5 Best Lat Exercises to Build a Stronger, Broader Back


On the hunt for a V-shaped torso? You’re in all probability already specializing in constructing your chest and shoulders. Makes sense — they’re the muscle tissue you see within the mirror on daily basis. But don’t ignore the chiseled rear view that lat workouts can construct.

Your latissimus dorsi (aka “the lats”) are the broadest again muscle tissue (you might have one on both aspect of your backbone), and concentrating on them may also help provide you with a broad-shouldered, slim-waisted, health mannequin physique.

Even if bodybuilder aesthetics aren’t your precedence, it’s nonetheless price your time to include lat workouts into your exercises.

“Strong lats are essential to having a strong core, which is critical to maintaining good posture, lowering your risk of back pain, enhancing athletic performance, and increasing total-body strength, power, and stability,” explains Trevor Thieme, CSCS.

The following strikes are a few of the finest lat workouts you’ll be able to carry out. While they aren’t your solely choices for concentrating on your lats and sculpting a V-shaped higher physique, none do it extra successfully.

Man Does Inverted Row | Lat Exercises

  • Secure a bar in a Smith machine or energy rack at waist top, and lie on the ground beneath it.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip that’s barely wider than shoulder width, and grasp together with your arms totally prolonged and your physique straight from head to heels. Your shoulders needs to be straight beneath your fingers, and your ft needs to be hip-width aside. This is the beginning place.
  • Keeping your core engaged, pull your chest to the bar.
  • Pause, after which slowly decrease your self again to the beginning place.

2. Pull-Up

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip that’s barely wider than shoulder width, and grasp at arm’s size (a place generally known as a lifeless grasp).
  • Keeping your core and glutes engaged and elbows near your sides, pull your chest to the bar, in order that at the least your chin clears it.
  • Pause, after which slowly decrease your self again to a lifeless grasp.

3. Lat Pull-Down

Man Does Lat Pull Downs | Lat Exercises

  • Sit at a lat pull-down station and seize the bar with an overhand grip that’s barely wider than shoulder width. Your arms and torso needs to be straight. This is the beginning place.
  • Keeping your again flat and core engaged, squeeze your shoulder blades collectively as you convey the bar to your chest.
  • Pause, after which return to the beginning place.

  • Grab a dumbbell, and lie together with your again flat on a bench.
  • With your ft firmly on the bottom and your core engaged, lengthen your arms towards the ceiling, cupping one finish of the dumbbell in each fingers above your chest.
  • Keeping your arms straight and low again pressed into the bench, slowly decrease the dumbbell behind your head till your biceps are subsequent to your ears.
  • Pause, after which return to the beginning place.

  • Stand together with your ft hip-width aside, holding a dumbbell in every hand by your sides.
  • Engage your core, push your hips again, and hinge ahead at your waist till your torso is nearly parallel with the ground. Let your arms grasp straight down, palms dealing with one another. This is the beginning place.
  • Keeping your again flat, knees barely bent, core engaged, and elbows tucked, pull the weights to your sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades collectively.
  • Pause, after which slowly return to the beginning place.

Lat Exercise Tips

  • You’ll want entry to primary fitness center tools for many of those workouts, however some may be tailored to tools you may need at residence. For instance, you should use a resistance band rather than dumbbells for the bent-over row and rather than a cable machine for the lat pull-down (you’ll want a door attachment for the latter train).
  • For loaded workouts (e.g., these requiring weight), at all times select a weight that challenges you to finish your entire reps with good type.
  • If you discover the pull-up too difficult, Thieme recommends utilizing a resistance band for help, or specializing in different lat workouts till you’ve constructed sufficient energy to finish at the least 5 reps with good type.
  • To obtain optimum outcomes and permit your muscle tissue time to get better between exercises, goal your lats two to 3 instances per week on nonconsecutive days.
  • Before your working units, do a number of lat-focused warm-up units with mild weight to prime your muscle tissue for motion.

Lats Anatomy and Function

Anatomic Graphic of Lat Muscle | Lat Exercises

The latissimus dorsi are a pair of enormous, fan-shaped muscle tissue that flank your again on both aspect of your backbone. They have a number of factors of origin — the thoracic and lumbar vertebra, the sacrum, the decrease ribs, and the hip — and insert on the again of every humerus (higher arm).

The latissimus dorsi perform to maneuver your arms in three alternative ways:

  1. Draw them towards your physique’s midline (adduction), equivalent to when performing a pull-up or row.
  2. Extend your arms (consider them swinging backward while you stroll).
  3. Rotate your arms inward on the shoulder.


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