Here are 9 of the best exercises for bigger and wider lats. Learn how to get a v-tapered back with this perfect back workout. You’ll find out exactly how to widen your lats with barbells, dumbbells, and cables. These exercises are performed in the gym, but many can also be done at home.
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Your lats form a large fan-shaped muscle that runs along your back in a v shape starting from your lower back all the way to your upper arms. On the way there it also connects to your spine, your pelvis, and your lower ribs. And it’s actually considered the largest muscle group of the back. So lats are very important for shoulder movements, all of your pulling movements, and for supporting good posture. Strengthening and developing your lats won’t only help you lift more weight for all your upper body exercises including even your push movements like the bench press, but developing your lats will also benefit activities like swimming, Shoveling, and throwing. So let’s jump right into the 9 best exercises that you can do to build bigger stronger lats.
Let’s start this with one you probably don’t know and that’s the meadows row. With this one, you’ll set up like a t-bar row by sliding a barbell into a landmine or pinning it against the corner of two walls, and then loading the other end with weight. Stand in a staggered stance and position the front foot of your outside leg a few inches from the bar. Then bend down and grip the barbell with an overhand grip using your hand that’s closest to the barbell. Squeeze your abs, and lift your chest up to prevent your lower back from rounding. Then row the bar by pulling your elbow back towards the ceiling and aim for your lower chest. Squeeze at the top for a second before lowering back down slowly and repeating for reps.
Next is a variation of the lat pulldown that you probably haven’t tried but it’s really good at hitting your lats so make sure you give it a shot. This Single arm kneeling reverse lat pulldown. So to begin bring the pulley up to the top of the cable cross and attach a d handle. Then you’re going to grab the D handle with a pronated or an overhand grip. From there you’re going to kneel down and get on both knees with your arm relaxed straight up above your head. If you’re really tall and the stack of Weights isn’t elevated after you kneel down you’ll end up with Slack in the cable. So to fix this you can slide back a little further away from the cable cross to create space and get rid of the slack but Ideally, you want to do your best to be as close as possible. From their stick, your chest out pack your shoulder blades together, and squeeze your core. Then you’re going to pull the cable down by concentrating on leading with your elbow just like in our other rowing movements. As you’re doing this turn your hand over in the middle of the contraction. So your hands going to go from an overhand grip to an underhand grip. And then complete the movement by squeezing your back and lat at the bottom before repeating for reps. Remember to do both sides for each set.
Another great exercise that’s more so for isolating the lats is the standing cable pullover. Now this won’t completely isolate your lats you will still be using muscles like your triceps, and the back of your shoulder, but it’ll isolate a lot more than something like a lat pulldown. So Here you’ll want to set the pulley on your cable cross nice and high, attach a straight bar, and then take a grip a few inches wider than shoulder-width. You want to keep your arms straight, but not locked out. So maintain a slight bend in your elbows and bend forward to get your hips out of the way so you can create a longer range of motion.
Before beginning take a step back, so that the weight is hovering above the rest of the stack. Then while keeping your shoulder blades back and your arms straight, bring the bar down aiming for the front of your hips. Then control it on the way back up and repeat for reps. I like keeping my hands open throughout this exercise because it helps me take the tension out of my arms and forearms and instead concentrate more on my lats. So you can try that, but there’s also nothing wrong with closing your hands.
Next is one of the most common and effective lat exercises, the regular lat pulldown. The lat pulldown is a great alternative to develop your lats if you can’t perform pullups with your bodyweight yet, and even if you can do pullups, lat pulldowns are still a great addition to your back training routine. To begin, stand in front of the lat pulldown machine and grab a wide overhand grip. You can wrap your thumbs around the bar underneath or overtop, whatever feels best for you. Then take a seat, and slide your thighs under the pads, while your arms stay straight overhead. Arch your back and stick your chest out. Then pull the bar down towards your upper chest.
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