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


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

long-haired person in gym doing barbell row
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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 need 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

If you initially strategy the bar, organising for the reverse-grip bent-over row feels a bit like organising 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, hold your backbone impartial (not rounded or excessively arched), and drive by way of your toes to carry the load off the ground. 

Kind Tip: Experiment together with your grip width to see what leads to feeling the very best diploma of lat (again) activation. More than likely, organising together with your grip simply previous shoulder width aside will yield the most effective outcomes. However relying in your limb and torso length, it’s possible you’ll 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. Maintain 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. Maintain your arms at a dead-hang whilst you arrange. This may reinforce the place you wish to maintain at first 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 muscular tissues 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 slightly than your higher again muscular tissues, 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 could really feel awkward at first, however you need to 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 muscular tissues on the high of the carry and contemplate holding the load there for a second. Preserving 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 complete set. To carry out the subsequent repetition, pull the barbell towards your stomach button once more.

Kind Tip: Maintain 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

You probably have a passing familiarity with the standard bent-over row, or hinge movements as an entire, you would most likely soar proper into utilizing the reverse-grip bent-over row to construct your again and biceps with out pondering too exhausting about type. Nonetheless, slipshod approach might imply you’re leaving good points 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 mixture of the 2 might make it tough so that you can maintain your trunk at a 45-degree angle throughout a whole set of rows. In consequence, you would find yourself performing extra of an upright row than you propose.

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

Organising with a better torso angle can lead to elevated muscular activation in your trapezius and your rhomboids, which implies much less isolation to your lats

Keep away from it: If you setup to carry out the row, make sure to hinge ahead and shoot your hips again to create a powerful pulling place. Add hinge movements just like the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and the great morning into your coaching plan to develop larger ranges of energy, stability, and mobility. This may make it easier to construct the energy wanted to keep up the angle in your torso to your total set. 

Decrease Again Rounding

In your spinal well being and your longevity in the gym, for goodness sake, hold 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 would additionally expertise this simply by going too heavy.

reverse-grip row back posture
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Keep away from it: In the event 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 scale back the weights considerably and begin over.

Partaking Your Biceps First

Since your biceps are a wrist supinator — accountable 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 hundreds meant to your lats won’t finish properly for the a lot smaller biceps muscle.

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

Using Momentum From Rep to Rep

In the event you fail to keep up a constant angle in your torso throughout every repetition, you could be producing momentum together with your hips that decreases the load in your lats and biceps. This is usually 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 hold below management, decrease it. In any other case, contemplate specializing in the eccentric (decreasing) portion of the carry to ensure you retain the load shifting in a gradual and managed vogue to stop momentum from constructing.

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

You probably 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 enhance the problem as you proceed to get stronger and progress within the gymnasium.

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 is probably not pretty much as good of a lat builder, nevertheless it 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 tougher as you get nearer to the 45-degree angle. 

Add Isometric Holds or Timed Eccentrics

At a sure level, implementing primary linear development — including extra repetitions or extra weight — stops being as helpful for lifts just like the reverse-grip bent-over row. Slightly than repeatedly rising the load on the bar, which may ultimately create a better danger than reward and should 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, give attention to making the adverse (decreasing) part 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 the event you’re wanting 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 manner so that you can construct momentum from rep to rep, which makes it an awesome carry to isolate your muscular tissues and give attention to 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. Nonetheless, it’s comparatively simpler in your core and decrease again because you don’t have to carry an isometric hinge throughout your set.

Advantages of the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

If you step into the gymnasium, you come face-to-face with a variety of instruments and actions that you need to use to sculpt your biceps and your lats. Listed here 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 adjustments the pulling angle, which is why it’s simpler to attract the load nearer to your stomach button than your sternum. This leads to 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 muscular tissues work extra time to keep up a constant angle below heavy hundreds. Concurrently, your hamstrings keep energetic and engaged at a lengthened place, which might help construct energy in your posterior chain whereas additionally bettering your general mobility. 

Unparalleled Rowing Power

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

Flipping your grip from overhand to underhand means your grip energy gained’t maintain you again as you enhance 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 conventional bent-over row, since you’ve improved leverage when monitoring the bar nearer to your middle of gravity.

If 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 lots of the variables that get in the way in which when performing different kinds of rows.

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

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

Latissimus Dorsi

With some again workouts, you are feeling “your again” working. That’s not the case with the reverse-grip bent-over row. When carried out accurately, you need to have the ability to 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 compared, which makes them an necessary a part of growing an aesthetic physique.


As secondary movers — muscular tissues which help the first goal muscular tissues throughout a given train — your biceps and your brachialis muscular tissues play two separate roles through the reverse-grip bent-over row. Since your biceps are a wrist supinator, they get direct stimulation to keep up the palm-up place through the carry. Extra importantly, they’re accountable 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 hold 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 gives stimulus to your hamstrings. By growing energy within the absolutely lengthened (stretched) place, the train promotes muscular stability and adaptability in your hamstrings.

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

Constructing an efficient training routine could be difficult. If you’re within the gymnasium, you wish to make the most of your time and vitality to maximise your good points. In the event you’re unsure learn how to incorporate the reverse-grip bent-over row into your exercise plan, listed below are a couple of choices that you simply would possibly contemplate. 

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 main lifts is usually 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, contemplate incorporating three to 5 units of six reps, utilizing a weight that allows you to hold your torso angle stable throughout the size of the set.

As a Important Motion For Bodybuilders

Within the curiosity of each train financial system, and the hormonal response that compound actions present, many bodybuilders want to start out their exercises with heavy compound workouts earlier than they get to their isolation actions. (1)(2) If 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 good points. (3)

As a Excessive Quantity Accent Carry

In the event 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 anything. All you need 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 muscular 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, contemplate 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 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 gives distinctive stimulus by stopping you from growing 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 assist additionally removes pressure from the decrease again and makes it just about inconceivable 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 gymnasium. To get began, simply kneel on a bench and row.

The only-arm row gives some benefits over barbell rows. Kneeling on a bench limits the quantity of stress in your backbone. For the reason that carry is carried out one facet 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 technique to make the most of your physique weight for back-building. Inverted rows could be carried out in various other ways — whether or not that be with suspension straps, on a Smith machine, a barbell set in an influence rack, or every other steady floor that allows you to get below it, and protecting your physique in a straight line, pulling upwards.

To modulate the extent of issue, merely enhance 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).



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