14 Greatest Latissimus Dorsi Workouts To Construct Spectacular Wings

You may not consider the lats as a mirror muscle as they’re in your again. Nevertheless, if in case you have a pleasant set of wings, you possibly can see the lats from all angles. In any case, it’s the most important and broadest muscle of your higher physique.

And whereas a large set of lats is spectacular trying, the muscle additionally performs a serious function in health and athletic efficiency. So, for sure, for each aesthetics and efficiency causes, it’s necessary that you simply give your lats the eye they deserve.

And that is the place we are available in.

On this article, we have now compiled the 14 very best lat workouts for you (plus body weight lat workouts you are able to do at residence). Furthermore, we’re going to clarify actually every part that you should learn about growing your lats to their fullest potential.

Desk of Contents:

  • What Is The Latissimus Dorsi?
  • Anatomy Of The Latissimus Dorsi Muscle groups
  • 14 Greatest Workouts To Strengthen Latissimus Dorsi
  • Programming Ideas For Lat Muscle groups
  • Greatest Lats Exercise
  • Greatest Workouts For Latissimus Dorsi With out Tools
  • Learn how to Progressive Overload Workouts For Latissimus Dorsi At Dwelling
  • Advantages of Performing Workouts For Your Latissimus Dorsi
  • Why Your Lats Could Be Weak
  • FAQs

exercises for lats

What’s the latissimus dorsi? 

Your latissimus dorsi, extra generally known as the lats, is an enormous, flat, triangularly-shaped muscle that covers the width of your center and decrease again. You, after all, have two lats, one on either side of your backbone.

The phrase “latissimus dorsi” comes from Latin, with ‘latissimus’ that means ‘broadest’ and ‘dorsum’ that means ‘again’. The title completely describes the muscle. 

It’s the largest and broadest muscle of your again. The truth is, it’s the biggest muscle in your complete higher physique. When folks say “construct again width”, they’re referring to the lats. If developed sufficient, you’ll have that superior aesthetic v-taper.

Anatomy of the latissimus dorsi

The latissimus dorsi arises from the backbone (T7 all the best way all the way down to the L5 vertebrae), thoracolumbar fascia and decrease a part of the scapula and inserts into the humerus (higher arm bone) beneath the bicep.

You possibly can really feel your lats by merely operating your hand alongside your posterior facet from below your shoulder all the best way all the way down to your decrease again. Solely a small a part of the lat is roofed (by your decrease traps) proper within the center-middle a part of your again. 

list of lat exercises

Operate of the latissimus dorsi

The principle perform of the latissimus dorsi is adduction, horizontal abduction, and extension, in addition to inside rotation of the shoulder joint. It performs these actions in collaboration with the teres main and pectoralis main. 

  • Adduction: Reducing your arm towards your physique from the facet (i.e. broad grip pull ups)
  • Horizontal Abduction: Shifting your arms out to the facet (i.e. rows)
  • Extension: Reducing your arm straight down from a raised place (i.e. lat pushdowns or swimming)
  • Inner Rotation: Bringing your arm in direction of the midline of your physique (i.e. arm wrestling)

It’s an excellent sturdy muscle that facilitates actions of the arm when your torso is fastened and vice versa. The lats additionally help in maintaining your scapula in opposition to your thorax throughout higher arm actions, in addition to different stability roles on your backbone. 

It ought to be famous that almost all actions powered by the latissimus dorsi additionally concurrently recruit the teres main, posterior deltoids, lengthy head of the triceps brachii, and different shoulder and scapular stabilizer muscular tissues.

Furthermore, most compound actions of the lats contain elbow flexion, which implies the biceps and forearms might be concerned (which is why again and biceps are so usually labored on the identical day by bodybuilders). As such, there is no such thing as a technique to fully isolate the lats. 

Higher, Center, Decrease Lats:

Whereas the latissimus dorsi is a single muscle and your complete latissimus dorsi prompts for all the aforementioned features, sure actions alter which area of the muscle is on the best benefit (and thus activated probably the most). For this reason the lats are sometimes damaged down into three elements in health, the higher, center and decrease lats. 

  • The higher lats are at a biomechanical benefit throughout motion that contain shoulder adduction.
  • The center lats are at a biomechanical benefit throughout actions that contain horizontal abduction of the shoulder.
  • The decrease lats are at a biomechanical benefit throughout actions that contain shoulder extension. 

For this reason quite a lot of workouts primarily based on every of some of these actions is necessary for full and equal growth of your lats as an entire.

All in all, your lats are a really massive and robust muscle that’s concerned in just about each compound motion of your higher physique, whether or not that be as a main mover or stabilizer. The lats play a task in each pulling train (to a point, usually a excessive diploma) and even pushing workouts.


There’s an limitless assortment of strikes you are able to do to construct your again and lats. However, these workouts are the best possible latissimus dorsi strengthening workouts. 

We are going to categorize the workouts by vertical pulls, horizontal pulls, and shoulder extension workouts, whereas making observe of the emphasised area of your lat (higher, center or decrease) the place vital.

As not everybody has entry to the identical tools, for sure workouts, we are going to present different examples utilizing completely different tools. 

Word: We may even spotlight the perfect lat workouts for residence (with out tools). So, if you wish to construct your lats purely with body weight workouts, skip by these 14 latissimus dorsi fitness center workouts. 


Vertical pulls contain pulling a weight down vertically in relation to your torso.

The three essential sorts of vertical pulls are pull ups, chin ups, and lat pulldowns. All vertical pulls emphasize the lats, which is why we’re beginning right here.

Whereas vertical pulls are categorized by pull ups, chin ups, and pulldowns, completely different grips and tools can be utilized, which is why we have now extra than simply 3 workouts. And as we talked about, grip makes an enormous distinction, so this isn’t simply redundancy. 

1. Vast Grip Pull Up: 

best pull ups for lats

The broad grip overhand pull up is the toughest pull up variation you are able to do. Furthermore, it hones in very nicely on the lats.

Basically, the broader your grip, the much less assist your lats get assist from different muscular tissues, together with your biceps and forearms. It’s about as remoted as a lat train goes to get.

When it comes to the lat itself, as a result of the actions main motion is shoulder adduction, the higher area of the lats might be activated most.

Kind Ideas:

  • Don’t go too broad, your arms ought to make a Y from the beginning, hanging place. And if that is too onerous, deliver your arms in nearer, you’ll nonetheless get nice lat activation.
  • Make sure to preserve your core engaged. Glutes too!
  • From a useless grasp, draw you scapula down and collectively, which is able to elevate your physique barely. THEN, pull your self up by pushing your elbows down towards your physique.
  • Cease when your chin is above the bar and your chest is as near the bar as attainable. Don’t lose your kind on the prime by letting your shoulders spherical ahead.
  • Your head ought to stay straight ahead always.
  • Use a full vary of movement every rep for greatest outcomes and lat growth (go all the best way down and all the best way up!) 

Weighted Pull Ups

lat exercise

When you’ll be able to do 3-4 units for 10-12 reps of broad grip pull ups, it’s time so as to add some weight. Use a dip belt and join a plate (begin gentle) after which carry out as many pull ups as you possibly can (i.e. 6+). Whenever you attain 10-12 reps, up the burden barely and repeat. 

Weighted pull ups is a should if you wish to preserve development rolling. It’s much better than doing numerous reps with simply your body weight.

Associated: Pull Up Options

2. Shut Grip Chin Up:

chin ups for lats

Not like the broad grip pull up, the shut grip chin up is extra of an throughout again train, as many different again muscular tissues, in addition to your arms, are going to have the ability to assist energy the motion.

That stated, we love the shut grip chin up as a result of it’s completely different. With a detailed grip chin up, the motion includes extra shoulder extension, which implies your decrease lats (and mid lats) are going to be activated to a better diploma. 

Kind Ideas:

  • Place your arms about 3-5 inches aside with an underhand grip.
  • Grasp along with your arms absolutely prolonged.
  • Be certain your shoulders are packed down and away out of your ears (always) then pull your self up till your chest touches the bar.
  • Maintain the highest place in case you can for a second, then slowly decrease your self all the way down to a full grasp.
  • Actually really feel your lats squeezing as your pull your self up.

Weighted Chin Ups

latissimus dorsi workout

Similar to pull ups, when you are able to do 10-12 clear, full reps, then you can begin so as to add weight. Attempt to use a weight that brings your all the way down to 5-6 reps then work your approach as much as 10-12 reps earlier than rising the burden extra. The identical kind guidelines apply when weight is added, no cheat reps! 

Associated: Pull Ups vs Chin Ups – Muscle groups Labored

Assisted Pull Ups & Chin Ups

beginner lat exercises

For newbies who can’t do pull ups (or not sufficient for enough quantity), there are two ways in which you are able to do pull ups. You need to use a pull up help machine or bands. Alternatively, you should utilize the useless grasp to construct higher physique power earlier than shifting on to a full-fledged pull up.

With a pull up help machine, check out the burden help you want for 6-12 reps to failure. Then, as you progress, slowly decrease the quantity of help. Finally, you may be able to do body weight pull ups (and chin ups). We advocate doing pull ups and chin ups when you are able to do a minimal of 5 clear reps by yourself. 

lat workout

Pull up help bands work in the identical approach. You can begin with a heavier band or a number of lighter bands after which as you progress both use a lighter band or take away a band. The whole resistance {that a} band has is the overall help you’ll get.

So if a band has round 80lbs of help, it’s primarily taking 80lbs off your body weight. In the event you use two bands directly, mix the overall resistance of each (so in case you are utilizing a light-weight yellow band that has 35lbs of help and a black band with 50lbs of resistance on the similar time, that’s 85lbs of whole help).

Word: Use the identical kind as you’ll with body weight pull ups when doing assisted pull ups! Train your self the right way to transfer accurately proper from the beginning.

Associated: Pull Up Development Plan To Grasp The Pull Up

3. Vast Grip Cable Lat Pulldown:

lat pulldowns

The broad grip lat pulldown is the cable machines model of the broad grip pull up. It really works your arms in the identical approach (shoulder adduction), so the emphasis is in your lats, along with your higher lats receiving the best demand.

Now, you is likely to be questioning, why do pulldowns in case you are doing pull ups already. Effectively, there are a number of the explanation why the cable pulldown is nice along with pull ups.

First, the pulldown lets you improve the quantity (bear in mind, your lats want excessive quantity for greatest growth potential). Typically occasions, you possibly can’t do any extra pull ups however your lats are but to be absolutely exhausted by this aircraft of movement.

Second, the lat pulldown makes honing in in your lats (mind-muscle connection) simpler, so you possibly can stretch and squeeze them as a lot as attainable.

Lastly, pulldowns are a great choice for newbies who’ve hassle with pull ups, as you possibly can management the burden. 

Kind Ideas:

  • Like a pull up, you need to preserve your torso as upright as attainable.
  • Your arms ought to make a Y from the beginning place.
  • Your arms ought to be prolonged from the beginning place, so decrease the seat if wanted. You need to really feel a stretch in your lats on the backside.
  • Begin the motion by bringing your shoulder blades down and collectively, then push your elbows all the way down to your facet as you pulldown on the bar.
  • Preserve your core proper and head straight ahead all through the train.
  • Transfer slowly on the eccentric part (the upward movement).

Associated: Lat Pulldown Options

4. Shut Grip V-Deal with Lat Pulldown:

latissimus dorsi exercise

The shut grip lat pull down with a v-handle places your arms in a impartial grip and lets you preserve your elbows tucked, which implies the motion includes a excessive diploma of shoulder extension. With that, your decrease lats are going to be at a larger benefit.

What’s extra, with this variation, you have to be leaning again as you pull down. This lets you use extra weight, and in addition brings your center delts into play to a better diploma, making it a extra whole lat motion.

The shut grip lat pulldown incorporates extra muscular tissues, so it’ll assist you to use a heavier load, along with the leaning movement of your torso. Moreover, evaluating to the normal lat pulldown, you’ll have a significantly larger vary of movement with this train.

With that, it’s an incredible train for constructing STRONGER extra cellular lats, not simply greater lats.

Kind Ideas:

  • Use a v-bar deal with.
  • Begin along with your arms absolutely prolonged and your torso upright.
  • Brace your core and preserve your head straight.
  • Pulldown utilizing your lats at the beginning. Preserve your focus in your lats.
  • As you pulldown, lean again barely. Your physique ought to make a 30-45˚ angle from the beginning upright place.
  • Transfer very slowly on the eccentric part to actually maximize the effectiveness of this train and the stress in your lats. 

Shut Underhand Grip Pulldown

lat exercise list

You may also get an identical impact through the use of a detailed underhand grip with the straight pulldown bar.

Plate Loaded Pulldown 

pulldown variations for lats

You probably have a plate loaded excessive row machine, you can even change issues up and use it moderately than the cable pulldown on sure days.

Some, just like the one pictured, will enable for various angles too, enabling you to emphasize completely different areas of your lats. This one is form of like a mixture between a pulldown and a row.

5. Cable Crossover Lat Pulldown:

latissimus dorsi exercise list

Whether or not you don’t have entry to a lat pulldown machine otherwise you merely need to change issues up, the cable crossover machine lat pulldown is an superior variation to hone in in your lats. 

The largest distinction with this variation is your grip place. Your arms are going to be very broad and your arms might be in a impartial place. This makes it actually nice on your higher lats (shoulder adduction) and teres main. To not point out your decrease trapezius.

One other cool factor about this train is how nicely you possibly can squeeze and stretch your lats. You possibly can actually optimize pressure with this one.

Kind Ideas:

  • Arrange the cable crossover machine at an applicable peak in order that your arms are absolutely prolonged and you’ve got a stretch in your lats when within the tall-kneeling place. Use stirrup handles.
  • From the tall kneeling place along with your arms absolutely prolonged in a impartial grip, brace your core and preserve the tall-kneeling place fastened, then pull your elbows down and in towards your physique utilizing your lats to energy the motion. Squeeze on the backside the perfect you possibly can to maximise contraction pressure.
  • Transfer slowly on the eccentric part till your arms are absolutely prolonged and you’ve got a stretch in your lats. This can assist you to maximize stretching pressure. 

6. Single Arm Cable Crossover Lat Pulldown:

lat exercises with cables

The ultimate lat pulldown on our record is the one arm lat pulldown utilizing a cable crossover machine. For this one, you might be positioning your physique so your working facet’s shoulder is consistent with the pulley. This can make the motion primarily based on shoulder extension, and thus work your decrease lats extra. 

Another excuse this train is sweet is you can give attention to only one facet at a time, which may help you iron out muscle imbalances and asymmetries. Furthermore, you possibly can maximize vary of movement with this one.

Word: Being that it is a half-kneeling place, not solely will your again be working, however your glutes will too for stability functions. Half-kneeling is an usually neglected and under-appreciated physique positioning.

Kind Ideas:

  • Place your physique in a half-kneeling stance along with your working facet’s shoulder consistent with the pulley deal with.
  • The deal with ought to be up excessive in order that if you find yourself holding the deal with within the beginning place, your arm is absolutely prolonged and you’ve got a stretch in your lats.
  • Use a impartial grip.
  • Pull your arm straight down, shifting your elbow in a straight path. On the finish vary, your elbow ought to be tucked to your facet.
  • Squeeze your lat on the backside after which slowly return it again to the beginning place along with your arm absolutely prolonged.


Horizontal pulls contain pulling a weight towards your physique.

In different phrases, horizontal pulls are rows. For instance, bent over rows, seated cable rows, t-bar rows and single arm dumbbell rows (aka Kroc rows).

There are numerous several types of rows and tools that can be utilized to carry out rows. Relying on the kind of row and your grip place, you possibly can goal completely different muscular tissues in your again. Clearly, we’re going to give attention to the rows that greatest hit your latissimus dorsi. 

7. Underhand Bent Over Barbell Row: 

barbell lat exercises

The bent over barbell row is the king of rows. It’s the row that lets you raise probably the most weight and is certainly the most suitable choice for constructing critical again and pulling power, in addition to packing on muscle.

With bent over barbell rows, you could have two essential grip variations, underhand and overhand grip. 

Whereas each underhand and overhand bent over rows work your lats, the underhand row is lat centric (center and decrease), whereas the overhand row is extra on your higher again (traps and rhomboids). 

As such, we have now are displaying the underhand bent over row (aka reverse grip bent over row). 

Kind ideas:

  • Put a slight bend in your knee and push your hips again (excessive hip hinge) then lean your torso ahead so your physique is simply above parallel with the ground. Your backbone ought to be straight (no arch in your again).
  • Decide up the barbell utilizing an underhand grip, along with your arms positioned about shoulder width aside (simply exterior of your hips).
  • Whereas sustaining the bent over place, row your arms straight again till your arms are absolutely flexed and the bar touches your abs.
  • Slowly decrease the bar again down till your elbows are in full extension.

Yates Row

The Yates row was created by Dorian Yates, who is thought for having a really spectacular again. It’s a variation of the underhand grip bent over row. Mainly, it’s the similar factor, however you place your physique along with your torso extra upright (about 30˚ downward from the upright place). You’ll nonetheless be pulling the bar towards your abs. 

The advantage of the Yates row is in hits your higher again nicely too and you’ll raise extra weight. Extra weight is all the time ideally suited for constructing general power and muscle in addition to boosting androgenic hormones. This train will instantly translate to larger deadlifts.

Smith Machine Underhand Bent Over Row

smith machine lats

The smith machine is an efficient choice if you wish to give attention to good kind and isolation of the lats when doing bent over rows. 

Dumbbell Underhand Bent Over Row 

dumbbell exercises for lats

You need to use dumbbells for bent over rows as nicely. With dumbbells, every arm might be working independently, which ensures that each side are working evenly. This may help you repair muscle imbalances. Moreover, with dumbbell bent over rows, you possibly can have a larger vary of movement on the concentric part, maximizing the squeeze on the prime of the row. 

Word: You may also use a impartial grip with dumbbells.

EZ Bar Bent Over Row 

bodybuilding lats

The one actual good thing about the EZ bar for bent over rows is it’s a little simpler in your wrists as you possibly can place them in a extra pure approach (barely impartial). 

8. Pendlay Row:

lat strengthening exercises

The Pendlay row was created by Glenn Pendlay, an Olympic weightlifting coach. 

This can be a nice energy and power train for the again muscle, with one of many essential movers being the lats. An enormous distinction between the Pendlay row and the conventional overhand bent over row is that the Pendlay row makes use of a wider grip (so your arms are extra flared and the principle motion is horizontal abduction – center lats).

As well as, you row the barbell as much as your higher abs/decrease chest, moderately than your decrease/center abs, bringing the barbell all the way down to the ground for every rep, and shifting the barbell rapidly and explosively off the ground each time.

Total, it’s a pure again builder, so it’s going to work all of the muscular tissues of your again. It’s nice on your lats an entire, however the emphasis is on the center lats, which is the most important space of your latissimus dorsi. 

Kind Ideas:

  • Get right into a bent over place along with your physique parallel to the ground.
  • Seize the bar with an overhand grip and your arms positioned wider than shoulder width.
  • With the barbell on the ground, row it as much as your higher abs/decrease chest in an explosive method, however preserve good kind.
  • Carry the barbell again as slowly as you possibly can to the ground (useless cease on the ground). 

9. T Bar Row:

how to build bigger lats

The T-bar row with a v-handle is a unprecedented train for constructing a thicker wider again. 

Your physique positioning, grip, and the load positioning is what separates it from the bent over barbell row.

With the t-bar row, you’ll have a larger vary of movement, you should utilize a heavy load, and general it hits your lats a bit otherwise. It’s very efficient at activating the low central area of your lats.

Kind Ideas:

  • Stand over the bar with a large stance. Get right into a bent over place along with your backbone straight and chest up. Your ft ought to be positioned round 8-12 inches behind the plates. You possibly can observe with the bar unloaded or with gentle weight first to get your ft place down.
  • Your arms ought to be absolutely prolonged within the beginning positioning.
  • Contract your glutes and core and pull the burden in direction of your higher stomach. 
  • Squeeze your lats on the prime after which very slowly decrease the bar again down till your arms are absolutely prolonged.

10. Kroc Row:

back width exercise

The Kroc row (aka single arm row) is nice on your complete again (in addition to your grip power), however when it comes to the lats, it does a extremely good job of activating them by a variety of movement. It additionally lets you give attention to one facet at a time with most weight. This can be a nice lat train with dumbbells to construct your wings.

Apart from being a wonderful train on your latissimus dorsi, it’s actually a great general higher physique train. It’s going to work your core considerably by stability, anti-rotation calls for and your biceps and forearms.

Kind Ideas:

  • Place your proper hand and proper knee on the bench with a dumbbell in your left hand (impartial grip) and your left leg consistent with your hips (and knee of the propped leg).
  • Your shoulders ought to be barely larger than your hips. So a couple of 15˚ angle from parallel (for the Kroc row).
  • Together with your left arm absolutely prolonged, pull your elbow again and up till your elbows are absolutely flexed. You need to use momentum with Kroc rows (which permits for heavier weight).
  • Squeeze as greatest your can on the prime, then slowly decrease your arm to full extension.
  • Make sure to preserve your core and hips engaged always to keep away from leaning. Your hips and torso have to be squared ahead all through the train.

11. Seated Underhand Rows: 

seated lat exercises

You are able to do seated underhand rows with both a cable crossover machine or a row machine (some use a cable pulley system, some use plates).

The seated underhand row is rather like the barbell bent over row when it comes to how the lats are focused, however it lets you take your decrease physique and decrease again out of the equation. Thus, it’s extra of a lat isolation row train…or no less than as remoted because it’s going to get. 

Whereas you are able to do overhand and underhand rows on your lats, the underhand grip goes to permit for higher lat activation, however we nonetheless advocate doing each grip variations. 

Kind Ideas:

  • Place your self so your torso is completely upright.
  • When holding the deal with (along with your underhand grip), your arms ought to be absolutely prolonged, so if you should sit again extra, try this.
  • Pull your elbows again so far as you possibly can (your arms ought to be absolutely flexed ultimately vary).
  • Don’t lean your torso backward as you row. The motion is only on the shoulders and arms.
  • Squeeze the heck out of your lats, then slowly return your arms to full extension.

Right here is an instance of one other machine for seated chest supported rows.

exercises for wide back

We advocate lifting the seat so that you’re rowing to your decrease ab stage for greatest activation of the latissimus dorsi muscle.

Associated: Greatest Cable Again Workouts

12. Underhand Inverted Rows:

best bodyweight lat exercise

The inverted row is actually the pull up of rows, albeit it’s simpler than a pull up. As well as, it’s a body weight train, so it’s nice for many who do calisthenics or body weight solely workouts.

However it’s not only for body weight coaching. Even bodybuilders do inverted rows. On the finish of a exercise, repping out on inverted rows may be an effective way to deliver your lats and again to full exhaustion.

And whereas it could look simple, when accomplished correctly, it’s fairly difficult. Try to be utilizing a full vary of movement. Furthermore, issue may be elevated by bringing your ft off the ground onto a bench. 

As for newbies, it is a nice train to construct up rowing power, and it’ll additionally translate to enhancements in your pull up and chin up recreation. 

As for grip, we selected the underhand grip because it higher targets the lats, as you’ve in all probability gathered by now. The advantage of utilizing a smith machine is you can set the bar to completely different heights, permitting you to make the motion simpler or tougher. The nearer your physique is to parallel with the bottom, the tougher will probably be.

Kind Ideas:

  • Get below the bar and use an underhand grip along with your arms about shoulder width aside.
  • Transfer your ft out so your physique is totally straight. Place your ft up on a platform if you wish to improve the problem.
  • Together with your arms absolutely prolonged, retract your shoulder blades then pull your elbows  all the way down to raise your physique towards the bar.
  • Row your physique up all the best way till the bar touches your higher abs/decrease chest.
  • Very slowly decrease your physique again down till your arms are in full extension. 

Word: Whereas this inverted row is demonstrated utilizing a smith machine, which is what most individuals will use in gyms, you are able to do an identical arrange at residence utilizing a few chairs and a beam of some kind positioned on prime of them (we are going to present you what we imply within the residence lat train part quickly to return). 


Whereas rows and pulldowns contain shoulder extension, some extra, some much less, they don’t seem to be purely primarily based on shoulder extension like lat pushdowns and pullovers. 

As such, lat pushdowns and pullovers are important for full growth of the lats. Keep in mind, shoulder extension is without doubt one of the essential obligations of the lats.

That stated, lat pushdowns and pullovers are extra of an adjunct train on again day. They need to be accomplished close to the tip of your exercise (or starting with gentle weight simply to get the blood flowing to your lats).

13. Lat Pushdown:

isolation exercise for lats

The lat pushdown, additionally referred to as a pullover, is the primary lat train up until now that has no elbow motion. Your arms will stay straight for your complete train (a barely bend in your elbow is okay).

This motion is only shoulder extension. It’s primarily a lat isolation train that’s notably good for the decrease central area of your lats.

Kind Ideas:

  • Arrange a cable pulley machine with a straight bar attachment.
  • Carry your arms a bit wider than shoulder width aside.
  • Step a number of ft away from the machine in order that within the beginning positioning along with your arms up, you’re feeling a stretch and pressure in your again/lats.
  • Whereas maintaining your torso agency and your arms fastened, push the bar down towards your hips.
  • Flex your again on the backside onerous then very slowly return your arms to the beginning place.

One other technique to do the cable pushdown is to start out with a slight bend in your knees, your hips again, and your torso leaning barely ahead. Then as you press down, you carry out hip extension (deliver your hips to impartial) whereas urgent your chest up proud and squeezing the heck out of your lats.

Seated Incline Lat Pushdown

isolation lat exercise

That is one other variation of the lat pushdown. This one is value attempting out to see if it does a great job of permitting you to actually focus in your lats. Basically, with the backrest, you may be certain you haven’t any motion at your torso. 

To do that one, place an incline bench in order that it’s dealing with away from the machine. Sit on it, then seize the straight deal with overhead behind you at about shoulder width and pushdown along with your arms fastened as seen within the pic.

14. Lat Pullover:

pullovers for lats

The lat pullover is analogous when it comes to motion sample. It’s also a purely shoulder extension motion. The large benefit of the pullover is you can overload with extra weight through the stretching part of the raise.

That stated, your lats grow to be much less activated as the burden strikes over your head and your chest takes over. So, not like the pushdown, which is a lat isolation train, the pullover is a lat and higher chest train.

As for tools, the dumbbell pullover is the preferred, however we discover the barbell offers higher lat activation as a consequence of grip and hand positioning. You possibly can attempt each to see what works greatest for you. 

Kind Tip:

  • You are able to do this train two methods. One is along with your again absolutely mendacity on the bench and the opposite is along with your again mendacity off the facet of the bench (simply your higher again on the bench). The dumbbell variation beneath reveals the latter.
  • To begin, maintain a barbell or EZ bar with an overhand grip at shoulder width. Then deliver the bar straight again and down. Your arms ought to be straight, with only a slight bend in your elbow.
  • Carry your arms down behind you so far as you possibly can comfortably go. You need to really feel good stretching pressure in your lats.
  • Then, maintaining your arms fastened, pull the bar over till your arms are straight up above your chest. Use your lats to energy the motion as you pull from the underside up.
  • Decrease your arms again slowly and actually really feel the stretching pressure as your arms come down behind you.
  • Once more, preserve your arms in a hard and fast place always. This motion is just shoulder extension/flexion. No elbow motion.

Dumbbell Pullover 

lat movements

The dumbbell pullover with this physique positioning lets you higher goal your lats moderately than your chest. So we advocate positioning your self off the facet of the bench moderately than along with your again absolutely on the again just like the barbell pullover above. 

Programming Ideas For Lat Muscle groups

If you wish to construct your lats quick (or no less than as quick as humanly attainable), there are some things you should take into account:

  • Sort of Train & Selection
  • Quantity
  • Depth
  • Development
  • Food plan 

Let’s go over every of those factors.

1) Sorts of Workouts & Selection: 

There are three essential sorts of workouts for the lats:

  • Vertical Pulls (i.e. pull ups, pulldowns)
  • Horizontal Pulls (i.e. rows)
  • Shoulder Extension Workouts (i.e. pushdowns) 

If you need well-developed lats, you should do all three of some of these actions, as each targets the lat muscle otherwise. What’s extra, you should take into account the best way your arm is shifting, or in different phrases, the motion of your shoulder joint, as that can decide which area of the lat is being labored kind of. 

Shoulder adduction targets the higher lats greatest (i.e. broad grip pull ups), horizontal abduction targets the center lats greatest (i.e. rows), and shoulder extension targets the decrease lats greatest (i.e. pushdowns).

Relying in your grip and angle of your physique, the motion of your shoulder joint can change, which in flip means your again muscular tissues are labored otherwise. Grip positioning performs an necessary function in figuring out which area of the muscle is on the best benefit, to not point out, whether or not the lat is the first focus or not.

For instance, overhand barbell rows will work your center lats extra as a result of it includes extra horizontal abduction along with your arms flared out, whereas reverse grip retains your elbows tucked thus making the motion act extra on shoulder extension. So, with the identical bent over row, you possibly can goal your center or decrease lat extra just by altering the grip. 

The identical is true for vertical pulls. With broad grip pulldowns or pull ups, the motion might be extra shoulder adduction, whereas with a detailed grip, your elbows are tucked and the motion acts on shoulder extension. 

For this reason selection is essential. By altering grip and performing vertical and horizontal pulls in addition to shoulder extension primarily based actions, it is possible for you to to develop your lats as absolutely. 

Now, it ought to be famous that it doesn’t matter what lat train you might be doing, your complete latissimus dorsi might be working. You CANNOT isolate your higher, center, or decrease lats. Once more, it’s simply sure areas might be activated kind of. Sure actions additionally do a greater job of activating the lat as an entire, too.

2) Tools:

Tools performs into selection as nicely, whether or not you simply need to change issues as much as stress your muscular tissues otherwise (i.e. use dumbbells moderately than a barbell to work either side independently and iron out muscle imbalances or do seated rows moderately than bent over rows to take your low again and legs out of the equation a bit) or you simply don’t have entry to sure tools.

All that stated, some tools is healthier than others for growing the lats. Most would say that the barbell is the perfect for rows, with dumbbells being a detailed second, and pull ups being the perfect for vertical actions (weighted pull ups in case you are sturdy sufficient).

It is because they’re the toughest and supply probably the most load potential. Be that as it could, different tools like cable machines most actually have their place, as we are going to clarify once we show all of the completely different variations. 

3) Quantity:

By quantity, we’re referring to rep ranges and whole quantity.

The most effective rep vary for hypertrophy of the lats is 10-15 reps. You possibly can even go larger relying on the train. 

If you wish to focus extra on power, which you must too, decrease reps are additionally good as nicely. The most effective rep vary for power might be someplace within the 6-10 rep vary, give or take.

It’s necessary that you simply practice for each power and hypertrophy. So, combine issues up. Plus, you’ll construct pure dimension in any rep vary, and endurance might be gained within the hypertrophy rep ranges, as will power.

When it comes to whole quantity (weekly units + reps), your lats are a troublesome muscle. Take into consideration how usually you hear somebody inform you they tore a lat. You in all probability by no means heard that. The purpose is, your lats can deal with extra quantity than many different muscular tissues. So, if the optimum coaching quantity for muscle teams is 10-15 units per week, you possibly can up this to 15-20+ units for the lats.

4) Depth:

Quantity doesn’t imply something with out noting depth, and by depth, we imply weight load. 

Earlier than we get into that, it’s necessary to know that the latissimus dorsi has a good ratio of gradual and quick twitch muscle fibers, which implies it’s going to reply greatest to average masses for average to larger reps.

Nevertheless, it’ll do nicely with moderate-heavy masses for average reps as nicely.

So, once more, you have to be coaching with the well-rounded rep scheme we talked about above (6-10 and 10+).

When it comes to weight load, we are able to’t say what might be best for you, however a straightforward technique to know if the burden load is acceptable is to gauge the problem inside that rep vary.

Basically, in case you are working for 10-12 reps, then you definitely need the burden load to deliver you to or close to failure inside that rep vary. In case you are coaching for hypertrophy and you’ll be able to go nicely previous 15 reps, then you should up the burden load. The identical is true for the power rep vary.

It’s actually that easy.

5) Development:

You clearly can’t preserve the identical depth week in and week out. To construct muscle and power, you should progressively make your exercises tougher. This can be sure that your muscular tissues are being overloaded every exercise so they’re pressured to adapt (develop and get stronger).

The best type of development is to extend weight, which we advocate for newbies, however as you get extra superior, you’ll need to mess around with progressive overload strategies. 

Associated: Progressive Overload Information

6) Food plan:

We aren’t going to go too in-depth on this level, however you clearly have to eat sufficient meals if you would like your muscular tissues to develop and if you wish to have sufficient power throughout exercises.

On the subject of build up some massive lats, you should eat A LOT. Try our 7-Day Meal Plan For Muscle Achieve to get began!

7) Thoughts-Muscle Connection: 

Not one of the above about exercising your latissimus dorsi will matter in case you don’t have a great mind-muscle connection along with your lats. You want to have the ability to carry out the workouts with most activation of your lats, and to do this, you want a great mind-muscle connection.

It’s quite a bit tougher with the lats since they aren’t on the entrance of your physique like your chest. So, work on this, and the easiest way to do this is to actually give attention to contraction with gentle weight when first beginning out, after which progressing from there.


This actually depends upon your coaching program. It’s going to be completely different in case you do a physique half cut up evaluating to a full physique cut up or higher decrease cut up.

In the end, the aim is to get round 15+ units in per week. This consists of vertical pulls, horizontal pulls, and pushdowns/pullovers. 

Since lots of people do again days or pull days, right here is an instance of a well-rounded again exercise that has loads of lat quantity.




Weighted Pull Ups



Bent Over Barbell Rows



T-Bar Rows



Lat Pulldowns



Lat Pushdowns



Rear Delt Flys



Not solely will the be an efficient exercise on your lats, however your complete again as nicely. In the event you want a bit further erector work, add in some again extensions on the finish.

In the event you do a full physique routine or an higher decrease routine, simply unfold the quantity out appropriately all through the week. 

Listed below are the 5 greatest coaching splits (with full routines), every of which is able to guarantee you might be getting sufficient work in on your lats.

best latissimus dorsi exercises


Whether or not you don’t have entry to tools otherwise you merely want body weight coaching at residence, the beneath workouts are your best choice for growing and strengthening your latissimus dorsi muscle.

1) Pull Ups & Chin Ups: 

lat exercises at home

We’ve already mentioned the advantages of pull ups and chin ups, so you possibly can scroll as much as study why you must do them and the right way to do them. 

As you progress, weighted pull ups and chin ups are a should. 

2) Inverted Rows:

at home lat exercises

We’ve additionally already lined inverted rows, however we used a smith machine above. You don’t really need a smith machine to do inverted rows (though it’s arguably the most suitable choice as a consequence of your skill to alter the peak of the bar simply).

There are numerous methods you are able to do inverted rows, from below a desk to a arrange with chairs as seen within the pic above. Work out a great set-up and get them accomplished. That is going to be the perfect body weight row you possibly can probably do.

Word: You probably have a suspension coach, you should utilize it for rows as nicely. These are very efficient.

suspension trainer lats

3) Towel Rows:

latissimus dorsi at home

Get a towel and anchor it to one thing at about chest peak and carry out rows! It’s primarily like an inverted row however from a standing place (it’s simpler, however in case you use excessive reps and quantity, squeeze the heck out of your lats, and work on full vary of movement, it may be efficient on your lats).

You possibly can improve the problem with one arm towel rows too! Alternatively, to lower the problem, use simply your arms moderately than a towel. The towel will increase stability, vary of movement, and grip demand, so it’s tougher. 

4) Resistance Band Lat Workouts: 

With resistance bands, you possibly can mimic all the free weight workouts above.

For instance…

Bent Over Rows

bodyweight workout lats

Single Arm Rows

at home latissimus dorsi exercises


no pull up lat exercises

Pushdowns, and extra… 

We received’t go in-depth on resistance band lat workouts as we’ve lined this in one other publish.

Associated: Resistance Band Row & Pulldown Variations

Progressive overload with body weight lat workouts

With free weights and different tools, you possibly can progressive overload by rising weight load. With physique weight, the one approach to do that is through the use of an exterior load of some kind like a weighted backpack or resistance bands.

Nevertheless, you can even use different development strategies to extend depth…

You possibly can improve reps and quantity, lower relaxation time, decelerate your tempo, pace up your tempo, and do tougher body weight workouts. Mess around with these variables and it is possible for you to to maintain making your exercises tougher, thus overloading your muscular tissues to pressure them to proceed adapting.

It received’t be as simple as with weights, however you possibly can absolutely construct your lats in any case. 

how to get big lats


The lats are an attention-grabbing muscle in that they play a small function within the common (trendy) individual’s day by day life, however they play an enormous function in the case of athletics and health. It’s not like your glutes or quads which might be fairly energetic all through the day (as a consequence of strolling and standing up frequently). With that, in case you don’t exercise, your lats can simply be underdeveloped.

Now, your lats are usually not fully unused through the day, as they’re concerned in issues like pulling on a shirt, closing a automobile’s trunk, and swinging your arms whereas strolling, however that is clearly not sufficient. 

So, whereas the lats might not play an enormous function in your day by day life, until you might be required to do issues like climbing and swimming, in case you plan to get into health or some sport, having sturdy lats goes to spice up your efficiency tremendously. In fact, in case your lats are sturdy, then every part else will observe. That’s how massive of a task they play in health.

The principle objective of your lats, in a simplified method, is to offer shoulder power and again power and to assist shield and stabilize your backbone. So, the stronger your lats, the stronger you may be at shoulder and again workouts (urgent and pulling) and the extra damage resilient you may be at a spinal and shoulder stage (two of probably the most vulnerable areas within the human physique).

What’s extra, power coaching can also be a type of dynamic stretching, so so long as you might be utilizing a full vary of movement, as you might be strengthening your lats, they may even grow to be extra versatile and cellular, which in flip will make it easier to to maneuver higher. 

On the subject of lifting, having sturdy lats means you possibly can deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press, row and pull with heavier weight and extra depth. This isn’t simply necessary for the event of your lats, however additionally it is necessary for all of the muscular tissues we talked about that work with the lats, that are principally all the muscular tissues of your again, your deltoids, biceps, forearms, triceps, and pecs.

Sturdy lats = a robust, well-developed, resilient higher physique.

When it comes to aesthetics, the lats are an important muscle to have nicely developed. With well-developed lats (and shoulders and pecs), you’ll have that V tapered look, which makes your shoulders look wider and your waist extra slim.

Ergo, if you wish to have an aesthetically spectacular physique, you should develop these ‘wings” (evocative time period for lats). Not solely does it look nice (on a stage so deep it’s principally in our DNA), however additionally it is a transparent signal of energy (which is immediately recognizable). 

Word: Some points of aesthetics will come all the way down to genetics, which you’ll be able to’t change, so not everybody can have the identical look. Some folks have a better or decrease insertion of the lats, which modifications how their higher physique tapers. However both approach, you merely cannot go unsuitable with massive lats.

Why are my lats so weak?

After listening to all of those nice issues concerning the lats, you is likely to be pondering, “rattling my lats are extra like flats…why are they so small and weak?”

Effectively, the latissimus dorsi may be weak and underdeveloped for a number of causes:

  1. You don’t exercise.
  2. You don’t exercise accurately (poor kind).
  3. Different muscular tissues are overactive throughout lat workouts.

The primary one is a straightforward repair, simply begin understanding and you’ll want to do quite a lot of pulling workouts from all angles (horizontal and vertical pulls + shoulder extension workouts). Try our lat exercises for some further inspiration.

The opposite two want a bit extra understanding, which is why we’re right here.

In case your kind is poor (for instance, you utilize an excessive amount of traps and/or biceps for pulling workouts), then you should take note of the right way to do every train and use lighter weight till you know the way to activate your lats when performing them. 

If different muscular tissues are overactive throughout your pulling workouts, and this isn’t as a consequence of poor kind, then you should construct that thoughts muscle connection, which additionally begins with lighter weight, and you might also have to check out some completely different workouts that higher goal the lats for you.

Switching up your grip might make it easier to deactivate different muscular tissues a bit and improve engagement of your lats. For instance, switching from overhand to underhand rows will enormously change the dynamics of the muscular tissues labored, permitting you to hone in in your lats a bit extra.

The excellent news is, your lats can (and can!) develop and get stronger utilizing the workouts we went over above. 

best lat exercises


Remaining latissimus dorsi muscle workouts questions? Let’s reply them!


The lats are positively one of many extra downside areas for newbies just because it’s onerous to have interaction them correctly. It takes time to discover ways to hone in on them and construct that thoughts muscle connection in order that they’re absolutely activated when they need to be. 

That stated, in case you do the correct lat muscle workouts, with the correct load, the correct quantity, and use progressive overload, your lats will certainly develop. Furthermore, you should eat quite a bit. 

The latissimus dorsi isn’t a muscle just like the calves, which are actually onerous to develop. So long as you might be doing issues proper within the fitness center, dimension and power will come. Nevertheless, it’s a very massive muscle, so it takes onerous work and time nonetheless. 


In the event you observe every part beneath and keep it up, as a newbie, you possibly can see some vital development in 6 months. The lats are a bit slower of a muscle to develop, just like the legs. Being that the lat is so massive, it’s going to take time to see some outcomes. However in case you keep it up and observe the knowledge beneath, you possibly can expedite the method of development. 


The easiest way to heat up your lats earlier than understanding are with some dynamic lat stretches and by doing light-weight resistance workouts with a full vary of movement to get the blood flowing, improve physique temperature, and optimize mobility.

Some good heat up lat workouts are light-weight pushdowns and seated rows. Resistance bands are additionally an effective way to heat up. You possibly can carry out a number of completely different resistance band rows and pulldowns earlier than you get into the weights. 

Additionally, in case you are doing heavy lifting, then begin gentle and work your approach as much as your working set. For instance, in case your exercise begins with bent over rows, do a number of heat up units, rising the load every time till you might be at your working weight.

What’s the greatest lat train? 

Whereas selection is necessary for constructing your lats over time, newbies can actually stick with just some workouts and see some incredible outcomes. So, if we’re to slim down the perfect workouts for latissimus dorsi, they’d be:

  • Pull Ups/Chin Ups (Weighted If attainable)
  • Underhand Bent Over Rows
  • Lat Pushdowns

If a newbie can’t do pull ups or chin ups, lat pulldowns with the identical grip can be the subsequent neatest thing.

With these three workouts, you may be working your lats by all the essential actions, so you may get full growth. 

When it comes to muscle activation, pull ups and chin ups and bent over rows are proven to have the very best outcomes with EMG research, so whereas different workouts are good, these are the perfect.

As you grow to be extra superior, you’ll need so as to add extra selection to your coaching, however in case you are on the lookout for someplace to start out, that is it.

How can I practice my lats with no pull up bar?

In the event you don’t have a pull up bar, you clearly can’t do pull ups and chin ups. With that, your subsequent most suitable choice is inverted rows and grabbing a set of resistance bands. 

With resistance bands, you possibly can carry out lat pulldowns in the identical approach you do cable pulldowns. Be that as it could, you’ll nonetheless want some anchor level on your bands. There are door anchors for this.

All that stated, we extremely advocate getting a pull up bar or discovering one at a park close by and doing pull ups. It’s the perfect physique weight lat train you are able to do. And in case you don’t have any entry to a pull up bar, you in all probability can discover a beam of some kind to do pull ups on.

You may get pull up bars on Amazon for as little as $30. We even have an incredible record of the 7 Greatest Out of doors Pull Up Bars so that you can take a look at.

Do push ups work latissimus dorsi? 

Like bench press, push ups will work your lats, notably the center lats, because the motion requires horizontal abduction.

Nevertheless, push ups are usually not going to be sufficient for the absolute best lat growth, so we extremely advocate including the above lat particular workouts into your own home exercises. 

Are deadlifts a great lat train?

Deadlifts are a should and they’re going to do an incredible job of strengthening your lats as nicely, particularly in case you do broad grip variations of the deadlift. We did not embrace the deadlift just because it’s extra of a complete physique train moderately than a lat train. However, embrace it in your routine. With the lat workouts above, you will note critical enhancements in your deadlifts over time because the lats play an necessary function in deadlifting.

What causes tight latissimus dorsi?

Your lats can grow to be tight from overuse or in the event that they grow to be overactive. They may also be tight from sure accidents or just a scarcity of stretching and utilizing a full vary of movement. 

Keep in mind, the concentric part of lifting (squeezing of the muscle) is necessary, however the eccentric part (stretching of the muscle) is simply as necessary. By utilizing a full vary each on the concentric and eccentric part, you actually shouldn’t have a difficulty along with your lats turning into tight as you may be dynamically stretching them as you exercise. 

That stated, your lats can nonetheless grow to be tight for one cause or one other, and in the event that they do, you must know the right way to stretch them.

How do you stretch your latissimus dorsi? 

There are numerous completely different efficient lat stretches. A few of my favorites embrace the hanging bar lat stretch, the bench kneeling lat stretch, and the bent over lat stretch. Foam rolling can also be necessary. Try our article on the ten Greatest Lat Stretches For Earlier than & After Exercises for detailed info on the right way to carry out every of those, together with many others.

bodyweight lat exercises

Workouts For Latissimus Dorsi: Remaining Takeaways

Now that you’re armed with every part you should learn about growing your latissimus dorsi, it’s time to go on the market and put your lats and these workouts to the check!

A couple of last pointers: Intention to work your lats twice weekly for muscle hypertrophy, permitting them to relaxation in between classes, which is essential for muscle restoration. It is also important that you simply eat to construct muscle, that means you should be in a small calorie surplus of 300 to 500 energy.

Comply with my exercise recommendation and use these workouts for the latissimus dorsi muscle, and big wings are yours for the taking.

Searching for an efficient exercise that includes many of those workouts? Try our Greatest Lat Exercises For A Greater, Stronger Again! 

hypertrophy program

Put together to maximise your features with our unique 12-week hypertrophy coaching program. Select between a 4 or 5 day coaching cut up and acquire 2-12 kilos of muscle over 90 days…

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