Written by Tom Prentice
Perfect Your Physique
The latissimus dorsi is the broadest muscle of the back, and commonly referred to as ‘the lats’. The lats are a fundamental body part if you’re wishing to create a perfect physique. To get thickness to your lats it’s important to follow this workout if you’re looking to improve the size and strength of your lats.
#1 The First exercise is going to be the wide grip pull, for his exercise it is important that you pull through the elbows and you do not activate the biceps, get a nice squeeze at the top of the movement and slowly lower yourself down. This exercise is a great warm up for the rest of your workout, adding no additional weights. Once training with your body weight becomes easy, add additional weights using a belt, this will therefore mean you’re lifting more weight, which equals more gains. The rep range should be around 8-10 and 3 sets.
#2 The second exercise that is crucial for adding some serious mass onto the lats is the single arm dumbbell row, this exercise really targets the lats and allows a really good squeeze. The rep range for this should be around 6-8 with 3 or 4 sets with a relatively heavy weight. Make sure that the form is good, keep a straight back head in a neutral position and bring the dumbbell towards your lower chest.
#3 The third exercise for a mass builder is the well known lat pull down, probably one of the best exercises to make the lats grow. A little tip is to pull down with the elbows exactly like the pull up, by doing this it takes out the bicep and allows more focus on the agonist muscle which is the latissimus dorsi. The rep range for this should be around 8-10 reps for about 3 or 4 sets.
#4 The fourth exercise will be a seated row single arm, it’s very similar to a dumbbell row however this is seated and can target a different part of the lat, you can either do a hammer grip or an overhand grip. You can use both grips during the set for example, do alternate grips for 4 sets and 8-10 reps, by doing it this way you can hit different areas of the lat whilst completing the same movement.
#5 The final exercise is a reverse grip lat pull down, this exercise is perfect to finish your lat workout. It produces a really good squeeze on the lats and it allows you to retract your elbows further. Use a drop set for this last exercise, start heavy for the first set and decrease the weight after each set each set drop the weight until you’re hitting 4 reps. Start the set with 10 reps and drop the weight 5kg and hit 8 reps then another 5kg and then 6 reps, go all the way down to 4 reps, repeat this drop set 3 times and then that is the session complete.
The Take Home Message
Always make sure that you’re using the correct form and that you’re squeezing the lats at the top of the motion and get a full stretch, so a full range of motion is needed. Try to take out the use of another muscles that could be used to help complete the movement the more mind to muscle the more growth there will be in the lats.
These exercises if done correctly with the correct weight will increase the size of the lats in no time. The good thing about these exercises is that it allows you to use heavier weights which in turn will allow more growth. Heavy weights equal more muscle. But form is everything, no point doing the exercise if your form is off.