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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.
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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
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
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
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.
Concentrate on squeezing your lats before slowly returning the bar to the start
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.
Unwind & relax while enjoying a better value
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
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
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.
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
Items Needed: A
decline bench or one end of a flat bench resting on a platform, and one
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
More Dumbbell Lower Lat Exercises
Thank you for reading this Underhand Lat Pulldown Article by Mission Jacked
Underhand Lat Pulldown - aka