Named after 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, the smith machine underhand Yates row is a game changer. Typically when performing a row, an overhand grip is used and it’s a great exercise, but using an underhand grip just feels so different. We’ll explain why… an overhand grip tends to place more emphasis on the upper back and traps; while an underhand grip seems to target the mid/lower back and lats a little more.
There’s just something about shortening up your range of movement with an underhand grip and feeling the lats really engage. The smith machine underhand Yates row is a phenomenal exercise which needs more attention because it’s very effective and just feels so right!
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: All upper posterior chain muscles (Upper and Middle Trapezius, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Smith Machine and weights
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Set the smith machine bar to where you can grab it and your arms are slightly bent.
- Grab the bar with an underhand grip about shoulder width or slightly wider with knees slightly bent and keep your core tight.
- Then position your lower thighs to where they are touching the bar (Beneath the bar).
- Now keep your back straight and slightly bent over so you’re just leaning over the bar.
- Exhale and pull the bar toward your hips just beneath your ribcage or belly button.
- Inhale and slowly lower down and don’t lock out the bottom.
- Repeat for the remaining repetitions.
Variations & Tips
- You can perform the movement with an overhand grip if it’s more comfortable for you.
- Always keep your back straight and knees slightly bent.
- Your core should remain tight throughout the entire set.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Adjust your grip length to where comfortable if necessary.
- The underhand grip row creates a shorter range of motion which is good for increased weight and reps.
Watch: How to do the smith machine underhand Yates row
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