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Best Lat Exercises



What are some of the best lat exercises (not including pull-ups and upright rows -- as I already know about them)?



Upright Rows do not work your lats. They work your delts and traps. Any vertical pulling variation along with different grips spacing will work best; Pullups, chinups, lat pulldown, pullovers, etc. Try using the search feature. It's helpful.


Bent BB rows and weighted pullups. Use both underhand and overhand grip and vary your grip width.


Barbell Rows and Dumbbell Rows

On the DB Rows, make the movement in the shape of a V start the weights out together (at the bottom) and as you bring them up flex your back (at the top of the movement. I suggest leaving your chin up the whole time, I think it's best for solid form.


Pullovers are GREAT.

Try both machine assisted and free-weight.
They are quite different.


I do some work with cable machines for lats. For me, hand position at the end of the movement is critical to getting full involvement of my lats. I want my hand to pull back from a low(er) position to just above the top of my hip bone, thumb at ribs and pinky at hip, keeping my elbows under control and not doing some chicken wing, flappy movement. It's not free weights, but it's what I've got.



Once I started focusing on the squeezing the shit out of lats at the top of the rep, my lats blew up.


I like these type of threads. By the end of thread every single Lat movement that was ever performed will be named...

okay, I will add one: Lat pulldowns.



Agree here. In my opinion thats really all ya need.


DEADLIFTS... Jimmybango was dead on! just like him I tried all other listed above exercises and could never get huge wings until I started DLing, then BAMM!
The overall weight lifted (sets X weight X reps) will be much higher, having better overall results, enabling the ability to handle more weight and then beef up.

ALSO MAKE SURE that your shoulders are moving totally forward and totally backward, not biceps bending keeping shoulders forward whole movement. YOUR BACK moves your shoulders, poeple who dont only train biceps and ant. delts, their lats are never sore, and never see results, dont let this happen.
Hope this helps and make sure you have a great lifter show you how to DL, its not just lifting it up.


I'll echo everyone else here... Weighted pull/chin up with varied hand spaceing, bent rows, DB rows, cable rows, deadlifts, pull overs, etc... I'm an unoriginal bastard, I know.


Tip when doing pullovers:

Most people could get more bang for the buck out of that exercise.
Do them across a bench, so only your neck gets to rest on the padding. This way your ass and your lower back will have some fun, too.


Correct, deadlifts are good, but they tax so much more of the body, that the lats are almost a second thought.


Well Zeb, everyone has a different opinion, so that's an obvious observation. Point is to tally the exercises that get the most mention.


Yeah for the longest time my width lacked behind everything else. Then a friend of mine was like, "Dude...do some deadlifts."

My response was, "But I want width..."

He pointed out that if you squeeze hard at the top of the rep and focus on form over weight, your lats will explode. Well, I heeded his advice and a few months later my wings had caught up.

Moonjumper knows whats up...


True...heavy deadlifts can turn into all-out slugfests that leave every muscle feeling annihilated. When I started out doing deadlifts I didn't go very heavy and kept my reps between 6-10. This way I was able to focus on my lats at the top and every rep didn't wipe me out....

But that was then...now my lats are solid, so I strive for all-out slugfests on deadlift days. Whatever it takes to get H/R (huge ripped)



Damn, I sound like a broken record lately.

Nautilus pullover machine. Does a good number on the triceps and lats if you haven't been using it.

I know people hate machines, but I like to add it after doing WG chins...

Some promo lit says:

The pullover machine can work the back and lats like nothing else as it takes the hands and arms out of the equation as much as possible. The full range movement is like a chin, a row, and pullover all at the same time.


try Lat Shrugs, it's like a shoulder shrug but reversed. on lat pull down machine, grap bar at shoulder width, maybe slightly wider. with arms stretched out pull down bar with just your lats, by contracting them. do not bend elbows, the movement is only very small, but this exercise takes the biceps out of play and just concentrates on lats. You will be able to do a lot more weight also.


try decline DB pull-overs, or try very "low incline unilateral stiff arm lat pulls". just set up an adjustable bench at a low incline, grab a light dumbbell in your working arm, lay on your side with your none working arm behind your head, and rest your head on that upper arm like your lounging, but thats the easy part (not that this exercise is too difficult) now take your working arm and lift over your head. this is the starting position. now with a stiff arm basically do a pull-over along the lateral plane, also use a neutral grip. continue for desired reps (10,15 work best)then repeat with the other arm. this exercise is especially effective using a high pulley a cable set up.

sample workout:

neutral grip pull-ups 6x6,8

decline db pull-overs 3x8,10

db or cable unilateral

low incline lat-pulls 3x12,15 each side

this should work the lats from top to bottom, and will provide unique stimulus
that'll result in at the very least a lot of soreness.
if you want a more complete upper back workout try this:

neut. grip pull-ups 5x4,6

decline db pull-overs 3x6,8

db upright row,
(with a slight bend at the waist) 3x6,8

Post-exhaust with

prone incline rear delt laterals 3x8,10

db or cable unilateral

low incline lat pulls 3x15 each side

hope that helps


I agree with the DEADLIFTS posting being good for the back, but I want to take that further with a question for the Deadlifting experts:

Do partial deadlifts do an even better job for the back? Given that I know I can lift a lot more weight if I put the bar up a few inches on blocks or on the power-cage pins, I reason it's gotta help the back IF the load is safe?

I'm sure it doesn't help the legs too much, because the range of motion is reduced, and your legs are in a stronger position. But your back, shoulders and arms are in the same non-moving position - just with a much heavier load.

Personally, I haven't done these in a long time because I'm concerned about potential injuries, but maybe I'm being too cautious?

Does anyone do really heavy deadlifts (>PR weight for regular off-the-floor deadlift) regularly? If so, what did it do for you in terms of growth (not just back, but I guess that's the main purpose of this thread :-)), and how did your joints take the aggravation?