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Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown [Exercise Guide]

reverse grip lat pulldown

What Is Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

The reverse grip lat pulldown is a strength exercise that implies using a cable machine. The main exercise’s target is to build the muscles of the back. Thanks to the reverse grip, an athlete also puts tension on the biceps. The movement fits any workout plan, including pull-, back-, and full-body ones. Ending a training session with this exercise might be a good idea too. Read on to know all you need about the muscles worked, proper form, benefits, and exercise alternatives.

What Muscles Does Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Work

Reverse grip lat pulldown works the following muscle groups:

  • latissimus dorsi
  • rhomboids
  • trapezius
  • infraspinatus
  • teres major

Secondarily, the reverse grip lat pulldown loads posterior deltoid and biceps brachii.

How To Perform Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

Step 1. Get into the starting position

Attach a broad grip handle to the lat pulldown machine and establish a sitting posture. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degrees angle.

Step 2. Grab the bar

Grab the bar with a supinated (reverse) grip, placing your hands shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing you. It’s better to attach a curl bar because it won’t put much pressure on your wrists.

Step 3. Come down

Pull the bar to your chest, keeping your head and spine straight. At this point, it’s crucial to maintain tightness in the shoulders and pinch the shoulder blades. Avoid pulling the weight behind your neck. Pull down in front of you, reaching your chest area.

Step 4. Come up

Come up, extending your elbows. But don’t unlock them fully; leave a slight bend. Make sure your wrists remain straight throughout the whole movement.

Advantages of Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

Stronger Back

If your goal is to boost your back muscles, this exercise is a perfect choice. The lats are isolated and pumped to the maximum during this workout. And the benefits of a strong back are known to all. We talk about a beautiful posture, no back pain, and a great base to perform other strength exercises.

Constant Tension

The targeted muscles are under constant tension during the movement’s top and bottom parts. This fact contributes to growing muscles and increasing your strength. Go slowly to make the most out of this workout.

Simple Technique

Thanks to using a cable machine, it is almost impossible to make a mistake. The up-down trajectory is also as simple as possible. The main thing is don’t let your elbows go back as you pull down. It’s easy to practice the reverse grip lat pulldown even if you are a beginner. 

5 Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Alternatives

1. Lat Pulldown

The exercise targets back muscles, mainly focusing on latissimus dorsi but also involving traps, rhomboids, and biceps. To practice the lat pulldown, you need a cable machine.

How to do lat pulldown:

  • Ensure the pads are on top of your quads as you sit inside the gym machine. You should feel 100% comfortable.
  • Grab the bar and maintain a 90-degree bend in your legs.
  • Bring the handles all the way down to your shoulders line or lower (to your chest area).
  • Come back up. To feel the maximum lat engagement, keep your chest up, and your elbows in line with your hips.

2. Chinup

Chinups work biceps, lats, forearms, grip strength, shoulders, and core simultaneously. It’s one of the best bodyweight exercises for enhancing strength, developing a strong grip, and improving overall health.

How to do a chin-up:

  • Check to see that your bar is at the correct height.
  • Grab the bar a little outside shoulder width with your palms facing you.
  • Try to raise your torso as high as you can. Drive your elbows into the floor as you begin the draw.
  • After achieving the movement’s culmination, don’t relax up on the tension. Go down, keeping your muscles nice and tight.

3. Australian Chinup

The Australian variation works more of the upper body than a standard chin-up. It also loads the biceps and secondarily targets lower body muscles.

How to do Australian chin up:

  • Locate a bar that is around hip height. Lay down under it. 
  • Grab the bar with an underhand grip, placing your hands shoulder-width apart. Wrists should be straightened. 
  • Make a straight line with your body by engaging your quadriceps and glutes.
  • Pull yourself up till your chest is in contact with the bar. 
  • Return to the starting position.

4. Half-Kneeling Single-Arm Lat Pull

The exercise keeps lats, upper back, and biceps at the center of attention. One-sided back exercises help you maintain muscular balance and awareness of appropriate contraction.

How to do half-kneeling single-arm lat pull:

  • Attach the pulley high on your cable machine.
  • Get down on the ground on one knee, nearly step afar from the cable machine. The left knee is forward; the right one stays behind.
  • Grab the handle of a cable machine with your right hand. Lean forward a bit, so your shoulder blade becomes protracted.
  • Pull the handle towards your chest. Keep your elbow in line with your torso. Then, go down. That’s one rep.
  • Change legs position, and grab the handle in the left hand to train another side.

5. Reverse Grip Bent Over Row

It’s a compound exercise, targeting the upper and lower back simultaneously. If you want to work most muscles in your back with one movement and make the back wider and stronger, a reverse grip bent-over row is a perfect choice.

How to do reverse grip bent over row:

  • Stand close to the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grab the barbell using a reverse grip. Bend over about 45 degrees, holding a barbell in extended arms. That’s a starting position.
  • Pull the weight down to the bottom of your waist. Feel the tension in your lats throughout the whole range of motion.
  • Return to the start. Squeeze and retract your shoulder blades to initiate the movement.


What do reverse grip lat pulldowns work on?

The exercise’s main target is to build the muscles of the back. Its primary focus is latissimus dorsi. The traps and rhomboids are involved too.

Is reverse grip better for lat pulldowns?

A reverse grip makes the lats and biceps work together. If it’s your workout goal, use reverse grip in lat pulldowns.


The reverse grip lat pulldown is an excellent exercise for training your back and arms. Many athletes like this exercise because of its simple technique and stunning effect. If you perform the technique correctly, you can significantly increase the muscles of the back and improve posture. To shift focus to other areas or use lower body muscles more, you can always try some reverse grip lat pulldown alternatives.