Find out how to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row to Construct a Sturdy, Muscular Again

How do you develop killer lats? First, it’s good to do lat pulldowns. Then it’s good to do pull-ups. After you’re finished with that, attempt some rows, after which end off with some pullovers. Or… you possibly can simply carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row and get practically the identical outcomes as combining a sequence of back-focused exercises.

Credit score: lunamarina / Shutterstock

Environment friendly programming and train selection can drastically enhance the standard of your back workouts. Observe these steps to learn to carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row, and the way you must incorporate it into your routine to take advantage of out of your back day.

Find out how to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row Step By Step

Approaching the reverse-grip bent-over row for the primary time doesn’t should be an intimidating expertise. Observe these steps for a picture-perfect carry. 

Step 1 — Setting Up

person in gym doing barbell row
Credit score: Rocher Möllenkamp / YouTube

While you initially method the bar, establishing for the reverse-grip bent-over row feels a bit like establishing for a deadlift. With the barbell over your midfoot, seize the bar barely outdoors shoulder-width, utilizing a double-underhand (supinated) grip — that is the “reverse grip” in comparison with the double-overhand (pronated) grip of the standard barbell row.

Brace your core, preserve your backbone impartial (not rounded or excessively arched), and drive by your ft to carry the load off the ground. 

Kind Tip: Experiment together with your grip width to see what ends in feeling the very best diploma of lat (again) activation. Most definitely, establishing together with your grip simply previous shoulder width aside will yield the very best outcomes. However relying in your limb and torso length, you could really feel extra comfy barely nearer or wider.

Step 2 — Discover Your Trunk Angle and Brace Your Core

person in gym doing barbell row
Credit score: Rocher Möllenkamp / YouTube

Hinge ahead at your hips and cease when your trunk is pitched at roughly a 45-degree angle. Bend your knees barely and preserve that angle all through the motion. Preserve your arms straight and permit the barbell to shift barely ahead. Take a deep breath and brace your core as you put together to carry out the row.

Kind Tip: Consistency is essential. Preserve your arms at a dead-hang when you arrange. This can reinforce the place you wish to maintain originally and finish of every rep.

Step 3 — Pull From Your Elbows

person in gym doing barbell row
Credit score: Rocher Möllenkamp / YouTube

Squeeze and depress your scapula (pull your shoulder blades collectively and “down” towards your tailbone), then pull your elbows again. As you carry the load, consciously have interaction your again muscle tissue earlier than you contract your biceps.

Proceed pulling the load towards your trunk till the barbell makes contact together with your torso. To particularly goal your lats quite than your higher again muscle tissue, make the bar contact nearer to your stomach button than your sternum.

Kind Tip: Don’t be involved in case your bar path isn’t a superbly straight line. Pulling in the direction of your stomach button might really feel awkward at first, however you must rapidly discover elevated lat activation when lifting this fashion.

Step 4 — Decrease the Weight

person in gym doing barbell row
Credit score: Rocher Möllenkamp / YouTube

Squeeze your again muscle tissue on the high of the carry and take into account holding the load there for a second. Maintaining your again flat and your core tight, decrease the load again to the stretched place till your arms are absolutely prolonged.

Keep the ahead hinge place all through your entire set. To carry out the following repetition, pull the barbell towards your stomach button once more.

Kind Tip: Preserve the motion comparatively gradual and managed. This helps to keep away from utilizing momentum from one repetition to a different to carry the load.

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row Errors to Keep away from

In case you have a passing familiarity with the standard bent-over row, or hinge movements as a complete, you possibly can in all probability soar proper into utilizing the reverse-grip bent-over row to construct your again and biceps with out considering too arduous about kind. Nonetheless, slipshod approach may imply you’re leaving positive aspects on the desk, and even placing your self at an elevated danger of damage.

Setting Up With a Excessive Torso Angle

Both tight hips and hamstrings, a weak core, or a mix of the 2 may make it tough so that you can maintain your trunk at a 45-degree angle throughout a whole set of rows. Because of this, you possibly can find yourself performing extra of an upright row than you plan.

muscular person in gym rowing barbell
Credit score: SOK Studio / Shutterstock

Organising with the next torso angle may end up in elevated muscular activation in your trapezius and your rhomboids, which implies much less isolation in your lats

Keep away from it: While you setup to carry out the row, be sure you hinge ahead and shoot your hips again to create a powerful pulling place. Add hinge movements just like the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and the nice morning into your coaching plan to develop better ranges of energy, steadiness, and mobility. This can provide help to construct the energy wanted to take care of the angle in your torso in your total set. 

Decrease Again Rounding

In your spinal well being and your longevity in the gym, for goodness sake, preserve a flat again everytime you carry out hinge actions just like the row. Whereas decrease again rounding could also be the results of an absence of mobility, you possibly can additionally expertise this simply by going too heavy.

reverse-grip row back posture
Credit score: Gabriel Sey / YouTube

Keep away from it: Should you discover your decrease again rounding when you carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row, set your ego apart. Both follow hinge actions till you’re able to sustaining an isometric hinge or cut back the weights considerably and begin over.

Partaking Your Biceps First

Since your biceps are a wrist supinator — answerable for turning your hand right into a palm-up place — they have interaction the second you “reverse” your grip on a bent-over row. Along with being a secondary mover to carry out the train, in addition they stabilize your elbow.

person in gym doing barbell row with personal trainer
Credit score: MercolaPeakFitness / YouTube

However your biceps shouldn’t be the main mover within the reverse-grip bent-over row. That job falls to your lats, and making an attempt to make use of your biceps to carry heavy masses meant in your lats won’t finish nicely for the a lot smaller biceps muscle.

Keep away from it: Consciously take into consideration pulling your shoulders again to interact your again muscle tissue earlier than pulling together with your elbows. Don’t attempt to curl the bar to maneuver the load.

Using Momentum From Rep to Rep

Should you fail to take care of a constant angle in your torso throughout every repetition, you may be producing momentum together with your hips that decreases the load in your lats and biceps. This could be a signal of going too heavy, however you may additionally be doing this for ego lifting or just since you’re not paying consideration.

Muscular person in gym doing barbell row
Credit score: Maui Athletics / YouTube

Keep away from it: If the load is just too heavy so that you can preserve beneath management, decrease it. In any other case, take into account specializing in the eccentric (reducing) portion of the carry to ensure you retain the load shifting in a gradual and managed vogue to stop momentum from constructing.

Find out how to Progress the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

In case you have bother performing the reverse-grip bent-over row proper off the bat, right here’s how one can method it as a newbie and learn how to enhance the issue as you proceed to get stronger and progress within the health club.

Yates Row

The Yates row is the cousin of the reverse-grip bent-over row, the distinction between the 2 being the angle of your torso. Whilst you carry out a reverse-grip bent-over row together with your torso at roughly a 45-degree angle, the Yates row is carried out from a extra upright place.

The ensuing carry targets your rhomboids and your traps along with your lats and biceps. It will not be nearly as good of a lat builder, but it surely makes up for it by hitting your total again. What was a “mistake” for the reverse-grip row can be utilized intentionally for a strategic function.

As you develop energy performing the Yates Row, you may slowly transition in the direction of the reverse-grip bent-over row by experimenting together with your torso angle. Sinking deeper into the hinge place will allow you to really feel your lats working more durable as you get nearer to the 45-degree angle. 

Add Isometric Holds or Timed Eccentrics

At a sure level, implementing fundamental linear development — including extra repetitions or extra weight — stops being as helpful for lifts just like the reverse-grip bent-over row. Somewhat than constantly rising the load on the bar, which may ultimately create the next danger than reward and will lower stress on the goal muscle, you may add isometric holds or timed eccentrics.

With isometrics, squeeze your again and shoulders on the high of every repetition for one, two, and even three seconds whereas the bar is in touch together with your stomach. For timed eccentrics, concentrate on making the detrimental (reducing) section of every rep take two, three, or 4 full seconds. This can assist to maximise your positive aspects and develop your mind-muscle connection. 

Reverse-Grip Pendlay Row

Should you’re wanting so as to add an additional degree of problem, swap out the reverse-grip bent-over row for a reverse-grip pendlay row. Since every rep begins and finishes on the bottom, there’s no method so that you can construct momentum from rep to rep, which makes it an ideal carry to isolate your muscle tissue and concentrate on pure pulling energy.

The reverse-grip pendlay row requires extra hamstring flexibility than the reverse-grip bent-over row, since you’re in a steep forward-leaning place. Nevertheless, it’s comparatively simpler in your core and decrease again because you don’t have to carry an isometric hinge at some point of your set.

Advantages of the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

While you step into the health club, you come face-to-face with a variety of instruments and actions that you should utilize to sculpt your biceps and your lats. Listed here are among the distinctive advantages of the reverse-grip bent-over row that make it price including to your routine.

Elevated Lat Activation

Switching from a pronated grip to a supinated grip places your arms and shoulders into a distinct place and adjustments the pulling angle, which is why it’s simpler to attract the load nearer to your stomach button than your sternum. This ends in elevated lat activation when in comparison with the standard bent-over row.

Moreover, your rhomboids and traps play a lot much less of a job within the reverse-grip bent-over row than they do once you carry out the carry with an overhand grip. 

Improved Stability and Core Power

Holding an isometric hinge isn’t straightforward. Your core muscle tissue work extra time to take care of a constant angle beneath heavy masses. Concurrently, your hamstrings keep lively and engaged at a lengthened place, which can assist construct energy in your posterior chain whereas additionally bettering your total mobility. 

Unparalleled Rowing Power

The reverse-grip bent-over row cuts down on quite a lot of variables and limiting elements posed by many different row variations. Usually talking, you may carry heavier masses with a barbell than you may with a dumbbell.

Flipping your grip from overhand to underhand means your grip energy received’t maintain you again as you enhance masses over time as a result of your wrists and forearms are in a stronger place. Lastly, vary of movement tends to be extra environment friendly than with a standard bent-over row, since you’ve got improved leverage when monitoring the bar nearer to your middle of gravity.

While you put all these elements collectively, what you get is a carry that allows you to carry heavy weights together with your lats, with out so most of the variables that get in the way in which when performing different forms of rows.

Muscle tissues Labored by the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

As a compound train, the reverse-grip bent-over row targets muscle tissue throughout quite a few joints. Right here’s a listing of the most important muscle teams labored by the carry. 

Latissimus Dorsi

With some again workout routines, you are feeling “your again” working. That’s not the case with the reverse-grip bent-over row. When carried out accurately, you must be capable of really feel and, later particularly goal, your lats particularly.

Your lats are the most important muscle group in your higher physique — working alongside either side of the again half of your torso. Your lats are additionally the first muscle group working within the reverse-grip bent-over row. A rock-solid pair of lats make your higher physique and shoulders seem broader and your waist look extra slender as compared, which makes them an necessary a part of growing an aesthetic physique.


As secondary movers — muscle tissue which help the first goal muscle tissue throughout a given train — your biceps and your brachialis muscle tissue play two separate roles in the course of the reverse-grip bent-over row. Since your biceps are a wrist supinator, they get direct stimulation to take care of the palm-up place in the course of the carry. Extra importantly, they’re answerable for stabilizing your elbow throughout flexion to assist the joint because the muscle contracts. 


With a barbell held out in entrance of you and your torso held in an isometric hinge, your abs present the energy and stability essential to preserve you from buckling over whereas performing the reverse-grip bent-over row. Particularly as you get to heavier masses, you’ll discover that your core performs an important function — preserving your torso held on the desired angle and stabilizing your backbone to stop rounding.


As with all hinge motion, the reverse-grip bent-over row offers stimulus to your hamstrings. By growing energy within the absolutely lengthened (stretched) place, the train promotes muscular steadiness and adaptability in your hamstrings.

Find out how to Program the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

Constructing an efficient training routine could be difficult. While you’re within the health club, you wish to make the most of your time and vitality to maximise your positive aspects. Should you’re unsure learn how to incorporate the reverse-grip bent-over row into your exercise plan, listed here are a number of choices that you simply would possibly take into account. 

As an Accent for the Deadlift

For powerlifters, who specialise in performing the squat, bench press, and deadlift, discovering environment friendly compound (multi-joint) workout routines that complement your main lifts could be a little bit of a chore or just complicated. The reverse-grip bent-over row builds robust lats whereas performing an isometric hinge, which may enhance each energy and mobility throughout your posterior chain.

Following the deadlift, take into account incorporating three to 5 units of six reps, utilizing a weight that allows you to preserve your torso angle strong throughout the size of the set.

As a Principal Motion For Bodybuilders

Within the curiosity of each train financial system, and the hormonal response that compound actions present, many bodybuilders want to begin their exercises with heavy compound workout routines earlier than they get to their isolation actions. (1)(2) While you’re carving a statue from stone, use the dynamite earlier than you get began with the hammer and chisel. 

In case your coaching cut up has a back and biceps day, the reverse-grip bent-over row enables you to isolate your lats and warm-up your biceps, whereas additionally stimulating a hormonal response which can assist muscle progress. Early in your exercise, hit no less than three units of eight, specializing in the eccentric portion of the carry to maximise your hypertrophy positive aspects. (3)

As a Excessive Quantity Accent Carry

Should you spend a big period of time in a squat rack or on a weight platform, including the reverse-grip bent-over row as an adjunct after the traditional bent-over row could be as a lot about comfort as the rest. All it’s a must to do is flip your wrists round and you’ve got a carry that allows you to have interaction and isolate your lats whereas additionally dialing in your rowing approach after the associated muscle tissue are totally warmed up and pre-trained.

If you wish to implement the reverse-grip bent-over row as a excessive quantity accent motion, take into account performing three units of 15 following different row variations. 

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row Variations

Possibly you don’t have entry to a barbell. Possibly you’re coping with nagging shoulder or again ache. Possibly you simply wish to combine issues up. No matter your causes, listed here are a number of totally different lifts that allow you to goal your again just like the reverse-grip bent-over row.

Seal Row

As with all chest-supported rows, the seal row offers distinctive stimulus by stopping you from growing momentum or participating your hips. In contrast to different chest-supported rows, you carry out the seal row by mendacity face down on a flat bench.

The ensuing carry can goal your lats and your rhomboids with out having to concern your self with preserving a flat again. The complete bench assist additionally removes pressure from the decrease again and makes it just about unattainable to maneuver the load utilizing momentum.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Single-arm dumbbell rows are a comparatively easy-to-learn introductory carry that retains paying dividends as you develop within the health club. To get began, simply kneel on a bench and row.

The one-arm row offers some benefits over barbell rows. Kneeling on a bench limits the quantity of stress in your backbone. Because the carry is carried out one aspect at a time, you may isolate your lats and proper any muscular imbalances that will develop for those who are inclined to completely use barbell row variations.

Inverted Row

Advanced pull-ups aren’t the one strategy to make the most of your physique weight for back-building. Inverted rows could be carried out in quite a lot of alternative ways — whether or not that be with suspension straps, on a Smith machine, a barbell set in an influence rack, or another secure floor that allows you to get beneath it, and preserving your physique in a straight line, pulling upwards.

To modulate the extent of problem, merely enhance or lower the angle of your physique relative to the ground. Both elevate your ft (for elevated problem) or create a steep angle with an elevated higher physique (to lower the problem).



Vingren JL, Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Anderson JM, Volek JS, Maresh CM. Testosterone physiology in resistance train and coaching: the up-stream regulatory parts. Sports activities Med. 2010 Dec 1;40(12):1037-53. doi: 10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000. PMID: 21058750.

Shaner AA, Vingren JL, Hatfield DL, Budnar RG Jr, Duplanty AA, Hill DW. The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance train. J Power Cond Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):1032-40. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000317. PMID: 24276305.

Hody S, Croisier JL, Bury T, Rogister B, Leprince P. Eccentric Muscle Contractions: Dangers and Advantages. Entrance Physiol. 2019 Might 3;10:536. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00536. PMID: 31130877; PMCID: PMC6510035.

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