Pull Day: Lat Focused

Intro

If your lats are lacking in strength or size, this will be a good workout to target your weakness!

The mind muscle connection with my lats has lacked for all of my training. It’s my most underdeveloped muscle & it’s extremely hard for me to get a connection to this muscle. However, recently I’ve started to finally get that connection! It’s a small gain in my fitness journey because I know this little trick is going to help me develop my lats to the next level. I’m going to explain some of the tricks & tips in this workout to help you target your lats to build them in to wings!

First let’s dive into a little anatomy lesson of the lats.

Image result for latissimus dorsi

Your lats run from your upper arm into fascia running down your spine & hip. It’s a big muscle that has two main functions. To extend your arm, like in bent over rows or cable rows, & to adduct your arm like pull-ups & pulldowns. It’s one of the bigger back muscles that helps create thickness & width in your back.

This workout is designed to hit both aspects of the lat functions, shoulder extension & adduction. Let’s get to it.

Warmup

5-minute light bike
Resistance Band (RB) Reverse Flies: 15
RB Adductions: 15
RB Shoulder Dislocations: 15
RB Int/Ext Shoulder Rotations: 15 each

Workout

Exercise #1
Weighted Pull-ups
5×5
2-minute rest between sets

One of the best lat development exercises known to man! It takes a lot of strength to have the ability to perform pull-ups. The direction that your arms take in order to perform one directly targets you lat muscles. This is an example of adduction of the arm (moving towards the midline of the body). If you cannot perform a pull-up, simply use a pull-up assist machine or suspend a resistance band from the pull-up bar & place your feet in for some assistance. Focus on driving your elbows down & back to fully target your lat muscles. Take a look.

 

 

Exercise #2
Seal Rows
4×10-12
60s rest between sets

I want you to notice what I’m doing with my chest here. When I row up, I’m also lifting my chest off the bench. This will not only help me target my low back, but also the lat muscles surrounding the lower back. When you row the weight up this is what I want you to think of. Imagine that every rep you want to touch your elbows together. You obviously can’t, but the pull towards the midline of the body will help you fully contract your lat muscles here. Make sure to let the DB’s lower back to the starting position to also fully stretch your muscles! Just as important, if not more, than the contraction. Here’s the video.

 

 

Exercise #3
Rotational DB Curl (heavy)
2×6 each arm + 2 cheat reps
60s rest between sets

Added a little bicep move in the middle of this workout. I went heavy for the reps & focused one arm at a time. Went to failure for both arms at 6 reps each. Once I hit 6 reps, I performed 2 cheat reps to help overload the biceps here. You might think cheat reps are  waste of reps, but performing them with a slow negative helps to overload the muscle. Muscles are 1.5 times stronger in the eccentric portion of the movement rather than the concentric. This move will help you target both portions of the exercise!

 

 

Exercise #4
Seated Hammer Strength Low Grip Row
4×10-12
60s rest between sets

You can’t see my hand positioning here, but my hands are positioned on the low grip portion of the handle. On this particular machine, you can use a high grip, neutral grip, or low grip. The low grip helps target the lats, the neutral grip helps target the mid back, & the high grip helps to target the upper back. Lats were the focus of this workout so the low grip was the choice! I want you to squeeze your lats for 1 second every rep. Get the most of this movement by fully stretching your muscles too. Take a look for a video demonstration.

 

 

Exercise #5
Lat Pulldown Pause Reps
3×5
3-5s pause
60s rest between sets

I incorporated this pause rep specifically for the purpose of practicing the mind muscle connection. Pausing at the bottom of each rep allows me to take the time to engage the muscle more. If I can’t feel my muscle properly, I simply adjust my position, usually my elbows, to help me hit my lat more. A cool little trick to use if you lack the connection with any muscle! Take a look.

 

 

Exercise #6
Superset
Swimmer Pulldowns & Seated Cable Rows
3×10 each exercise
30s rest between supersets

A good way to end the back portion of the workout is to pump the lats up! Targeting the lats in two different ways. Shoulder extension with a straight arm (swimmer pulldown) & shoulder extension with a bent arm (row). Make sure to keep that core nice & tight!

 

 

Exercise #7
Concentration Curls
100 reps each arm
No rest between arms

Choose light weight, go until failure for each arm & alternate between the two until you reach 100 reps each arm. I encourage you to watch this video to see the full destruction & pain this caused me hahaha. It’s a good one to end with!

 

Cooldown

5-10 minute full body stretch

Outro

I can’t express enough the importance of the mind muscle connection. Click the link if you want more information on it. It will take you to one of my favorite YouTubers video that explains what it is & how you can use it to your advantage. This workout is a killer for the lats & I’m confident it will do you well! Please leave a comment letting me know what you think & if you have any questions! I’ll be sure to respond to them as soon as I can (: If you’re interested in training with me, you can find all the information you need to know on my Working With Me & Online Coaching tab. If you’re ready to start, please fill out my “Let’s Get Fit” form on my Home tab. If you have not yet, follow my Instagram & Twitter account to get more tips to help YOU out in your fitness journey. With that said, kill this workout! I hope to hear from you soon (:

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
Consult a doctor before performing any part of this workout explained above. Physical activity is good for the body, but does raise the risk of serious health effects especially in those with CVD & other health relative issues.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: