Fit blonde woman performing supinated lat pulldown.

Supinated Lat Pulldown Instructions – Execution Tips, Form, And More

A supinated grip has your palms facing up when your arms are to your side. The supinated lat pulldown is an underhand grip pulldown that trains your lats superbly.

The supinated lat pulldown is also known as the reverse grip or underhand grip lat pulldown.

Supinated Grip Vs Pronated Grip

The word supinates and pronate are medical terms and can be confusing. In regards to pulldowns, the supinated grip is an underhand grip and the pronated grip is an overhand grip. Although the words underhand and overhand may not always be synonymous with supinated and pronated.

The Easy Way To Determine Supinated and Pronated Grips

For a supinated grip, your thumbs will always be towards the outside of your body. Subsequently, for a pronated grip, your thumbs will always be towards each other, or the inside of your body.

Exercise Summary

  • Primary Muscles Worked: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Other Muscles (Secondary) Worked: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis, Rhomboids, Teres Major, Trapezius
  • Equipment: Pulldown Machine
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary

Correct Supinated Lat Pulldown Technique

  • Sit in the pulldown machine with your thighs under the pads.
  • Take a shoulder-width, supinated grip on the bar.
  • Start with the body vertical, arms nearly straight over your head.
  • Begin the movement by arching your lower back slightly and sticking your chest out.
  • Pull the bar down to your lower chest, leaning slightly backward as you pull to hit all the fibers in the lats.
  • The lat is a fan-shaped muscle and the lean back spreads the load over the whole fan.
  • Puff your chest up to meet the bar and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your back.
  • Slowly and in a controlled manner, return the bar upward until your arms are nearly straight. Then move your shoulder blades wide and shoulders up high as if you are shrugging and allow the pull of the bar to stretch your muscles in your back that you contracted performing the pulldown.
  • Relax for a second, pause and repeat.

Man performing supinated lat pulldown with MuscleMagFitness logo background.
The Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown | How To Perform It Correctly

Muscles Utilized For Supinated Lat Pulldown

Target (Agonist) Muscles

  • Latissimus Dorsi

Synergist Muscles

  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Deltoid, Posterior
  • Infraspinatus
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Rhomboids
  • Teres Major
  • Trapezius, Lower
  • Trapezius, Middle

Stabilizers Muscles

  • Biceps Brachii

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • Pectoralis Major, Sternal
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Triceps, Long Head

Tips for Better Results and Proper From

This movement should be done as a two-part movement to work your back best. The first part is the extension then dropping of your shoulders. The second part is the pull with your lats.

Start with just dropping your shoulder girdle. The arms should not be bent in this part of the movement. Your shoulders should just drop down a few inches. Practice this short movement a few times. Once you have the feel for that, continue with the pulldown movement. This drop technique will lock your lats into activation. Once you pull the weight down so that it meets the chest squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your back (picture trying to hold an orange between your shoulder blades) for maximum force (and maximum gains). Repeat this technique at the start of every rep.

Frequent Mistakes You Want to Be Sure To Avoid

The following errors are potentially dangerous and can result in injury. You should try to avoid them at all costs.

  • Swinging Your Body. This error is often made by people who are using too much weight in an effort to use momentum to get the weight moving. You will be reducing the effectiveness of the exercise by taking tension off your Lats and putting it on your lower back. This can lead to injury by damaging your lower back.
  • Overarching Your Back. The other common error is hyperextending (over-arching) your back. This again places an unnecessary strain on the lower back. Not wearing a lifting belt. This places an unnecessary strain on the lower back.

Variations To Support Your Supinated Lat Pulldown

The following pulldowns are variations that have different benefits and target your muscle groups in slightly different ways. You should routinely use different variations to keep your muscles confused. Muscle confusion by changing the way you work your muscles will lead to continued strength gains.

Additional Exercises That Target Your Lats

The following exercises can be performed instead of pulldowns or to complement your pulldowns during a training session you are targeting your lats.

Reverse Grip Bentover Barbell Row -- Bentover barbell row can also be performed with supinated or pronated grips, both are excellent lat exercises.
Dumbbell Bentover Row -- Using dumbbells with bent-over row will give you more range of motion at the top of the movement.
Single Arm Bentover Row -- The single-arm bent-over row is a very common lat exercise because it works.

Time To Train Your Back

You should be quite the expert on pulldowns and lat training now. If you want more exercise to train you back checkout these 7 Must-Do Exercises To Train Your Back.

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