5 Reverse Grip Exercises for Amplified Muscle Gains

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Change can be scary at times. Stepping away from the norm and trying something new is tough for many of us. Too many times we become satisfied with staying in our comfort zone and cringe at the thought of stepping outside of that bubble.

But, change is good. Change leads to progression, especially when it comes to your fitness goals. Change is crucial towards development and getting rid of bad habits.

Related: Mastering the Yates Row, or Reverse Grip Bent Over Row

For example, if a quarterback is continuously throwing inefficient passes, is he going to continue performing that same throwing motion? Or is he going to make a slight change to his throwing mechanics to achieve that perfect spiral?

If a golfer is continuously slicing the ball swing after swing are they going to change their swing in order to correct it?

The same goes for your nutrition and training routine. If you’re doing the same thing week after week with no change in results, are you going to continue down the same path? Or is time for a change?

A small change in your diet or training can go a long way. The change doesn’t have to be drastic. Like with the quarterback or golfer, sometimes all it takes is a small, minute adjustment to produce a positive change.

If you’re looking for a new way to switch up your training and change your exercises, it’s time to think about changing your grip when exercising. Using an overhand grip for all of your exercises is how you started your lifting journey and you’ve been training that way ever since.

But, by making a small change to your training and switching your grip on some tried-and-true, muscle building exercises, you can effectively target different parts of the muscle for maximal gains.

Brently Rousset helps you to build a wider back usinbg the underhand lat pull down.

5 Reverse Grip Movements You Should Be Doing

#1 – Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

The lat-pulldown is a staple movement in most lifter’s exercise quiver. It’s an exercise that all lifter’s, from beginning to advanced, perform on back day in an attempt to grow a back so wide you have to walk sideways through doorways.

This movement focuses on strengthening your latissimus dorsi, or lats for short. But, in order to build a full, strong, and wide back, you want to be targeting your lats from all areas. By switching your grip on this movement from overhand to underhand, you shift the focus of the exercise towards your lower lats. This exercise will help the overall strength and development of your latissimus dorsi, while helping you build a more aesthetic V-taper shape to your body.

#2 – Reverse Grip Barbell Curls

If you know how to perform a regular barbell curl than you will have no problem incorporating Reverse Grip Barbell curls into your workout routine. As with a regular barbell curl, place your feet shoulder width apart while holding the weight down just below your hips. But, with the reverse grip you will grip the barbell overhand with your palms facing the ground.

Curl the weight up to just above 90 degrees, or until your forearm makes contact with your bicep, and lower the weight down. If performing this exercise with a straight bar puts strain on your wrist, try performing this exercise with an EZ-Bar to reduce any stress on your wrists.

Reverse-grip barbell curls place more emphasis on your forearms and the brachialis to help you grow thicker arms and assist with improving your wrist and grip strength.

#3 – Reverse Grip Barbell Rows

Big BackOne of Phil Heath’s favorite back exercises, the reverse-grip barbell row is an exercise you should start performing immediately if you are trying to build some mass in your back. If it’s a staple exercise for Mr. Olympia, it should be a staple exercise in your back routine as well.

When performing barbell rows you want to keep your feet should width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back flat, your spine neutral, and bend down at the hips slight as if you were going to perform a deadlift movement. With the barbell in hand and your palms facing up (reverse-grip), keep the bar close to your body as you pull the weight up and back towards the bottom of your stomach.

The bar should almost be rubbing against your thighs with each repetition and squeeze your back at the top of each rep as if you were trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. By changing your grip from overhand to underhand with the rowing movement you will be targeting more development in the lower area of your latissimus dorsi for a bigger, thicker looking back.

#4 – Reverse Grip Bench Press

The reverse-grip bench press is an excellent pressing movement for those who have shoulder pain or discomfort and are looking for a way to still train their chest with a bench pressing movement.

With this movement you will lie on a bench and grab the barbell with a reverse grip, shoulder-width apart. Perform the same movement style as you would with a normal bench press, focusing on keeping your elbows tight and close to your body. Control the weight, don’t lock out your elbows at the top of the movement, and don’t let your elbows flare out throughout the movement.

#5 – Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

Reverse grip pushdowns are the perfect exercise to incorporate into your arm training for developing those horseshoe-like triceps. By changing your grip to a reverse grip on this movement you shift the focus of this exercise to the lateral head.

Similar to a regular straight bar pushdown, attach the bar to a cable machine. Instead of gripping the bar with your palms facing down, grab the bar from underneath with your palms facing up.

Pull the bar down until your arm is almost completely straight while feeling the squeeze on the back part of your triceps with every repetition. As with rope pushdowns, focus on your form. Don’t lose control of the weight as you want to focus on feeling the squeeze in your lateral head.

Small Changes, Big Results

If you’re looking for newer and bigger results, sometimes the smallest of changes can produce the biggest results. With these exercises you don’t have to completely revamp your training routine, rep scheme, or resting periods. These reverse grip movements allow you to put a slight twist on a variety of proven, staple exercises for maximum results. Make a small change and say hello to bigger gains.

For more fitness and nutrition tips subscribe to the MuscleMinds Youtube channel and follow me on Instagram @thebrentness.

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Name: Brently Rousset

Bio: Born, raised, and currently residing in beautiful San Diego, CA, I've been around some form of fitness almost my entire life. My mom was an aerobics teacher at the local gym when I was in elementary school through middle school. My dad had a full home gym in the garage and raced mountain bikes professionally through my high school years. My parents engrained the importance of health and fitness into me from a young age. I started playing soccer in my elementary days only to leave it behind for my true loves of basketball and surfing.