Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown: How to Do & Muscles Worked

reverse grip lat pulldown

Lat Pulldown is a great alternative to pull-ups, a simple and effective way to strengthen your back muscles and get a healthy and straight spine. Next, we will talk about such an exercise as the Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown. Consider the pros, cons and technique of the exercise, as well as recommendations for men and women.

Pros and Cons


  • Replaces difficult basic back exercises for unprepared individuals, such as pull-ups. For beginners, boys and girls, after injuries and, in principle, with muscle atony, pulling behind the head is an excellent solution for strengthening the back.
  • It does not load the spine, but stretches it, which makes the technique safe in the presence of various injuries and diseases of one of the spine sections.
  • Develops the thickness of the latissimus dorsi.


  • Since the technique assumes a reverse grip, that is, traction is carried out to the chest, the likelihood of concentrating the greatest tension in the hands increases, which will remove some of the load from the back. Therefore, it is important to concentrate on the lats and not to pull the block with the strength of the arms.
  • Exercise with incorrect technique can injure the shoulder joint. An improper back position can put more stress on the lumbar spine.

reverse grip lat pulldown muscles worked

What Muscles Do Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown Work?

  • Latissimus muscles.
  • Trapezium.
  • Biceps and brachioradialis muscles.
  • Rear bundles of deltas.
  • Diamond-shaped.
  • Big round ones.
  • Pectoral.

How to Do Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown?

  1. Find the right weight for the weights. Grasp the straight handle with a reverse grip from the bottom, shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, so that the joints are comfortable.
  2. Sit on the seat with your arms straight and pulling off the plates while pulling the cable. Lock your hips under the leg bolsters.
  3. Lean back slightly, but do not overload the lower back. The back should be flat without overbending in the lumbar region.
  4. Exhaling, extend the handle to your upper chest, lowering your elbows to the floor. At the lowest point, bring the shoulder blades as much as possible, contracting the latissimus dorsi. Hold for a couple of seconds when you feel tension in the target muscles.
  5. As you inhale, slowly unbend your arms, relaxing your back and shoulders completely. Do not let go of the handle. Do not jerk to avoid injuring your joints.

How to Integrate Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown into Your Workout Plan?

This exercise is suitable for both men and women, both beginners and pros. The main thing is to choose a training regimen and weight according to your strength, taking into account your training and goals.

  1. Novice athletes and those looking to build muscle strength and prepare for a free-weight base are advised to do light deadlifts for 15 to 25 reps. Regardless of whether you will gain weight or lose weight in the future, you need to start with this particular scheme. The first priority is to strengthen the muscles and ligaments.
  2. At the initial stage of training for the back, two exercises aimed at different goals and parts of the muscles will be sufficient. For example, both narrow grip and wide grip rows are needed. If the Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown will develop the thickness of the lats, then the Behind the Back Lat Pulldown will develop the width.
  3. It is recommended for advanced athletes to perform deadlifts in the block after exercises with their own or free weights: pull-ups, deadlifts, barbell rows.

It is important to use Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown in order to gain weight according to the following method: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. The working weight, accordingly, needs to be increased in order to perform the last repetitions to muscle failure.