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.

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

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Pullovers unfortunately hurt my fucked up left shoulder, but will gladly try the close grip pulldowns. Thanks for the tip.

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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I’m not gonna compete anytime soon, but it’s still an issue to be adressed.

I’ll try doing my rows close to the body, thanks.

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.

If I were lean, at 180lbs., that would be surprising to me.

I’ve been lifting for 6 years and gained 75 lbs naturally. I don’t think I’ll put on a lot of overall size.

I can already do one-arm chinups and row 300 lbs. for reps, so I’m not lacking general training experience.

My upper lats are great (maybe not in that pic), but my ribs are showing where my lower lats should be, there is some specific problem.

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)

For RT_Nomad, who seems to have commented right before my reply went up:

"I’ve been lifting for 6 years and gained 75 lbs naturally. I don’t think I’ll put on a lot of overall size.

I can already do one-arm chinups and row 300 lbs. for reps, so I’m not lacking general training experience."

Well, I’ll certainly be trying.


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.


Yeah, the pic was with shitty lighting, taken in 10s for this post and after a few months of dieting, which always has a massive effect on my lats.
I’ll try to take a better picture today.

Deadlift: 405 lbs. for 3
Bench: 295 lbs for 3
Can’t Squat cause of my knee tendinosis.

To be fair, I can only do the 1AChinups starting from the top, utilizing the stretch reflex.

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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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Thanks for the reply.

  1. My knees are from basketball, where I ignored tendon pain for years. I tore something in my shoulder during boxing, scar tissue won’t let me move it properly anymore. Was training way too much.

  2. I started at 132 lbs and got up to 207, that’s what I meant, now after a diet, I’m at 179, so ~47 lbs. of lean mass. Timeframe of 6 years, 6 feet then and now.

  3. Training was high intensity, high frequency, often I burnt out and took a long break, after which I always returned stronger. Last 2 years been doing the opposite (more reps, low frequency, consistent) and just eating more.

  4. I had never seen a bodybuilder, whose ribs were showing, I guess they just pose differently. Thanks for clearing that up.

Seem like great recommendations, will definitely be checking those out.

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

That’s true and is why I’ve stopped doing 1AChinups for the past few months. Luckily, I’ve learned a lot during the last years!

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That’s cool.

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

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