How To Choose The Best Lat Workout

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

The back muscles, since they are never really seen by the lifter, are easily forgotten about. I've seen dedicated lifters leave back day in the dust for months at a time. However, having a great pair of lats is essential to a complete physique; they help fill your shirts out, and they look great for the babes on the beach. A lot of people just don't know where to start when it comes to working out the back. Luckily, you've got me.

Step 2

I have always and will always preach this: the number one back exercise that anybody can ever do is a good ol' classic pull-up. It doesn't matter if you're pushing 300lbs., doing pull-ups is essential if you want to stretch your lats and make them grow. No matter what you do afterwards, always always always start your back routine with three(3)-four(4) sets of pull-ups. Once you get strong enough to do 15 reps for all of your sets, feel free to add some weight around your waist. Do what you gotta do- but always do pull-ups.

Step 3

What other great back exercises are out there? Tons. You've got bent over dumbbell rows, bent over barbell rows, seated cable rows, lat-pulldowns, deadlifts, and the list goes on. Bent over rows (dumbbell or barbell) are great for building massive depth into your lats. These will make your back thick and powerful. Seated cable rows tend to do about the same thing, but they also incorporate the lower back muscles in order to get the lift done. Lat-pulldowns, much like pull-ups, will stretch your lats out and make them wide and winged. Deadlifts will make your entire back powerful.

Step 4

Choosing between all of these exercises might seem difficult, but it really doesn't have to be. Take a look at your physique in the mirror. Does your back have a lot of depth, but lack width? Or are your lats bulging with width but lacking any middle-depth? Once you figure out the weak spots on your back, plug in the above exercises accordingly in order to 'fill in the gaps', as they say.

Step 5

No matter which exercises you choose for your routine, never ever forget that pull-ups are number 1. It's okay if you can only do 1 or 2 reps when you first start. Keep going back to the pull-up bar; your reps will get higher, and your back will most certainly grow larger.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

The hardest thing about doing pull-ups is simply convincing yourself that you should do them. Pull-ups are hard to do, and a lot of people shy away from them. In order to not be one of those people, keep in mind all the benefits that you're getting from pull-ups. Get in there and get them done.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

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This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I used to see this kid around the gym all the time who had a pretty great physique. His arms were chiseled, his shoulders were round and bulbous, and he definitely didn't look like he ever missed leg day. As I looked more and more, I started to notice that something wasn't quite right. Something was off about his physique, and it took me a while to figure out what. Then one day I saw him turn around and in that moment, with the light hitting him just right, I realized why he seemed off- his back was tiny. He had no lats to compensate for the size of his arms. His shoulders seemed abnormally large against a thin and puny back. I could never admire the guy again- he was forever weakened by his tiny back. And it wasn't bad genetics, it was simply a lack of attention to working his back out. Don't be that guy! Work your back

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I started doing pull-ups on my very first back day. My dad and I walked into the gym and he said, "Jer, you will almost never see someone come into the gym and go straight to the pullup bar." And he was right, nobody ever does. But we always did, and I still always do, and my back has always thanked me for it.

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