The underhand Yates row is an effective compound exercise for building muscle and strength in the upper posterior chain of muscles (Lats, traps, rhomboids, and spinal erectors). Now, the underhand grip variation is what makes this exercise unique because by using this grip, you can feel the spinal erectors being engaged more, and the position of the barbell is slightly different during the exercise.
But if you’re a beginner you can also use a smith machine for a more locked in a position which requires less stabilization to perform the exercise. This will allow you to get a feel for the exercise and get stronger so you can use a free weight barbell.
So, if you want to change up your back workout a bit and get more results, then try out the underhand Yates row.
In This Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: All back muscles (Latissiumus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Traps, Erector Spinae)
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Barbell
- Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
- Place a loaded barbell on the floor or on a rack low enough to where you can pick it up comfortably.
- Then, bend down and grab the barbell with an underhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart.
- Now, lift the barbell but keep your torso slightly bent over and knees slightly bent.
- Then, pull the barbell up to the bottom of your ribcage. Keep your elbows tucked in. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Hold for 2 seconds.
- Lower the barbell back down until your arms are extended but don’t lock out your elbows. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- You can also do the underhand Yates row on a Smith machine for more stabilization during the exercise.
- Always keep your elbows slightly bent during the exercise to protect your elbows and biceps.
- Start out light and practice good form before increasing the resistance.
- Your core is used to stabilize your body during the underhand Yates row.
- The underhand Yates row works all back muscles but the biceps also receive stimulation as a secondary mover during the movement.