When you dream of a thick and solid back, don’t leave out the thought of achieving it with underhand lat pulldown.
Why is the underhand grip so effective in building a stronger and thicker back? Because you pull more weight downwards than you would with an overhand variation of the lat pulldown.
Thus, you attain maximum lat contraction at the peak of each rep. You partially work the rear delts, too, during the exercise.
This article explains everything you should know about this workout, starting with how to do it.
- Tightly fit and your thighs to minimize movement.
- Keep your torso in an erect position.
- Grab the bar with a wide grip.
- Do not lean back to help with the movement.
- Use a shoulder-width grip on the bar now that your palms are facing your body’s direction.
- Pull the bar down to chin height while maintaining a raised chest position while using the underhand grip to hold the bar.
- Wait for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Bring the bar back up under control.
WHAT MUSCLES DO UNDERHAND LAT PULLDOWN WORK?
The ‘Lat’ in underhand lat pulldown exercise signifies every rep’s primary muscle on duty. Here is more.
Known as lats, they are the largest muscles in your back. They stem from the lower spine, stretch to the upper pelvis, lower ribs, and end in the humerus.
Their primary function is rotating the arm externally and adducting it too. It supports your arm’s upward motion and spinal flexion.
The biceps kick into action with every pull you make. Its core function in the forearm is bending to enable pulling and lifting.
These chest muscles allow for the arm’s movement in a forward direction.
The lat pulldown also works the following muscles – although passively.
- Teres major
UNDERHAND LAT PULLDOWN BENEFITS
Underhand lat pulldown training has more robust advantages over any other exercise, such as chinups.
So what are these benefits?
A benefit of performing the lat pulldown while seated is that it deploys your abdominals and hip flexors to support your body. These core muscles increase your back’s stability.
BOOSTS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
The extended range of motion with the pulldown augurs well for athletes whose sports depend on speedy movement. Sports such as swimming, wrestling and wrestling benefit a lot.
The underhand lat pulldown is a great way to build back, forearm and biceps strength.
PULL MORE WEIGHT
You pull more weight with the underhand grip than with its overhand variation.
Your biceps toughen up by becoming stronger while your back strengthens from the workout. The back muscles and the biceps work simultaneously with every rep.
ALTERNATIVES TO UNDERHAND LAT PULLDOWN
The underhand lat pulldown is tedious and daunting to say the least. However, you still can get the strongback with the following alternatives.
CLOSE-GRIP HAND POSITION
This variation is for you if you’re experiencing forearm soreness while pushing down and need a compound exercise to target your biceps.
How to do it:
- Put the barbell around shoulder-width apart in your hands as you lay on the bench.
- A little closer is fine, but don’t move them too close together or you risk injuring your wrists if the set-up becomes unstable.
- Stabilize your body by squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping your core tight.
- Take your time as you lower the bar and then press it back up.
- Then lower the bar back to your sternum and repeat the process.
- Don’t arch your back when you’re working out.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides instead.
The straight-arm pulldown is a terrific back exercise working your lats, whether you’re a novice or a pro lifter.
The workout targets the shoulders, upper back, and arm muscles.
How to do it:
- Use the cable machine’s higher locations to hang a wide-grip bar.
- Using an overhand grip, and take hold of the handle.
- Your hands should be somewhat wider than your shoulders.
- Remove some of the weight from the cable stack by walking away from the machine for a few seconds.
- Maintain a straight back and a neutral neck and head position when you’re standing.
- Keep your shoulders and hips slightly apart.
- Avoid hyperextending your arms in front of the body.
- Maintain an egg-like chin position throughout the exercise.
- Stabilize your feet on the floor and spread your weight equally across them.
- Apply tension to your shoulders and hips.
- Breathe in to engage your core.
- Engage your lats by rotating your shoulders outward. The starting point for all repetitions should be this position.
- While maintaining long arms, bring the bar toward your hips while squeezing your lats. Allow the movement of your shoulder blades to occur freely.
- Squeeze your lats at the bottom of the movement.
- Start moving upwards now.
- Return your arms to their initial position as you maintain proper alignment.
- Don’t let the weight touch the weight stack.
UNDERHAND LAT PULLDOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID
Underhand lat pulldown is a fantastic back workout, but there are far too many instances when people do it wrongly.
Here are three common mistakes you could be making.
USING BODY MOMENTUM
Inexperienced lifters are the most likely to make this mistake when trying to increase the weight of their lat pulldowns. They begin to use momentum to move the weight instead of only activating the target muscle.
LEANING BACK TO MUCH
Excessive backward leaning is another typical blunder people make. Sitting too far while lifting too much weight triggers excessive leaning back.
However, you can’t lift more weight with such a posture because it takes off the activation in the lats.
TOO MUCH PULLING DOWN
Drawing the bar inches below the chest changes the target muscle – lats – because the workout becomes a lat pullover.
The underhand lat pulldown is phenomenal for building upper back and forearm strength. It is challenging, especially for beginners, but it is also addictive when learning the proper form. And a strong back is essential if you want to maintain an active lifestyle.