T Nation

Hitting the lats

OK, before you all flame me, I realize there may be no such muscle as the lower lats. But you all know what I am talking about, meaning the portion of the lats that attaches like halfway down your back. What exercises can stimulate this area? My back gets sore from my workouts, put it is mainly in the center, and upper regions of my back. If I do the lat spread type pose, it doesn’t feel sore, when my rhomboids? do. For back I have been doing SLDLs, underhand pull ups, and overhand rows, and sometimes db pullovers. What should I ad to hit my target? Actually, this part of my body is very sore today, but it’s cuz my “freind” threw me down some stairs last night.

Your doing supinated pull ups and your not feeling your lats the next day? My lats are screaming for days after chins.

First(actually check form first) I would try doing a slower negative. 5 seconds. If you still don’t feel it try higher reps like 15 to 20. If you can’t do 15 reps don’t get a spotter. Do as many as you can then rest just long enough to do a few more, etc etc repeat repeat until you get to 15 or so. Play around with different rep ranges. Try using your hands as “hooks” around the bar(ie: keep your thumbs on the same side as your fingers).

As a last resort and I’m going to get “flamed” for this but whocares. Try one arm cable pull downs with an effort to use a very large range of motion. You can also try these kneeling. Use a one hand attachment.

Anyone else have any better suggestions? I would like to hear em. Well besides having her friend toss her down the stairs again. :slight_smile:


Try that modified gymnast routine T-mag posted a while back in their Short Topic section. That fucker hits everything!

My upper lats get sore, but they don’t get sore at the very bottom. I don’t really understand this, as it seems like they’re the same muscle, and I don’t feel like reading anatomy books. Perhaps the negative is where I am messing up, but I am not sure

Isn’t the Yates/underhand grip row supposed to target these elusive “lower lats”?

Try doing bent over rows with your torso at about a 45 degree angle. Pull the bar (an underhand grip works best) in just below your belly button. You’ll feel this exercise work your entire lat area, but especially in the bottom part.

you may consider the possibility that your lats don’t have a very long muscle belly. the fibers may end mid back and the rest may be fascia and tendon. if this is the case there is little you can do to further your hypertrophy in the ‘lower lats’. also consider that the lats are said to have 4 innervation patters, so you might want to try several different types of chins to target all areas.

I don’t always get sore all the way down either. When you do your chins/pullups, be sure to lower yourself completely for the most stretch in the muscle. Switching up the routine between strength and hypertrophy worked for me. When I first switch into hypertrophy, using limited rest of 45 seconds and several sets in a row, my entire lats were really sore!

Do I even want to ask who the hell threw you down some stairs???

I did overhand rows, and didn’t feel the lower lats, so I guess I’ll give underhands a try, too. If I am doing both in a workout, is there an order in which they should be done? Also, I go to a full rock bottom position in my chins, and in the past, I have been sore in this particular area. I think my freind was having ‘roid rage’ when she threw me down the stairs

Princess - rest assured they are getting worked. Having said that though, it seems you’ve kinda missed out on a critical piece of information somewhere along the line… allow me to explain. Hold your arm out, now try to flex just the ‘lower’ part of your bicep and leave the upper part relaxed. Can you do it? Nope. You have to contract it all. It’s the same with the lats. There’s not really anything you can do to target the ‘lower’ lats. (I’m gunna contradict myself here. Get on a lat-pulldown machine, bring the bar down as far as possible (to chest), then try to touch your elbows together behind your back, and you should feel your lower lats a bit better. You won’t touch elbows though of course. I just figured this out from experimentation.) Another thing is that I expect the bulk of the muscle is up high. The lower part could be predominantly tendons, connective tissue, etc… which will result in the ‘muscle’ soreness up high. Check out an anatomy chart for that info. Either way, the whole of your lats ‘will’ be taking a beating when train lats in general. And hey, you don’t always have to get DOMS to get a response from training. Cheers.

Try doing one-arm dumbell rows or some close hammer-grip low pulley rows. I find that when I do these, I can get a really good stretch at the bottom of the movement. Lower the weight as low as you can, and then lower it a little more.
Also, my lats really get burnt out when I do supersets on them.

Do wide grip pullups but watch your form. Most of the time when people are getting a spot they are missing it is their form. Watch the curve of your back. If you curve your back enough you will never hit that muscle fiber.

One way I’ve done dumbell rows seems to help, it’s kind of like screw curls. Take the dumbell in a neutral grip like normal, and as the weight comes up toward your hip, rotate your wrist so that the weight ends up in the underhand position. Keep the elbow intight, and minimize the bicep involvement.

I tend to agree with anyone who’s suggested any narrow rowing movement. If you look at a anatomy chart, the fibers of the lower lats run “up” towards the shoulders. From a Kin standpoint, that establishes their line of pull.

I was taught that narrow rowing works the lower lats and have found this to be true in my training. However, I realize it’s not necessarily the case with everyone.

The best traditional suggestion is the narrow row with a supinated (underhand) grip with your upper body at 45 degrees to the floor. Since it’s the priority in your back training, it should go first. Perhaps even first in your training week. Try a new loading protocol to shock the area. Also give the other suggetions a cance as finishers and see what happens.

Hope that helps.

With all this advice, I am going to only be able to do one set of each exercise everyone is suggesting! Seriously, thanks for helping me, I’ll try some of these things tomorrow.