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 could do lat pulldowns. Then you could do pull-ups. After you’re accomplished with that, strive some rows, after which end off with some pullovers. Or… you could possibly 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. Comply with these steps to discover ways 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.

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 have to be an intimidating expertise. Comply with 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 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, hold your backbone impartial (not rounded or excessively arched), and drive by way of your toes to carry the burden off the ground. 

Type Tip: Experiment together with your grip width to see what leads to feeling the very best diploma of lat (again) activation. Most probably, establishing together with your grip simply previous shoulder width aside will yield the perfect 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. 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.

Type Tip: Consistency is essential. Preserve your arms at a dead-hang when you arrange. This may reinforce the place you wish to maintain at the start 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 burden, consciously interact your again muscle tissues earlier than you contract your biceps.

Proceed pulling the burden towards your trunk till the barbell makes contact together with your torso. To particularly goal your lats moderately 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 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 tissues on the high of the carry and think about holding the burden there for a second. Holding your again flat and your core tight, decrease the burden again to the stretched place till your arms are totally prolonged.

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

Type Tip: Preserve the motion comparatively sluggish and managed. This helps to keep away from utilizing momentum from one repetition to a different to carry the burden.

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

In case you have a passing familiarity with the normal bent-over row, or hinge movements as an entire, you could possibly most likely bounce proper into utilizing the reverse-grip bent-over row to construct your again and biceps with out considering too onerous about kind. However, 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 mixture of the 2 may make it tough so that you can maintain your trunk at a 45-degree angle throughout a complete set of rows. Consequently, you could possibly find yourself performing extra of an upright row than you plan.

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

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

Keep away from it: Once you setup to carry out the row, make sure you hinge ahead and shoot your hips again to create a robust pulling place. Add hinge movements just like the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and the nice morning into your coaching plan to develop higher ranges of power, steadiness, and mobility. This may allow you to construct the power wanted to take care of the angle in your torso on your complete set. 

Decrease Again Rounding

To 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 an absence of mobility, you could possibly 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 when you carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row, set your ego apart. Both observe 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 — answerable for turning your hand right into a palm-up place — they interact the second you “reverse” your grip on a bent-over row. Along with being a secondary mover to carry out the train, additionally 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 on 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 together with your elbows. Don’t attempt to curl the bar to maneuver the burden.

Using Momentum From Rep to Rep

In case you fail to take care of a constant angle in your torso throughout every repetition, you is perhaps producing momentum together with your hips that decreases the load in your lats and biceps. This generally is 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 burden is simply too heavy so that you can hold below management, decrease it. In any other case, think about specializing in the eccentric (reducing) portion of the carry to ensure you retain the burden transferring in a sluggish and managed vogue to forestall momentum from constructing.

The right way 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 improve 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. When 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 might 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 objective.

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 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. Relatively than repeatedly growing the load on the bar, which may finally create the next danger than reward and will 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 together with your stomach. For timed eccentrics, concentrate on making the damaging (reducing) part of every rep take two, three, or 4 full seconds. This will help to maximise your positive aspects and develop your mind-muscle connection. 

Reverse-Grip Pendlay Row

In case you’re wanting so as to add an additional stage 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 tissues and concentrate on 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 at some stage in your set.

Advantages of the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

Once 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 among 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 distinct place and modifications the pulling angle, which is why it’s simpler to attract the burden nearer to your stomach button than your sternum. This leads to elevated lat activation when in comparison with the normal 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 whenever you carry out the carry with an overhand grip. 

Improved Stability and Core Power

Holding an isometric hinge isn’t straightforward. Your core muscle tissues work additional time to take care of a constant angle below heavy hundreds. Concurrently, your hamstrings keep energetic and engaged at a lengthened place, which will help construct power in your posterior chain whereas additionally enhancing your general mobility. 

Unparalleled Rowing Power

The reverse-grip bent-over row cuts down on various variables and limiting components 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 conventional bent-over row, since you might have improved leverage when monitoring the bar nearer to your middle of gravity.

Once you put all these components collectively, what you get is a carry that permits you to carry heavy weights together with your lats, with out so most of the variables that get in the best way when performing different sorts of rows.

Muscular tissues 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 an inventory 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 appropriately, you must be capable of really feel and, later particularly goal, your lats specifically.

Your lats are the largest muscle group in your higher physique — operating 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 slim compared, which makes them an essential a part of growing 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 throughout 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 throughout the carry. Extra importantly, they’re answerable 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 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 an important function — preserving your torso held on the desired angle and stabilizing your backbone to forestall rounding.


As with every hinge motion, the reverse-grip bent-over row supplies stimulus to your hamstrings. By growing power within the totally 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 gymnasium, you wish to make the most of your time and vitality to maximise your positive aspects. In case 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 just would possibly think about. 

As an Accent for the Deadlift

For powerlifters, who concentrate on performing the squat, bench press, and deadlift, discovering environment friendly compound (multi-joint) workouts that complement your major lifts generally is a little bit of a chore or just complicated. The reverse-grip bent-over row builds sturdy 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 permits you to hold your torso angle strong throughout the size of the set.

As a Major 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 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 allows 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 a minimum of three units of eight, specializing in the eccentric portion of the carry to maximise your hypertrophy positive aspects. (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 anything. All you need to do is flip your wrists round and you’ve got a carry that permits you to interact 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 wish to combine issues up. No matter your causes, listed here are a number 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 supplies 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 preserving a flat again. The total bench help additionally removes pressure from the decrease again and makes it nearly unimaginable to maneuver the burden 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 supplies 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 aspect at a time, you’ll be able to isolate your lats and proper any muscular imbalances which will develop when you are likely to completely use barbell row variations.

Inverted Row

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

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

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