T Nation

Developing Width in Upper Lats?

I can really feel my lats working on one arm DB rows, underhand BB rows, and close grip underhand pulldowns, but these seem to target the lower lats better than the upper lats. Would the stretch at the top of the pulldown or the bottom of the rows be the area where upper lats are most engaged? What other movements are best for developing width in the upper lats?

wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
Lots of rear delt work, lots of wide grip rows higher up, face pulls will all thicken up the upper back.
Even vbar pulldowns with a stretch should work them well…
maybe pullovers?

Just train back and it will grow you probably dont need to worry about upper or lower just hit it hard man.

I like placing the pukkeys on both sides at the top and attaching handles to them…grab left handle with right and right handle with left…

Arc down going from overhead to the point where your arms would be in a back double biceps pose

Make the arc wide and exaggerated…

A variation of this is a single side

Put a rope up top and post one hand on the pole and reach overhead and do the same movement as before

Find your sweet spot by playing around with the way you lean…almost wanna do a side bend

[quote]bignate wrote:
wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s necessary to hold for a two-count at the bottom. That’s a long time, especially as you approach failure. I think it’s better to pull as much weight as you can with good form and a slight pause at contraction and save the two-count pauses for finishing moves like straight arm pulldowns.

[quote]Maiden3.16 wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s necessary to hold for a two-count at the bottom. That’s a long time, especially as you approach failure. I think it’s better to pull as much weight as you can with good form and a slight pause at contraction and save the two-count pauses for finishing moves like straight arm pulldowns. [/quote]

Good post. It helps a lot too, just having the ‘intention’ of trying to squeeze at the bottom. Even if the weights to heavy to do a 2 second pause with, if I ‘try’ to do it, it activates my lats a ton more. Hope that makes sense

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:

[quote]Maiden3.16 wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s necessary to hold for a two-count at the bottom. That’s a long time, especially as you approach failure. I think it’s better to pull as much weight as you can with good form and a slight pause at contraction and save the two-count pauses for finishing moves like straight arm pulldowns. [/quote]

Good post. It helps a lot too, just having the ‘intention’ of trying to squeeze at the bottom. Even if the weights to heavy to do a 2 second pause with, if I ‘try’ to do it, it activates my lats a ton more. Hope that makes sense[/quote]

Tangentially, I think this works for the midback too (trying to squeeze the scapulae together and back, and hold it).

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:

[quote]Maiden3.16 wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s necessary to hold for a two-count at the bottom. That’s a long time, especially as you approach failure. I think it’s better to pull as much weight as you can with good form and a slight pause at contraction and save the two-count pauses for finishing moves like straight arm pulldowns. [/quote]

Good post. It helps a lot too, just having the ‘intention’ of trying to squeeze at the bottom. Even if the weights to heavy to do a 2 second pause with, if I ‘try’ to do it, it activates my lats a ton more. Hope that makes sense[/quote]

that was more my direction. didnt expect the OP to actually hold a two count, but it should help contract the upper lats focusing on squeeze and hold at the bottom

Stretchers.

[quote]bignate wrote:

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:

[quote]Maiden3.16 wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
wide grip pulldown with a stretch at the top, squeeze at the bottom and hold for a two count…
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s necessary to hold for a two-count at the bottom. That’s a long time, especially as you approach failure. I think it’s better to pull as much weight as you can with good form and a slight pause at contraction and save the two-count pauses for finishing moves like straight arm pulldowns. [/quote]

Good post. It helps a lot too, just having the ‘intention’ of trying to squeeze at the bottom. Even if the weights to heavy to do a 2 second pause with, if I ‘try’ to do it, it activates my lats a ton more. Hope that makes sense[/quote]

that was more my direction. didnt expect the OP to actually hold a two count, but it should help contract the upper lats focusing on squeeze and hold at the bottom [/quote]

Thanks. I will try this.

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
I like placing the pukkeys on both sides at the top and attaching handles to them…grab left handle with right and right handle with left…

Arc down going from overhead to the point where your arms would be in a back double biceps pose

Make the arc wide and exaggerated…

A variation of this is a single side

Put a rope up top and post one hand on the pole and reach overhead and do the same movement as before

Find your sweet spot by playing around with the way you lean…almost wanna do a side bend

[/quote]

I did this for a while but it really screwed with my shoulders.

okay this is a little complicated but i have a vid that will help alot. it really depends on the genetics to where to put your hands its not really wide but not narrow either, its in between, you need to find your spot. the spot to where it gives you the best leverage to squeeze your scapula’s(shoulder blades) together. have a slight arc in back and head up little and think of squeezing your lower lats and shoulder blades together, your lower lats come together around your lumber 2 or 3 vertebrae, your posture is what really helps hit that then the movement is what hits the lower traps and upper lats.

[quote]The Rattler wrote:
Stretchers. [/quote]



They feel awesome.

[quote]JoshuaOShely wrote:
okay this is a little complicated but i have a vid that will help alot. it really depends on the genetics to where to put your hands its not really wide but not narrow either, its in between, you need to find your spot. the spot to where it gives you the best leverage to squeeze your scapula’s(shoulder blades) together. have a slight arc in back and head up little and think of squeezing your lower lats and shoulder blades together, your lower lats come together around your lumber 2 or 3 vertebrae, your posture is what really helps hit that then the movement is what hits the lower traps and upper lats.
[/quote]

Thanks. I am pretty sure that I watched your video and it helped a lot. When I changed my posture in the way that you are describing I could definitely tell a difference in lat activation. I don’t have a problem activating my lats so much as figuring out how to focus on the upper lats, because it seems that my lower and middle lats tend to do most of the work. I read that close grip actually activates the outer lats and wide grip is more for the center of the back.

[quote]RonSwanson wrote:

[quote]JoshuaOShely wrote:
okay this is a little complicated but i have a vid that will help alot. it really depends on the genetics to where to put your hands its not really wide but not narrow either, its in between, you need to find your spot. the spot to where it gives you the best leverage to squeeze your scapula’s(shoulder blades) together. have a slight arc in back and head up little and think of squeezing your lower lats and shoulder blades together, your lower lats come together around your lumber 2 or 3 vertebrae, your posture is what really helps hit that then the movement is what hits the lower traps and upper lats.
[/quote]

Thanks. I am pretty sure that I watched your video and it helped a lot. When I changed my posture in the way that you are describing I could definitely tell a difference in lat activation. I don’t have a problem activating my lats so much as figuring out how to focus on the upper lats, because it seems that my lower and middle lats tend to do most of the work. I read that close grip actually activates the outer lats and wide grip is more for the center of the back. [/quote]

rows do fairly well on the mid back they have a high to low hammer machine (head to waist) that i love a ton they also have so low to high rows (knees to waist), both really help hit the mid back they really help develop more thick ness that is what i am working on now.

sounds like your doing your research keep it up.

Try this super secret approach. You need a partner

Wide grip lats pulldown, pull and on the negative portion have someone progressively push on the weight stack as you work into the stretch, have him push a bit harder on the stack while you are at the end of the stretch and hold for 1sec in that stretch position, then pull again

have fun

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. Today was dead lift day for me, so afterwards I did some BB rows, meadows rows, pull downs, and one arm kneeling pull downs. I really focused on squeezing at the top of all of these and it made a huge difference. I cut back the weight on the pulldowns and focused on slow negatives and a tight squeeze, and I activated my upper lats better than ever before. I will definitely stick with this strategy.

Power snatches good for lat development.

Try this one after you’ve pre-exhausted with chins or another excesize.

Wide Grip Lat Pull downs but instead of getting seated, bend your knees and squat into position. Keep your shoulders back and squeeze the lats as you pull down. You’ll need a much lighter weight. Play around with your stance to find the optimum position for your frame. I love this as finisher for my lats.