The right way to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row to Construct a Robust, Muscular Again

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

Credit score: lunamarina / Shutterstock

Environment friendly programming and train alternative can drastically enhance the standard of your back workouts. Observe these steps to discover ways to carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row, and the way it’s best to incorporate it into your routine to take advantage of out of your back day.

The right way to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row Step By Step

Approaching the reverse-grip bent-over row for the primary time doesn’t must 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

Once you initially strategy 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, maintain your backbone impartial (not rounded or excessively arched), and drive by means of your toes to carry the load off the ground. 

Type Tip: Experiment along with your grip width to see what ends in feeling the best diploma of lat (again) activation. Probably, establishing along with your grip simply previous shoulder width aside will yield one of the best outcomes. However relying in your limb and torso length, you might really feel extra snug 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. Hold 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.

Type Tip: Consistency is vital. Hold your arms at a dead-hang whilst you arrange. This can reinforce the place you need to maintain initially 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 tissues earlier than you contract your biceps.

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

Type Tip: Don’t be involved in case your bar path isn’t a wonderfully straight line. Pulling in the direction of your stomach button could really feel awkward at first, however it’s best to shortly 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 tissues on the high of the carry and think about 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.

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

Type Tip: Hold 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

When you have a passing familiarity with the standard bent-over row, or hinge movements as an entire, you might most likely leap proper into utilizing the reverse-grip bent-over row to construct your again and biceps with out pondering too onerous about type. However, slipshod approach might imply you’re leaving good points on the desk, and even placing your self at an elevated threat of harm.

Setting Up With a Excessive Torso Angle

Both tight hips and hamstrings, a weak core, or a mix of the 2 might make it troublesome so that you can maintain your trunk at a 45-degree angle throughout a whole set of rows. In consequence, you might find yourself performing extra of an upright row than you propose.

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

Establishing with a better 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: Once you setup to carry out the row, you should definitely hinge ahead and shoot your hips again to create a robust pulling place. Add hinge movements just like the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and the great morning into your coaching plan to develop larger ranges of power, steadiness, and mobility. This can allow you to construct the power wanted to take care of the angle in your torso in your complete set. 

Decrease Again Rounding

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

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

Keep away from it: In case you discover your decrease again rounding whilst 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.

Participating Your Biceps First

Since your biceps are a wrist supinator — chargeable 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 major mover within the reverse-grip bent-over row. That job falls to your lats, and attempting to make use of your biceps to carry heavy hundreds meant in your lats may not 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 tissues earlier than pulling along with your elbows. Don’t attempt to curl the bar to maneuver the load.

Using Momentum From Rep to Rep

In case you fail to take care of a constant angle in your torso throughout every repetition, you may be producing momentum along with your hips that decreases the load in your lats and biceps. This could be a signal of going too heavy, however you may also 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 simply too heavy so that you can maintain underneath management, decrease it. In any other case, think about specializing in the eccentric (reducing) portion of the carry to ensure you retain the load transferring in a gradual and managed style to stop momentum from constructing.

The right way to Progress the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

When you have hassle performing the reverse-grip bent-over row proper off the bat, right here’s how one can strategy it as a newbie and learn how to improve the problem 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 along 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, however it makes up for it by hitting your complete again. What was a “mistake” for the reverse-grip row can be utilized intentionally for a strategic function.

As you develop power performing the Yates Row, you’ll be able to slowly transition in the direction of the reverse-grip bent-over row by experimenting along 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. Quite than repeatedly growing the load on the bar, which may finally create a better threat than reward and should lower stress on the goal muscle, you’ll be able to 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 involved along with your stomach. For timed eccentrics, deal with making the unfavorable (reducing) section of every rep take two, three, or 4 full seconds. This might help to maximise your good points and develop your mind-muscle connection. 

Reverse-Grip Pendlay Row

In case you’re trying so as to add an additional stage of issue, 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 a terrific carry to isolate your muscle tissues and deal with pure pulling power.

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. Nonetheless, it’s comparatively simpler in your core and decrease again because you don’t have to carry an isometric hinge in the course of your set.

Advantages of the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

Once you step into the health club, you come face-to-face with a variety of instruments and actions that you should use to sculpt your biceps and your lats. Listed below are a few of the distinctive advantages of the reverse-grip bent-over row that make it value including to your routine.

Elevated Lat Activation

Switching from a pronated grip to a supinated grip places your arms and shoulders into a special place and modifications 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 while you carry out the carry with an overhand grip. 

Improved Steadiness and Core Power

Holding an isometric hinge isn’t simple. Your core muscle tissues work time beyond regulation to take care of a constant angle underneath heavy hundreds. Concurrently, your hamstrings keep lively and engaged at a lengthened place, which might help construct power in your posterior chain whereas additionally enhancing your total mobility. 

Unparalleled Rowing Power

The reverse-grip bent-over row cuts down on numerous variables and limiting elements posed by many different row variations. Typically talking, you’ll be able to carry heavier hundreds with a barbell than you’ll be able to with a dumbbell.

Flipping your grip from overhand to underhand means your grip power gained’t maintain you again as you improve hundreds 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 heart of gravity.

Once you put all these elements collectively, what you get is a carry that allows you to carry heavy weights along with your lats, with out so lots of the variables that get in the best way when performing different varieties of rows.

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

As a compound train, the reverse-grip bent-over row targets muscle tissues 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 workouts, you’re feeling “your again” working. That’s not the case with the reverse-grip bent-over row. When carried out accurately, it’s best to be capable to really feel and, later particularly goal, your lats particularly.

Your lats are the most important muscle group in your higher physique — operating alongside both sides 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 compared, which makes them an essential a part of creating an aesthetic physique.


As secondary movers — muscle tissues which help the first goal muscle tissues throughout a given train — your biceps and your brachialis muscle tissues 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 chargeable for stabilizing your elbow throughout flexion to help 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 power and stability essential to maintain you from buckling over whereas performing the reverse-grip bent-over row. Particularly as you get to heavier hundreds, you’ll discover that your core performs a vital position — protecting 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 creating power within the absolutely lengthened (stretched) place, the train promotes muscular steadiness and suppleness in your hamstrings.

The right way to Program the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

Constructing an efficient training routine might be difficult. Once you’re within the health club, you need to make the most of your time and vitality to maximise your good points. In case you’re undecided learn how to incorporate the reverse-grip bent-over row into your exercise plan, listed below are a couple of choices that you just would possibly think about. 

As an Accent for the Deadlift

For powerlifters, who focus on performing the squat, bench press, and deadlift, discovering environment friendly compound (multi-joint) workouts that complement your major 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 power and mobility throughout your posterior chain.

Following the deadlift, think about incorporating three to 5 units of six reps, utilizing a weight that allows you to maintain your torso angle stable throughout the size of the set.

As a Foremost Motion For Bodybuilders

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

In case your coaching break 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 help muscle development. Early in your exercise, hit at the very least three units of eight, specializing in the eccentric portion of the carry to maximise your hypertrophy good points. (3)

As a Excessive Quantity Accent Raise

In case you spend a major period of time in a squat rack or on a weight platform, including the reverse-grip bent-over row as an adjunct after the basic bent-over row might be as a lot about comfort as the rest. All you must 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 tissues are completely warmed up and pre-trained.

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

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row Variations

Perhaps you don’t have entry to a barbell. Perhaps you’re coping with nagging shoulder or again ache. Perhaps you simply need to combine issues up. No matter your causes, listed below are a couple of completely 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 creating momentum or participating your hips. Not like 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 protecting a flat again. The total bench help additionally removes pressure from the decrease again and makes it just about unimaginable 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 facet at a time, you’ll be able to isolate your lats and proper any muscular imbalances which will develop in case you are likely to solely use barbell row variations.

Inverted Row

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

To modulate the extent of issue, merely improve or lower the angle of your physique relative to the ground. Both elevate your toes (for elevated issue) 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 components. 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 Could 3;10:536. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00536. PMID: 31130877; PMCID: PMC6510035.

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