Reverse Grip Pulldowns - Back Exercise Guide with Photos
Muscles Targeted: The reverse grip pulldown exercise targets
the back muscles which include the latissimus dorsi (broadest muscle
of the back) or more commonly known as the "lats". The
exercise specifically targets this muscle group as it internally
rotates the arms together with the scapula. To help improve the
execution of reverse grip pulldowns, the body also requires the
help and stability of the deltoids or shoulder muscles. The trapezius
muscles also provide stability for the movement and compliments
that of the shoulders. In addition, the upper arms, specifically
the bicep muscles, coordinate the movement for a better grip and
sustains the movement during repetitions. The reverse grip pulldowns
are a good alternative for individuals who have difficulty with
the range of movement in their shoulder complex but still want to
see improvements and overall development in their lats.
Exercise Instructions: Position yourself
on the lat pulldown machine and grab the bar with an underhand
grip while keeping your hands at about a shoulder width distance.
Pull the bar straight down using your back muscles and bring
the bar in front of you until it is about even with the middle
of your chest. Slowly return the weight back up to the start
position and repeat.
Why This Exercise is Important: The importance of reverse
grip pulldowns is specific to engage the development of the lats
as well as improving the full range of movement in the shoulder
joints and scapula. This exercise also increases and develops the
stability of the shoulders through the help of the trapezius muscles
and the biceps during the movement. Because of the coordination
of these different muscle groups, the reverse grip pulldown is a
much better alternative than the regular grip lat pulldown exercise
especially for individuals who have stiff shoulders and a limited
range of movement. For this exercise, the full range of movement
of the shoulder complex is assisted with the help of the biceps,
making it an important substitute for other pulling exercises for
the lats. Using the reverse grip pulldown also provides increased
grip strength with the forearm muscles working to keep a firm grip
on the bar during each repetition.
Things To Avoid: When executing reverse grip pulldowns try
to avoid any type of fast and jerky movements making sure that with
every repetition you are able stabilize and keep a constant controlled
tempo and repetition pace. Always pull the bar towards the top of
the chest in a gradual manner with enough control and finish the
movement in the same manner. Another important tip is to avoid crouching
or hunching the back during the execution of this exercise. To keep
the back straight for the entire duration of the movement, always
make sure to keep the shoulders pulled towards the back by bringing
the chest out and keeping the chin up.
Reps and Sets: If muscular endurance is your goal with reverse
grip pulldowns then perform 15-18 repetitions and 2-3 total sets.
In turn, if muscular strength needs to be improved, you can perform
10-12 repetitions and 4-5 sets. If power is your primary concern
then perform 6-8 repetitions and 5 sets.
Other Exercises To Use: Reverse grip pulldowns are best
included with other back exercises such as T
Bar Rows, Seated
Cable Rows and Reverse
Grip Bent Over Rows to complete a workout that will help build
up your back muscles and not hinder with the stiffness of the shoulder
joints while contributing to improve the range of movement within
the shoulder complex. View our extensive database
of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that
target the back.