The Latissimus dorsi muscle is one that is often neglected by bodybuilders in favor of more obvious choices such as the biceps. As such, trying to workout the lats can be very challenging after doing so many bicep workouts. Therefore, it's going to take tons of practice and muscle memory in order to master these lat workouts. Of course following a proper diet, such as IIFYM is key to seeing results to your workouts..
- Leverage ISO Row
With this workout exercise, one can either target the lats or middle back. Doing this exercise with elbows locked in toward the body will workout the lat area more, whereas performing this exercise with the elbows out will work the middle back. A combination of both routines is best because it provides even muscle growth.
- Wide Grip Lat Pull Down
When one does pull ups, they should never be able to pull the bar down to their bellybutton. If they are able to, then they are doing it wrong. Ideally, one should not pull the bar any lower than their chin. To correct this, simply hold the bar with a wide grip. Doing this will dramatically increase lat workout.
- Underhand Cable Pulldown
While doing this exercise, one grips the pull bar like they normally would. Naturally, one will want to begin with fully extended arms in order to allow a full range of motion. The main difference with this exercise is that one uses their back muscles to do the exercise rather than their biceps. This is not in any way a curl.
- Straight Arm Pull Down
This range of movement primarily works out the deltoids and pectoralis major, but mainly the dorsi. It's recommend to do this exercise after row and pull down sessions. The idea here is to workout the lats without flexing the elbows. Flexing the elbows defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. To most effective way to prevent the elbows from flexing is to hold the handle bar with the hands facing on top, or down.
- V-Bar Pulldown
The V-Bar Pull rotates the shoulders during extension. Again, one must not use their biceps to do the work. Otherwise, their lats will see little to no workout. This is the mistake that many make while doing the V-Bar pull.
- Close-Grip Front Lat Pull Down
The front lat pull down requires one to place a moderately close grip on the bar. The second, and most important, thing they do next is lean their back backwards. This leaning will ensure a full workout of the back muscles, or lats. By the time the bar is pulled down, one should find their elbows right next to their body. If the elbows are any distance from one's body, they are doing it wrong and need to close their grip.
- V-Bar Pull Up
The V-Bar pull up is basically a fancy name for a very close-grip pull up. Even though it's so much easier to just use the biceps, one must focus on using only their back muscles. This can be quite a challenge for those who do this the first time.
- Rocky Pull Up
First off, the Rocky pull up is definitely not for those who have shoulder problems or tightness around the spine. This movement requires a whole lot of mobility. As a result, it's one of the most effective lat building exercises. When doing the exercise, one holds onto a stationary bar with an extended, wide grip. The important part is to pull the body up while retaining a slanted, forward position.
- Chin Up
Chin ups actually turn out to be a great way of building muscle in the lat area, but only if it's done right. Again, one should only use their back muscles while doing the exercise. Another important thing is to allow a dead hang between reps. This will allow a necessary full range of motion.
Of course the best thing you can do to make your lats appear bigger is by losing weight. Slimming down your waist results in your shoulders and lats looking bigger, so if you want the illusion of a huge back losing weight is always a way to go. Just take a look at athletes like Dan Bailey, their small waists make the rest of their bodies look huge.
About the Author
Ryan Blair is a freelance writer who has spent 12 years in the fitness industry doing just about everything including personal training for 6 years. He now spends his time combining his love of writing with his experience in fitness. If you want to contact him you can do so at: