Reverse-grip Smith Machine Row – Back Mass-Builder

Building back thickness and bicep mass simultaneously is no easy task. It’s one thing to use the Smith reverse machine efficiently and completely another thing to do the right exercises, which will give you the desired body, to begin with. But it is not difficult to master this machine, and once you have, we present the best exercise that will make efficient use of the Smith reverse machine: the reverse-grip Smith machine row.

What You Should Know About The Reverse-Grip Smith Machine Row

You should keep the following details in mind when doing the reverse grip Smith machine row exercise:

  • Primary Muscles: Biceps, Lats, traps
  • Type Of Exercise: Compound
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Gear: lifting belt, lifting straps, handgrip strengthener
  • Purpose of the exercise: Bicep mass and back thickness 

What Not To Do When Doing The Revers-grip Smith Machine Row

Before we go into detail on how to do the doing the reverse grip exercise, here are a few mistakes one must avoid

Torso drop: In order to stretch their lats, beginners will drop their torsos as they lower the bar. But such a form will only increase the strain and the damage to the back.

Instead, one must keep the torso as straight as a flagpole. This will lead to activation in lats and straighten the spine as a result.


close grip row


Biceps pull: When performing a reverse grip Smith machine row, you will feel an intense pump in your bicep. It is an intense exercise that will put your arms to work. But you should not start them on your own. What you can do is instead start each repetition by driving your elbows behind the torso.

Excessive use of close grip: If you use a close grip row technique is a superb technique to a narrow-arm dominant physique type. But one must be careful as using the close grip method excessively will lead to a reduction in trap activation while leaving lats vastly under-stimulated. Using the close grip at regular intervals is highly recommended.

Relying heavily on reverse grip barbell row: Using the reverse grip barbell row builds the reaps and rear delts, but they are not recommended for lat development as it is insufficient at best.

In case you have a back that lacks width. Then the Smith machine Yates row is your best bet. This technique is identical as the standard reverse grip Smith machine row. But instead of rowing the bar into your abs, you are drag it to your thighs. Similarly to the use of the close grip method, it’s better to use this judiciously.


How To Do The Reverse Grip Smith Machine Row

Now that we have covered what must not be done when doing a reverse-grip Smith machine row, we will now take a look at how to do the exercise itself.

  1. Set the bar as low as possible, preferably well below the knee
  2. Grab the bar with an underhand grip just outside of the shoulder-width
  3. Push your glutes back while actively pulling your chest. This can be done by hinging at the hips.
  4. Extend your elbows and unhook the barbell so that the bar is resting against your lower thighs or knees. Keep in mind that the length of your limbs is a factor here.
  5. By driving your elbows behind the torso pull the bar into your lower abs.
  6. Squeeze your lats and then lower the bar under control. This will allow you to stretch your muscles on the way back down.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 reps.

By keeping the above steps in mind, you will develop an all-rounded body soon as long as you keep up with the consistency.

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