Author Topic: The Lat Width Thread  (Read 8204 times)

Online Bando

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The Lat Width Thread
« on: January 24, 2014, 02:54:32 PM »
The question of lat width came up elsewhere and I was nominated to answer it as my "back is my best feature" ::)

I think I do OK:



but there are certainly better here, so please add your $.02.

The biggest thing for me is not which back lift you are doing, it's how you're engaging your lats. I think Bodyhard once talked about concentrating on squeezing your scapula together during pullups, and that's pretty much the answer. Mind Muscle Connection. If you want your lats to grow you have to work your lats.

1 arm rows: So easy to do this lift with your shoulder and arm bearing the brunt of the force required. What I do is get the weight off the floor, pause and then begin to contract the latismus to get the weight moving and concentrate on keeping it tight the whole time. I like to bring the dumbell up nice and high to really engage the length of the muscle. I prefer not to go as heavy as possible, that just makes for sloppy form. Changing the angle of the dumbell hand/path of the dumbell as well as the incline of the bench are nice variations. I use straps, I'm not working arms.

Cable rows: Again from Carlman and Bodyhard, squeeze first the lower lats and as you pull back get your chest up and out and bring the handle as close to your solarplexus as you can get it. As long as you are not swinging back and forth and are beginning the pull with you lats and ending up with your chest high and hard, it's hard to screw this one up. I like to use straps and do these as heavy as I possibly can.

Pullups: There are as many opinions on these as there are guys/gals that lift, wide grip, close grip, neutral grip - so which is correct?
They all are. Just like with the 1 arm rows, a variety of positions will benefit your back. My goal for doing pullups is not doing more pullups, it's doing less pullups. So if I can do 12 pullups with a neutral grip with 25 lbs added, I want to do 8 next week with 30 lbs added. If I do 10 BW pullups with a neutral grip, it does not equate to 10 pullups wide grip, wide grip is harder. So don't compare apples to oranges if you are tracking your numbers (and I track them.) This is the easiest of the 3 lifts I'm listing to cheat on and not fully use your lats. Again begin by squeezing/tightening your lats, so your shoulder blades naturally come together in the middle of your back. Some people swear you have to come to a complete dead hang, I don't, as it would kill my elbows. My last set or 2 I go light, even assisted to get a nice stretch at the bottom for about 6 rep sets. I almost consider these as a stretch set rather than working sets.

Those are the big 3 for me, I don't do BOR's since my build makes the ROM silly. I do heavy DB pullovers and go as low as my shoulders will allow, this stretches out the lower lats nice. I also swear by Flat6nut's Yates style 1 arm cable rows as a finisher.

Comments, corrections and additions welcome.
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Offline MrLando

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 03:15:37 PM »
In. Please continue to share the wisdom of fappingly great lat width.

Offline Nuh

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 03:24:12 PM »
Those 3 and of course lat pulls are my main back exercises. I watched a video the other day about proper DB positions on 1 arm rows so last back day I watched myself to make sure I kept my form in check. I took it slow and I REALLY felt a huge difference from that. Lucky for me today is back day!


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Online Bando

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 03:31:08 PM »
Lucky for me today is back day!

Mine was yesterday and I was really concentrating on the MMC, needless to say my lats are Roasted
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Online induced_drag

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 04:11:28 PM »
Back has become one of my most developed areas.

I built mine on bent rows, pullups and deads.   Thats about it......

Not saying it works for everyone....but it is what I did.

Offline Lola

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 04:37:59 PM »
I'm told my back is admirable. I do pullups, cable rows & straight arm pushdowns & just know what it feels like when I'm hitting them correctly. Seems to be working ;)



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Offline bodyhard

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 11:51:03 AM »
Thanks for the props Bando

I build my back with two pretty simple exercises now, but back in the day I hit it from all different angles as the back is very tricky. Some have very good genetics and will build a great back with very few movements but my back was small with no width or thickness and it took a lot.

I do notice though that a lot of people do Pull ups wrong, they are more shoulder dominate, they pull more to the front i.e elbows in front of their torso as oppose to targeting the lats  more by flaring the elbows to the back of their torso.

Some back shots





Online Bando

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 12:24:25 PM »


I do notice though that a lot of people do Pull ups wrong, they are more shoulder dominate, they pull more to the front i.e elbows in front of their torso as oppose to targeting the lats  more by flaring the elbows to the back of their torso.

yup, like EVERY GUY IN MY GYM. I see skinny guys doing pullups with a 45 or more tied to their waist but they have no back whatsoever. The easiest move to get wrong if you are trying to build back width IMO.
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Offline bodyhard

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 01:05:29 PM »


I do notice though that a lot of people do Pull ups wrong, they are more shoulder dominate, they pull more to the front i.e elbows in front of their torso as oppose to targeting the lats  more by flaring the elbows to the back of their torso.

yup, like EVERY GUY IN MY GYM. I see skinny guys doing pullups with a 45 or more tied to their waist but they have no back whatsoever. The easiest move to get wrong if you are trying to build back width IMO.

Thats what happens Bando, and it is actually easier to do it in that manner, but it is not truly productive to get lat width.

Offline piperdown

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 02:03:16 PM »


I do notice though that a lot of people do Pull ups wrong, they are more shoulder dominate, they pull more to the front i.e elbows in front of their torso as oppose to targeting the lats  more by flaring the elbows to the back of their torso.

yup, like EVERY GUY IN MY GYM. I see skinny guys doing pullups with a 45 or more tied to their waist but they have no back whatsoever. The easiest move to get wrong if you are trying to build back width IMO.

Thats what happens Bando, and it is actually easier to do it in that manner, but it is not truly productive to get lat width.

I'm not picturing what is meant by flaring the elbows and I'm not sure what to look for with vids or pics?
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Offline bodyhard

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 02:46:29 PM »


I do notice though that a lot of people do Pull ups wrong, they are more shoulder dominate, they pull more to the front i.e elbows in front of their torso as oppose to targeting the lats  more by flaring the elbows to the back of their torso.

yup, like EVERY GUY IN MY GYM. I see skinny guys doing pullups with a 45 or more tied to their waist but they have no back whatsoever. The easiest move to get wrong if you are trying to build back width IMO.

Thats what happens Bando, and it is actually easier to do it in that manner, but it is not truly productive to get lat width.

I'm not picturing what is meant by flaring the elbows and I'm not sure what to look for with vids or pics?

Do this,  put your arms out to your side and form a T, then bend your elbows where you would form and L and a backwards L (you should look like you are surrendering LOL)  Now, push your elbows down and back squeezing  your shoulder blades together.  That is what you should feel/do every time you perform a set of pull-ups to activate the lats.

Offline flat6nut

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 02:49:00 PM »
Two things that help with targeting the Lats more.....the use of straps and pull from your arm pits instead of arms.

Offline flat6nut

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 02:56:21 PM »


Like BH, I was small, and had no width or thickness.....I worked very hard on my back, and still do. For me....doing at least two vertical pulls and two horizontal pull movements is a must.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 02:58:05 PM by flat6nut »

Offline bodyhard

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Re: The Lat Width Thread
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 03:05:34 PM »


Like BH, I was small, and had no width or thickness.....I worked very hard on my back, and still do. For me....doing at least two vertical pulls and two horizontal pull movements is a must.


Your back width and thickness is sick!