How to do the reverse grip Lat pulldown-Techniques, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Reverse grip lat pull down
Table of Contents

Outlines to be Discussed

  • What is reverse grip lat pulldown?
  • Reverse grip lat pulldown benefits
  • Step by step instructions
  • Reverse grip lat pulldown mistakes
  • Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Alternatives
  • FAQs

A lot of people complain about bad posture and back pain. The main reason behind these issues are due to weak back muscles, that’s it is very important to carry out different exercises for the back. One of the main exercises that provide strength to the back is the lat pulldown but reverse grip lat pulldown is the best variation of lat pulldown.

What is Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown?

The reverse grip lat pulldown is also known as reverse grip pulldown. This is an effective exercise that targets your Lats or latissimus dorsi muscles. It is also used to build back muscles and improves stability in the lower back. As this exercise primarily targets the lats, so you will also observe a reasonable activation in the bicep and middle back.

The back is a muscle group that needs a fair amount of variation. So, to maximize your back-muscle growth experiment with several different angles and hand positions are used. Hand position of reverse grip lat pulldown naturally makes the biceps involve more in this exercise.

This exercise can be performed during your back workouts, pull workouts, upper body workouts and full-body workouts.

Reverse Grip Lat pull Down Benefits

  • Strength

This exercise helps to provide strength to your back.

  • Posture

Reverse grip lat pulldown helps to correct your forward head / rounded back posture. Getting used to the movements helps to train your body to depress and adduct (bring down and pull together) the shoulder blades which gives your a straighter posture and a more confident figure.

  • Lower Back Stability

Giving or providing strength to lat or latissimus dorsi muscles helps to stabilize your back.

  • Improvement of Other Exercises

This exercise also helps to perform other exercises such as chest presses, squats, chin-ups and deadlifts in a better way.

  • Back Pain

Reverse Grip Lat pulldown helps you deal with your back pain since this pain is caused by an unstable lower back.

Step by Step Instructions

As we know this is one of the basic exercises of back muscles. Do beginners mostly ask how they can perform reverse grip lat pulldown exercise on the machine? Is this exercise good for back muscles? The answer to this question is yes. Here, I will tell you how this exercise can be performed.

  • First of all, sit on the lat pulldown machine and Attach a wide grip handle to the machine and assume a seated position
  • Now, Grasp the bar using a shoulder-width supinated (reverse or underhand) grip (palms facing you).
  • Exhale when you pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest and squeeze your back muscles and hold for a count of two.
  • Inhale whenever you return the bar to its initial or starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Mistakes

If you are a beginner then you must avoid these common mistakes.

  • Improper posture

Keeping your lower back and shoulder back neutral will allow you to carry out this exercise correctly and you will gain all of its benefits.

  • Pulling the bar behind the neck

People mostly perform the lat pull behind the neck which may cause injuries and avoids targeting your lats properly. So, you should always keep the bar in front of you.

  • Bringing the bar down below your chest allowing the elbows to flare out

As we know that bringing the bar down below will allow your elbow to flare out. This will remove the tension from the lats and cause the shoulder to come forward. Once you can get the maximum contraction, your elbows should remain close to the body

  • Grabbing the bar too wide

If you grab the bar too wide it will not allow the full range of motion and will irritate the shoulder joint.

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Alternatives

If you are willing for thicker and wider back muscles but you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine? No worries. There are plenty of Reverse Grip lat pulldown alternatives you can add to your workouts! Alternative exercises for the reverse grip pull down work for the same muscles but they don’t require such an expensive equipment.

Incline Bench Barbell Row

  • First of all incline bench and pull the barbel on floor at high end of the bench.
  • For support, lie face down with your chest at the high end and your feet on the floor on each side of the bench.
  • Raise the bar as far as possible using a wide, overhand grip (hands slightly wider than shoulder width and palms facing you), then gently lower it back to the floor.
  • Throughout the lift, maintain your head up, your eyes ahead, and your elbows pressed against your body.
  • You’ll increase the intensity if you pause at the top of the lift and squeeze your shoulder blades together before lowering the barbells.


  • For a pullup a sturdy bar placed high enough is required so you can hang from the bar and not touch the ground
  • Now you should hang with straight legs and not hit the ground
  • If the bar is too low, cross your feet and bend your knees.
  • Now grab the bar with your hands as far apart as your shoulders.
  • Keeping your arms straight, let your body hang from the bar, then pull yourself up toward the bar until your chin is over it.
  • Lower yourself back down, using controlled motion and pull yourself back up again.
  • Keep your body straight and avoid swinging motions.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

  • This alternative to reverse grip lat pull down needs dumbbells or other weights and an sturdy, flat bench.
  • To exercise the left side, stand on the left side of the bench, with your right hand, knee and lower leg up on the bench.
  • With your back straight and parallel to the floor, extend your left arm straight down to the floor and pull your shoulder blade back.
  • Grab the weight and lift it straight up to your chest, keeping your elbow next to your body.
  • Hold the weight in position while squeezing your shoulder blades together, then lower the weight.
  • Reverse sides to work the opposite set of lat and bicep muscles.


What muscles do reverse grip lat pulldown work?

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown usually targtes the back, as well as the shoulders, biceps and forearms. The latissimus dorsi, is particularly targeted during the exercise.

What’s the difference between wide grip and close grip lat pulldowns?

A Wide grip lat pulldown helps to activate your lats, arms and shoulders, but it focuses primarily on your upper and lower back While, a close grip lat pulldown does work your lats, but also activates your chest and arms more.

Is the lat pulldown the same as pull ups?

Lat pulldowns put you in a fixed position, and allows for a more focus on the lats and control over the amount of resistance you want to use. While Pullups have been considered a traditional width/builder, especially when executed with added weight.

Is overhand or underhand better for lat pulldowns?

The wide-grip overhand pulldown is actually best for building a wide back. The underhand grip pulldown better stimulates the lower-lat muscle fibers, giving the appearance of thick, full lats all the way down to the waist.

Related Articles
Scroll to Top