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In my last post I talked about new advanced workout ideas that you could incorporate into your current routines to “spice things up a bit”. Today I want to add a few more workouts to your arsenal…only this time I am going to focus on what seems to be a more difficult muscle to reach, the lattimus dorsi. I am going to go over a few back workouts you make already be performing, however, I am going to show you how to turn these into lower lat exercises so that you can really target those wings for a wider physique.
Lattimus Dorsi Function
Before we get into these lower lat exercises, let me explain briefly the function of the lats. Both sections of the lats converge onto the same tendon that attaches to the upper arm bone and causes it to pull the arm down toward the ribs.
By knowing the function of the muscle, we now know the proper way to target it for optimal growth. So here are 4 lower lat exercises that you can start doing for a more muscular back.
Underhand Bent over Rows: This is a big heavy compound movement that most people perform to train their mid back. This is done by keeping an overhand grip on the bar and rowing it toward the mid chest. However, if you want to use the same big compound lift to target the lats, all you have to do is switch your hand placement to an underhand grip, tuck your elbows close to your body and row the bar to your lower chest. Once you are at the top of the movement, make sure to squeeze those lats for a good contraction as well as control the weight on the negative for longer time under tension.
Reverse Grip Lat Pull-down: Although the traditional wide grip pull -downs may be one of the best back workouts for mass, some people have a hard time engaging the target muscle. This is mainly due to 1 of 2 things. Either the person is lifting much too heavy to keep the muscle engaged without using too much of the secondary muscles or the person Is simply initiating with their biceps as oppose to their lats. Now to avoid these two common mistakes, I find the reverse grip lat pull down to be very effective for initiating with the target muscle as well as getting a better contraction. In the workout you will simply grip the bar underhand about shoulder width apart. Then simply pull the weight down (initiating with the lats) and keeping your elbows close to your body. Your goal here should be to bring your elbows down as far behind your ribs as possible.
Seated Cable Rows: Here is another great example of an exercise that is great for the lats if done correctly. Most people in the gym (maybe intentionally) stack the weight, keep their elbows flared, and rock back and forth with the weight. If you want to target the lower lats for optimal muscle fiber recruitment and size, keep your spine and legs at a 90 degree angle, tuck your elbows to your sides, and row the weight using the lats. At the top of the movement, try to squeeze your back almost as if you were trying to touch your elbows together behind you. Your back should stay in the same position the entire time without rocking back and forth.
Straight Arm Lat Pulls: This is one of the more rare exercises but it is my favorite by far. The burn that I get from sets of these are second to none. Here is a video demonstration for a better idea on how to perform this workout.
There you have it, the best techniques for targeting the lower lats and training your back with purpose. Stop going into the gym on “back day” and just performing random back workouts in hopes to achieve your ideal physique. I hope you all enjoyed my post and if you learned anything new, make sure to click the “like” button below!