Close this search box.

Underhand Lower Lat Pulldown


The underhand lower lat pulldown targets the lower latissimus dorsi muscles, enhancing the ‘V-taper’ look. Performed at a cable or smith machine, users adopt an underhand grip, palms facing up, and a narrower hand placement. The exercise involves pulling the bar to the upper chest with elbows close to the body, emphasizing the lower lats, then slowly returning to the start. Maintaining a straight back and stable torso is crucial for effective isolation and preventing strain.


  1. From the seated position, grab onto the bar in the underhand position
  2. Breathe in and pull the handle down
  3. Focus on flexing on your lats; secondary focusing on your shoulder
  4. Bring the handle a little lower than your shoulder
  5. Breathe out and bring the handle back up to the default position
  6. Repeat until the desired repetition 

Range of Motion for Underhand Lower Lat Pulldown

Executing the correct range of motion for lower latissimus dorsi exercises, like the underhand pulldown, necessitates precise movements. The pull begins from the shoulders, with the elbows moving down and back, guiding the bar towards the upper chest, slightly below the collarbone, to stimulate the lower lats. Rather than a straight pull, the motion includes a mild arc, deepening muscle contraction. The release phase is vital, extending the arms and allowing slight shoulder protraction, providing a stretch. It’s important to avoid elbow lockout or excessive momentum, ensuring continuous muscle engagement throughout the exercise for optimal muscle growth and strength.

Benefits of Underhand Lower Lat Pulldown

The underhand lower lat pulldown is not just another exercise in the regimen of those seeking comprehensive upper-body strength; it offers specific benefits that make it indispensable for anyone looking to enhance both physique and functional muscle capability. Firstly, this variant of the traditional lat pulldown places a unique emphasis on the lower latissimus dorsi, a muscle area often neglected, fostering a more complete muscular development and the sought-after ‘V-taper’ appearance by broadening the lower back. It promotes superior muscle activation in this area compared to standard pulldowns, encouraging more significant growth and symmetry. The underhand grip also allows for a greater range of motion and increased muscle fiber recruitment, leading to improved overall back strength and stability, essential for maintaining correct posture and spinal health.

Moreover, the underhand lower lat pulldown is beneficial beyond aesthetic enhancement, contributing to functional strength that aids daily activities and performance in various sports. By strengthening the lats, the exercise fortifies actions that involve pulling movements, directly translating to enhanced performance in activities like swimming, rock climbing, and certain martial arts. It also assists in the preventative aspect of fitness by safeguarding the shoulder joints, often vulnerable in athletes and the aging population. The exercise encourages the correct biomechanical movement of the shoulders, helping to maintain joint health and prevent injury. Furthermore, a strong, well-developed back is integral to a balanced physique, preventing the development of muscular imbalances that can occur from focusing excessively on more popular muscle groups like the chest and arms.


Underhand Lower Lat Pulldown Example

Muscle Targets

  • Lats Primary
  • Shoulders Secondary
  • Biceps Secondary

Muscle Anatomy

Front Back
Muscle Click active muscles for description.

Table of Contents