The way to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row to Construct a Sturdy, 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 executed with that, strive some rows, after which end off with some pullovers. Or… you would simply carry out the reverse-grip bent-over row and get almost the identical outcomes as combining a collection of back-focused exercises.

long-haired person in gym doing barbell row
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 it’s best to incorporate it into your routine to take advantage of out of your back day.

The 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. 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, preserve your backbone impartial (not rounded or excessively arched), and drive via your ft to carry the burden 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. Almost definitely, establishing together with your grip simply previous shoulder width aside will yield the most effective outcomes. However relying in your limb and torso length, you could 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.

Kind Tip: Consistency is essential. Preserve your arms at a dead-hang when you arrange. This may 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 burden, consciously have interaction your again muscle mass 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 quite than your higher again muscle mass, 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 wonderfully straight line. Pulling in direction of your stomach button might really feel awkward at first, however it’s best to rapidly discover elevated lat activation when lifting this manner.

Step 4 — Decrease the Weight

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

Squeeze your again muscle mass on the prime of the carry and take into account holding the burden there for a second. Maintaining 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 your complete set. To carry out the following repetition, pull the barbell towards your stomach button once more.

Kind 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

If in case you have a passing familiarity with the normal bent-over row, or hinge movements as a complete, you would in all probability bounce proper into utilizing the reverse-grip bent-over row to construct your again and biceps with out pondering too laborious about kind. However, slipshod method might imply you’re leaving features 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 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 would find yourself performing extra of an upright row than you propose.

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 suggests much less isolation on your lats

Keep away from it: Once you setup to carry out the row, remember 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 nice morning into your coaching plan to develop larger ranges of power, steadiness, and mobility. This may show you how to construct the power wanted to take care of the angle in your torso on your complete set. 

Decrease Again Rounding

On 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 a scarcity of mobility, you would 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 follow hinge actions till you’re able to sustaining an isometric hinge or scale 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 have interaction 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 effectively for the a lot smaller biceps muscle.

Keep away from it: Consciously take into consideration pulling your shoulders again to have interaction your again muscle mass 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 is usually 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 preserve underneath management, decrease it. In any other case, take into account specializing in the eccentric (reducing) portion of the carry to ensure you retain the burden transferring in a sluggish and managed style to stop momentum from constructing.

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

If 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 methods to improve the issue 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 might not be pretty much 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 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. Moderately than repeatedly growing the load on the bar, which might finally create the next danger 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 prime of every repetition for one, two, and even three seconds whereas the bar is involved together with your stomach. For timed eccentrics, give attention to making the detrimental (reducing) part of every rep take two, three, or 4 full seconds. This can assist to maximise your features and develop your mind-muscle connection. 

Reverse-Grip Pendlay Row

In case you’re trying 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 excellent carry to isolate your muscle mass and give attention to 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 gymnasium, 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 number 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 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 task within the reverse-grip bent-over row than they do while you carry out the carry with an overhand grip. 

Improved Stability and Core Power

Holding an isometric hinge isn’t straightforward. Your core muscle mass 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 can assist construct power in your posterior chain whereas additionally enhancing your total mobility. 

Unparalleled Rowing Power

The reverse-grip bent-over row cuts down on a variety of variables and limiting components posed by many different row variations. Usually 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 received’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’ve got 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 allows you to carry heavy weights together with your lats, with out so lots of the variables that get in the best way when performing different varieties of rows.

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

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

Latissimus Dorsi

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

Your lats are the most important muscle group in your higher physique — working alongside all 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 slim compared, which makes them an necessary a part of growing an aesthetic physique.


As secondary movers — muscle mass which help the first goal muscle mass throughout a given train — your biceps and your brachialis muscle mass 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 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 preserve 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 growing power within the totally lengthened (stretched) place, the train promotes muscular steadiness and adaptability in your hamstrings.

The 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 power to maximise your features. In case you’re undecided methods to incorporate the reverse-grip bent-over row into your exercise plan, listed below are a number of choices that you simply would possibly take into account. 

As an Accent for the Deadlift

For powerlifters, who focus on performing the squat, bench press, and deadlift, discovering environment friendly compound (multi-joint) workout routines that complement your major 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 might enhance each power 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 Important Motion For Bodybuilders

Within the curiosity of each train financial system, and the hormonal response that compound actions present, many bodybuilders desire to start out their exercises with heavy compound workout routines 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 no less than three units of eight, specializing in the eccentric portion of the carry to maximise your hypertrophy features. (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 traditional 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 allows you to have interaction and isolate your lats whereas additionally dialing in your rowing method after the associated muscle mass are completely 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 below 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 offers distinctive stimulus by stopping you from growing momentum or partaking 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 protecting a flat again. The total bench help additionally removes pressure from the decrease again and makes it just about inconceivable 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 offers 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’ll be able to isolate your lats and proper any muscular imbalances that will develop in case you are inclined to solely use barbell row variations.

Inverted Row

Advanced pull-ups aren’t the one approach to make the most of your physique weight for back-building. Inverted rows might be carried out in a variety of 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 problem, merely improve 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 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 Might 3;10:536. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00536. PMID: 31130877; PMCID: PMC6510035.

Featured Picture: mountaira / Shutterstock

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *