A Question on Width Exercises

I’m very curious on how some exercises are designated for ‘width’ while others are for ‘thickness’, ecspecially in back training. I always assumed that width refered to lats, and thickness was more about the mid-back muscles. But i’ve always thought or rows as a lat exercise mainly, but it suppose to be for thickness apparently, while pullups are to make the lats wider.

i guess my question comes down to i’ve alwasy heard a muscle only grows bigger or smaller. so how could one make them get wider, then another make them thicker?

barbell rows are notorious for havin many variations. depending on grip width and pulling line, you can work on lat size (read width) or traps, mmid back shit.

also, though this is a stretch, different attachment points may be emphasized. the lat attaches at the hip, mid back, and shoulder, any could be emphasized for different effects. this is theory though.

lat width also comes from the scapula. wide grip pull ups, with full scapula stretch, are meant to increase width and is somethin that, even in the short term, i have found success

You do realize the “back” is not one giant amorphous muscle group right?

Youre thinking about it the right way but I have a feeling youre trying to create a workout based on those ‘rules’.

Think of it this way instead.

If someone has lat width that overpowers back thickness that person wouldnt want to do rack chins as the first movement in his back routine and rack pulls or neutral grip rows last. He’d want to do the opposite in an attempt to thicken his mid back muscles i.e erector spinae, rhomboids, traps.

Unless someone has a glaring imbalance in one area there should be equal attention paid to horizontal and vertical pulling.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
Youre thinking about it the right way but I have a feeling youre trying to create a workout based on those ‘rules’.

Think of it this way instead.

If someone has lat width that overpowers back thickness that person wouldnt want to do rack chins as the first movement in his back routine and rack pulls or neutral grip rows last. He’d want to do the opposite in an attempt to thicken his mid back muscles i.e erector spinae, rhomboids, traps.

Unless someone has a glaring imbalance in one area there should be equal attention paid to horizontal and vertical pulling.

[/quote]

Ok thanks Bonez. on a side note, ive noticed you have a very broad back. what do you do for back width (a deptarment im lacking in much more then thickness)

Started with a lot of strict pullups. Then added weight. When I got up to 40+lbs I started using HS lat pulldown. Then rack chins. All done slightly wider than shoulder width.

Neutral grip (close and shoulder width) pulldowns will hit the lower lats due to the better range of motion.

HS pullover is also great for isolating the lats.

My back started out thicker than it was wide. I noticed the biggest changes when I moved deadlifts/rack pulls to the middle of my routine instead of first.

But at 18 years old you should be have equal focus. Specialize later on when you develop a serious amount of mass.

I know a lot of this is probably outdated, but this is taken straight out of arnold’s book:

wide grip behind neck chins: widen upper back and full sweep in lats
Wide grip to front: same as above
close grip chins: work back, widen lower lats and develop serratus
lat pulldowns: widen upper lats
close/medium grip pulldowns: work lats, esp lower lat area
Bent over bb row: thicken upper back
bent over Db row: same, but work each side independently
t-bar row: thicken middle and outer back (wish I had one of these at my gym)
one arm db row: work each side of back
one arm cable row: develop lower lats (hand is pulling at around waist level or lower)
seated row: thickness of back and lower lats
bent arm bb pullovers: work lower lats and serratus. also stretches pecs and helps widen rib cage
deads: work lower back
good mornings: lower back in isolation
back extensions: erectors

Hope that helps.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
Started with a lot of strict pullups. Then added weight. When I got up to 40+lbs I started using HS lat pulldown. Then rack chins. All done slightly wider than shoulder width.

Neutral grip (close and shoulder width) pulldowns will hit the lower lats due to the better range of motion.

HS pullover is also great for isolating the lats.

My back started out thicker than it was wide. I noticed the biggest changes when I moved deadlifts/rack pulls to the middle of my routine instead of first.

But at 18 years old you should be have equal focus. Specialize later on when you develop a serious amount of mass.[/quote]

Well i’m still lacking the mass i want, but i think the reason i lack width opposed to thickness so much is due to, though i’ve trained for about a year now, i just recently (last 3-4 months) got a pullup bar. so all my back exercises were rows up until then, and as you’d suspect my vertical pulling strength is a ways behind compared to other lifts. So should i not try to emphasize back width exercises a bit right now, due to me neglecting them for so long? or just still pay equal attention to both and it’ll even itself out?

Do your pull ups first. Do more sets of pull ups than rows but still do your rows.

Keep it 60/40 vertical/horizontal at this point. Proper movements usually bring up lagging parts well, unless those lagging parts are a genetic weak spot. If lat width just isnt something you were blessed with you’ll eventually need to break back training into two sessions if you want to make serious changes.

But for now keep hitting the rows hard.