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The Underhand Lat Pulldown
Grow Bigger Lats With This Exercise

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The Supinated Pulldown – A Back-Widening Present From The Lat Gods

Introduction: Are Underhand Lat Pulldowns Effective?

If you’re looking at your back thinking that maybe you need bigger lower lats to help increase your overall wingspan, you could do worse than adding regular sets of the Underhand Lat Pulldown.

In most cases when you use an underhanded grip (supinated grip), as you would do carrying out a reverse grip pulldown or row, you engage more of your lower Latissimus Dorsi.

If you place your elbows in a wider position and take an overhand grip Pronated grip) such as you would do carrying out a wide-grip pulldown or flared row, you utilize more upper lat muscle fibers.

dumbbell lat workout

Underhand Lat Pulldown vs Overhand:

While the overhand-grip provides a better stretch during reverse grip pulldowns, when you choose an underhand grip, it allows you to pull the weight down further than you normally would with an overhand grip. The result of this is you can maximize the contraction at the bottom of each repetition on your lower lats, thus helping you to build a better, thicker and stronger back

While heavy supinated lat pulldown places greater stress on the lower lats, it also engages the bicep muscles. This enables you to shift more weight. In addition, the ab muscles activate to stabilize the movement. This compound exercise can also help to improve your arm strength and overall posture.

How To Do Underhand Lat Pulldowns:

How To Do Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns

As we mentioned earlier, two major factors for targeting the lower lats are elbow placement and grip position. As it takes advantage of the elbows coming in close to the sides and the supinated grip, the Underhand Lat Pulldown is one of the best lower lat exercises.

Items Needed: A Cable Pulley System and a straight bar. If you don’t have access to a pulley cable, you can use two medium to heavy resistance bands and an overhead anchor.

Cue 1: Grab the bar with an underhand grip and take a seat or give yourself enough room to sit back on the floor. For this tutorial, we’re going to sit on the floor.

Cue 2:  Sit on the floor with straight arms and tilt back until you are about at a 45-degree angle. Raise your chest and tighten your core.

Cue 3: Retract your shoulders as you bring the bar down towards your lower chest area. Try to bring the bar out and down and pull your elbows back as far as possible.

Cue 4: Concentrate on squeezing your lats before slowly returning the bar to the start position.

lat dumbbell exercises
prone row

How Can I Mimic Underhand Lat Pulldowns at home?
Do Underhand Lat Pulldowns With Bands:

If you train at home and haven’t got access to an overhead cable pulley system, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. You can still mimic this exercise with two medium to heavy resistance bands and an overhead anchor.

The great advantage of this movement is the ascending tension that the band offers as you pull the bands down to your lower chest.

Items Needed: 2 Resistance bands and one overhead anchor.

The Setup: Loop both resistance bands over an overhead anchor set shoulder-width apart. Ensure your overhead anchor is secure when the bands are under tension.

Cue 1: Grab both bands with a supinated grip (underhand grip) and take a seat on the floor so that the bands are slightly in front of you.

Cue 2: Arch your back a little and lift your chest before pulling your hands down to your chest. Retract your shoulders and squeeze your back before slowly bringing your arm back to the straight position.

If you can’t get your arm down to your lower chest you may need to use lighter bands. When you wish to increase the tension slightly without having to use heavier bands you could either sit further back from the overhead anchor or double wrap the bands around your palms.

how to workout lats with dumbbells
prone db row

Underhand Lat Pulldown Alternative Using Dumbbells -
Twisted Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Underhand Lat Pulldown Alternative Using Dumbbells

Once you start using this reverse grip pulldown substitute, you’ll immediately notice the cramped feeling in your lower lats. Follow the cues below and pay special attention to the setup. This is the most important aspect.

Equipment Needed: Flat bench and one dumbbell.


1: Similar to the standard Single-arm dumbbell row, kneel on the edge of a flat bench. Place your hand as support on the bench in front of you. Have the leg on the ground as far back as possible without losing your balance and falling.

2: Pick up a dumbbell. Twist your torso so that you're looking over the hip of the leg resting on the ground.

Cue 1: Apart from the twist, the major difference between this and the traditional Single Arm Row is that here you only row to the length of your arm and not down to the floor. First, you retract your shoulder blades by pulling them down and back while looking over your opposite shoulder.

Row the dumbbell as if you are aiming to place it in your back pocket.

Cue 2: At this point, you should feel your lower Lat contract. While maintaining the twist, bring the dumbbell back to the straight arm position, making sure not to lose your balance. Remember that you are not rowing the dumbbell to the ground but until your arm is straight.

Cue 3: Before each repetition, you must twist and look over your hip before retracting your shoulder and setting off.

db lat workout

Underhand Lat Pulldown Alternative 2
Decline Pullovers

If you’re looking for non-row underhand lat Pulldown alternative, this is it. The advantage the decline pullover has over the flat dumbbell version is that it places more stress on the lat fibers through a larger of the range of motion.

Items Needed: A decline bench or one end of a flat bench resting on a platform, and one dumbbell.

Cue 1: Turn the dumbbell on its head and carefully lay back on your decline bench setup. Slide your palms under the top knuckle of the dumbbell, and lift it over your chest making sure to turn your elbows in so that your biceps are facing you.

Cue 2: Keeping arms straight, slowly lower the dumbbell to a comfortable position over your head before returning the dumbbell to the start position.

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Thank you for reading this Underhand Lat Pulldown Article by Mission Jacked

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