Supinated Lat Pulldown: Benefits and How to Do It Correctly

The pull-ups are a great exercise for strengthening the upper body and building muscle; however, they’re also hard. To the point that many individuals will quit after a few pull-ups is the case; it can seriously derail your motivation in a workout.

It’s a good thing that this is when the supinated lat pulldown really comes to its full potential. It’s a similar move as the pull-up, requiring your upper and middle back muscles, arms, grip, and shoulders; however, you are in control over the weight you can lift and slow the speed to allow you to build muscle quickly.

As the name suggests, it targets the latissimus Dorsi – the large and flat muscles in your mid-back. Latissimus dorsi means “broadest in the back” and highlights the effectiveness of this exercise in giving the back a firm. A well-built back is essential for a healthy chest, which means the more you focus on the supinated lat pulldown, the more prepared you’ll be to take on your exercise bench.

It’s actually one of the most poorly executed exercises at the fitness studio. It’s common to see people leaning forward and pulling the bar toward their chests by using their bodyweight to begin the move. This isn’t just a sign that the lats don’t work effectively, but they’ll put additional strain on their lower back and pelvis. Your repetitions should be controlled and slow for the best results from this move. Continue reading to know how you can do it correctly.

Supinated Lat Pulldown: Working Muscles

Supinated Lat Pulldown Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

As you might have guessed, supinated lat pulldown concentrates on the lats. The origin is in the lower-mid back and lower-mid back; the Dorsimus latissimus holds the title of the largest muscle in the back.

Your lats play an important part in most “pulling” exercises like the pulldowns and pull-ups and various other exercises for rowing.

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Secondary Muscle Groups

The supinated lat pulldown integrates the abs, biceps, shoulders, the upper back. While your back will perform most of the work to reduce the weight, the biceps are also fully contracted.

Additionally, your abs will be activated to help stabilize your movement.

Supinated Lat Pulldown: Benefits

Supinated Lat Pulldown Benefits

#1 Stronger Lats

Compared to the conventional pulling down of the lats, the supinated lat pulldown does a superior job of strengthening your lats. Supinated grip lets you push the weight lower than you would normally do with the grip of an upper hand.

This means that you increase the contracting of your lats near the lower end of each rep which aids in building a stronger, more dense back. A solid back is vital to improve your performance in sports and other compound lifting exercises and everyday routines.

#2 Improved Posture

Sitting for long periods in chairs, whether at work or driving, may cause a lack of use of your lats and back muscles. This could cause slouching, tension, and pain in your back and shoulders.

The supinated lat pulldown will help activate these muscles that aren’t used as much and help reduce back pain and discomfort. Through regular exercise, you’ll be standing up with a proper posture within minutes.

#3 Improved Confidence

Although your lats are responsible for most of the lifts, the supinated lat pulldown also works your biceps. This allows you to lift more weight, improve your self-confidence, and increase your back strain.

This is an ideal method of preparing your body to perform pull-ups and chin-ups. It’s still essential to take yourself to your limits and ensure you’re using the correct form so that you don’t risk injury!

Supinated Lat Pulldown: Instructions


You’ll require an electric cable and straight bar or an attachment for a lat bar to perform this exercise.


  • Sit on the bench and face the machine.
  • Extend your arms upwards and grasp the bar with your palms. The hands must be about two inches apart.


  1. Leaning slightly back, hold your core, bring your shoulders back and back, and pull the bar until it reaches the upper part of your ribcage.
  2. Pause briefly at the bottom, squeeze your lats, and slowly return to your starting position.
  3. Keep your core tight in your core, and repeat!


The goal is to complete 3- 4 sets with 10-12 reps for the supinated lat pulldown. As you gain confidence in the technique, you are free to vary the rep range and sets to push yourself.

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Supinated Lat Pulldown: Mistakes

Supinated Lat Pulldown Mistakes

#1 Learning Too Many Years Back

Many lifters lean back too much during the pulldown of the lat. This is like an inverted row that targets the rhomboids on your back. As we hit our rhomboids during the pulldown with the lower lat, however, the lats should be our primary focus!

Try to lean slightly to fix this error and then lift the body with proper form.

#2 Utilizing Your Arms Too Much

A common error to avoid during the supinated lat pulldown is using only your biceps to pull your weight downwards. The supinated lat pulldown turns into a bicep curl. This significantly reduces the strain on your back.

Instead, you can try to bring the weight back down using only assistance with your arms.

#3 Utilizing Momentum To Pull Down

When lifters use the force of their body to help bring their weight back down, they’re almost always lifting excessive weight. In the process, they swing their upper bodies in a circle to make up for the weight. However, it’s not helping you gain strength in your back.

If you’ve made this error If you make this mistake, try lowering the weight while keeping your back in a relatively stable position in the supinated lat pulldown.

Supinated Lat Pulldown: Variations

#1 Resistance Band Lat Pulldown (Overhand Grip)

To perform a home-based back exercise, hook your resistance band to an elevated doorframe or hook and lie down or kneel on the floor. Pull your lats to the side and lower them as low as possible.

Let your arms fully straighten while you let off the tension. Repeat!

#2 Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

The supinated lat pulldown really engages your biceps. The wide grip lat pulldown reduces the strain on your arms and your biceps. To get started, grab the bar using your hands facing away from you and your hands about the width of your shoulders. Then, push the bar downwards until it’s at the top of your chest.

Since your arms will be slouched back with this variant, it is possible to reduce the weight!

#3 Alternating Lat Pulldown (With Handles)

You could also unilaterally train your lats using the alternating lat pulldown. With two handles to pull one down at one time, the alternating lat pulldown is an excellent method to fix muscle imbalances between the two left and right sides in your back.

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Supinated Lat Pulldown: Alternatives

If you liked the supinated lat pulldown, take a look at these back exercises that will help improve the strength of your upper body:

#1 Chin Up

Begin by grasping the bar by placing your palms in front of you. Your hands are spaced shoulder-width apart. Push yourself upwards until your chin is above the bar. Then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat!

#2 Underhand Barbell Row

Make a 90-degree angle, and then grab the barbell using a neutral grip. Press your lats into the barbell to row the barbell toward your belly button each repetition. Repeat!

#3 Close Grip Seated Low Row

Relax on the bench with the back in a straight line and feet set on the pads for your feet. Reach your arms out and grasp the handle. Relax your shoulders, strengthen your abs, then push the handle toward your belly button.

Take a break and then slowly return to the beginning position. Repeat!

Last Words

The supinated lat pulldown is perhaps the most flexible pulldown variant since it does not just focus on your lats. Still, your arms, which includes the triceps muscles. and The chance of injury is minimal compared to the triceps muscles exercises for the shoulder that could harm the shoulder girdle.

When you have the proper form and a consistent routine, supinated lat pulldown can help you improve your posture and address any muscular imbalances in the upper part of your body.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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