T Nation

Horrible Lower Lats?


from the front my lats look really wide, but if I move my arms forward, my ribs and my spine start showing on my back, as if I were anorexic.

Is this due to a lack of lower lats, if so, how can I train them? I’ve tried rows, but haven’t gotten any growth from it.

I’m not that lean and weigh 180 lbs after some dieting, ribs were even showing at 207.

Bad foto of my lats:

Pullovers or neutral close grip pulldown keeping the elbows in. Stretch out at the top.

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When are you going to find yourself with your top off and doing that pose so that your ribs are noticeable?

Good tips are to do rows (ideally high-to-low rows) where you don’t bring your elbow past the back of your body and pull with your elbow close to your body.

Do exercises that retract your shoulder blade through their full ROM.to build the upper back muscles to address the spine thing but you may also be flexing your spine which would make it seem worse than it is.

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you’re lean and dont have a huge amount of muscle.

Worrying about something as specific as ‘lower lats’ isn’t worth the effort honestly, grow your back, all of your back, and it will stop being an issue.

There is no specific problem, and you can still put on a lot of muscle mass naturally.


IMO, you do not have poor lower lats genetics. You have total lack of muscle in you back. Too many beginners look for weak points. Most all of them can be fixed by putting on more muscle. Quit worrying about symmetry and start worrying about adding muscle.

Do heavy back work:

  • Bent over rows
  • Deadlifts
  • Long pulls (seated rows)
  • Pullups (once you get to 15 reps, add weight)


do not add up.
If the lifts are correct, you have managed to take the worst picture ever.

What can you do the three powerlifts (max single or reps)?
Do you think you could take a better picture?
I’ve only seen two people do a one arm pullup (chin up). Both looked more like gymnasts than bodybuilders. They were about 150lbs.

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No, it’s not due to a lack of “lower lats” because that’s not where the lower lats would cover. It’s due to you stretching your body in a way that reveals your ribs.

It’s really not. If you really plan on competing in the future, there are more important things to address like arms and legs.

You started at 115 and got up to 207? That’s really solid work, congrats. How tall are you? What did your diet and training look like and what was the timeframe?

Dude, how are you racking up so many injuries at such a young age?

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If performance lifting and strength training aren’t giving you the look you want,try some bodybuilder stuff.

Ditch overhand moves like barbell rows and chins. Lots of guys are like you and don’t get much lats from those moves. Maybe you’re just a victim of horrible exercise selection.

Try more narrow, supinated and neutral grips on cable rows and cable pulldowns. Figure out how to lean your torso and pull with your elbows to put tension directly on your lats.

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No more utilizing the stretch reflex! That shifts work to your tendons.

That’s cool.

So how old were you when you started this growth phase?

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So you have your final growth phase still to look forward to.

That’s when most guys thicken up and begin to look like men, between 20-24 yrs. old.

Here ya go.

It wouldn’t be a “how do I get my X to grow…” without him. :+1:


Very true. Rest In Peace.

I’ll join in!

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I used to do cobra lat pulldowns. They’re a bit goofy and are a bit of an ask on old shoulders so I replaced them will pull-ins.

I love these things, just a great secondary lat movement and are a good way to practice mind-muscle connection on lats.

I always got a pump from these:


Actually, after the last few months on a Concept2, I can feel my lower lats firing better than they ever have in my life.

It’s like that last little crunch at the end, but in a little more and on both sides instead of unilaterally like that.

Don’t know if they’ve grown much though. Can’t really see anything back there.

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Looks like a pullover variation my shoulder can handle. Thanks.

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Have thought about trying out Pullins as well, seem interesting for sure.

Interesting, a buddy of mine always used that, he said something similar. I guess the high repetitions teach your body the right way to contract.