down does the same work on the muscles but do not necessarily need the purchase of such costly equipment.


A level, sturdy bar placed high enough so that you can hang from the bar without touching the ground is all you need for a pullup. If the bar is too low, you are expected to cross your feet and also bend your knees. Grab the bar with your hands apart. Allow your body to hang from the bar while keeping your arms straight, then pull yourself up toward the bar until your chin is over it. Lower yourself back down, using controlled motion, and then pull yourself back up, never letting your muscles completely relax. Maintain a straight posture and avoid swinging motions.

Dumbbell Row with One Arm

Dumbbells or other weights, as well as an exercise bench or any sturdy, flat bench, are required for this alternative to the lat pull down. To exercise the left side, stand on the bench’s left side, with your right hand, knee, and lower leg on the bench. Extend your left arm straight down to the floor and pull your shoulder blade back, keeping your back straight and parallel to the floor. Lift the weight straight up to your chest, keeping your elbow close to your body. Hold the weight in place by squeezing your shoulder blades together, then lower it. To work the opposing set of lat and bicep muscles, switch sides.

Rowing on an Incline Bench Barbell

Place barbells on the floor at the high end of your bench and incline it. Lie facing down with your chest at the high end and your feet on the floor on either side of the bench for support. Raise the bar as far as possible using a wide, overhand grip (hands slightly wider than shoulder width and palms facing you), then slowly lower it back to the floor. Throughout the lift, keep your head up, your eyes forward, and your elbows pressed against your body. If you take a pause at the top of the lift and squeeze your shoulder blades together before lowering the barbells, you’ll increase the intensity.

Which grip is best for lat pulldown?

The Ideal Lat Pulldown Form: So far, we’ve only discussed the various styles of lat pulldowns. While this is important for muscle activation, it is only when combined with proper technique that you will get the most bang for your buck. Research has shown that doing the lat pulldown while following proper instruction can increase lat activation.

Here is a quick checklist outlining proper lat pulldown technique:

Using a closed, overhand grip, grasp the handles slightly wider than shoulder width.

Keep a neutral torso and spine with a slight backward lean (I suggest approximately 10-15o backward).

Exhale as you pull the bar down toward your upper chest. By keeping the elbows pointed down toward the floor, you can avoid internal rotation of the shoulder during the pull.

Continue to pull downwards until the bar reaches the chin level. The pulling phase should be carried out in a smooth and controlled manner. Do not swing the body backwards too much as this could pull the weight down.

Allow the bar to slowly return to the starting position while controlling the weight once it reaches the chin. Avoid shrugging at the beginning of the movement (this will keep muscular tension on the lats).

Many sports, such as swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, and rugby, contain critical movements that could benefit from using these techniques to develop strong lats. Even if you don’t play sports and just want to improve your back strength or get the “v-taper” of a great pair of wings, the basics and benefits of the lat pulldown are the same for everyone.




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