Doing tons of Rows and Chin-ups but still cant grow your back? We got you. Here is the cure for little lats.
From that description of their function it would seem like Chin-ups, Lat Pulldowns, and Rows would be the perfect exercises to build huge Lats. Why the disconnect?
Because we are all built different. We are all built differently. We have different limb lengths, different muscle attachment points, different bone structures, along with other factors. There is even a word for it. Anthropometry.
Anthropometry is defined as: the study of human body measurements especially on a comparative basis.
How does this apply to you? Because we are built different, we build muscle differently. This affects how we are able to feel muscles working, and what exercises we should use or "work" for us.
So if because your individual anthropometric build, the "classic" Lat exercises doesn't work well for you here is your Red Bull antidote.
Activating a muscle before you start lifting heavy is crucial. Many times, we dont have a solid Mind - Muscle Connection when we focus on lifting heavy. So we ned to be able to contract that muscle, activate it without any load first.
Then, and only then should we add weight. And only keep adding weight while still feeling and having full control of the muscle.
The cues that will help in activating and feeling the Lats are simple but effective. Thet are:
1. "Armpit Down"
2. "Elbow Wrap Around"
Once you "find" and feel your Lats It will be helpful to practice activating them through at the day and week even when you are not at the gym or working out.
Its important to pick unilateral or single arm exercises at first. This will allow us to concentrate on the Lats and get a deeper contraction compared to when we use bilateral exercises. Also the "Wrap Around" cue will be much easier to execute one limb at a time. A fixed bar in both hands limits the range of motion and intent.
Here are the exercises you should use to get the most out of your Lats:
1. Single Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Row
2. Single Arm Cable Row
3. Single Arm Cable Pullover
With these exercises dont worry about Sets and Reps just yet. For the first 2 - 4 weeks just focus on the feel. your going for practice practice practice. In general just focus on light weight and high reps like 15-25+ per exercise per side. When you can confidently and consistently activate your Lats at will and during an exercise with load then you can move to programming these exercise with progressive overload.
Well that's it. Its really pretty simple once you know what to do. Remember, Down & Around. Those are your cues. Stick to single arm exercises. Go for high reps and just focus on feeling the muscle after you activate it.
Now go out there and fly with your new Wings!