T Nation

Mind-Muscle Connection


I'm sure this has been covered before but how vital is this and will it help me achieve more when it comes to my lats?

I guess i just dont fully understand what to do, ive been using my hands like hooks and pulling from my elbows but i just dont feel the same feeling in my lats that i feel in say my chest or triceps.



try pre-exhausting with straight arm pulldowns before you do normal pulldowns.

Squeeze the contraction for a couple of seconds at the top of each rep. Try and flare your lats when you do this.

that'll fix ya!


A tip that I found useful was to have a training partner lithely touch the muscle with their fingertips during the lift.
Really focus on contracting with the muscle and "pulling through your elbows" and having someone lightly touch the lats helped me to actively flex them and feel them working.

If you don't have a workout partner any random hot woman at the gym will do :slight_smile:


Thanks Rd and Smashingweights i'll give both suggestions a try, especially:


Good luck :slightly_smiling:
It's like when you're doing concentration curls and you lightly touch te biceps peak of te curling arm.
It helps you feel the movement a little better.


Focus on pulling with your elbows not your arms. Along with the other tips. Use your hands just as hooks.


Lats really are a body part (along with chest) that I have to work for to get a MMC. In both cases, not only pulling with the elbows, but adjusting where/how my elbows were moving made a huge difference. Also with lats, if you can, I try and actively concentrate on kind of 'widening' and 'tucking' my scapula. Helps me.


And try lowering your weight. I know I had to do that and it helped me tremendously in lat development. If after an exercise of hitting my lats, I don't feel them filling up with blood and my arms are tight - I know I am doing it wrong and more than likely going to heavy.


One that worked for me was a tip by George Peterson. He says that instead of pulling your shoulders back, stick your chest out. As if trying to touch the bar. It's essentially the same motion but makes a whole lot of neural difference for activating the lats and back in general.


Agree with Majin on this one. Nothing works quite like it for me.


Check out the tool box thread,Jake put up a video for a lat pull on a cable machine.I do these but with bands and will switch my grip and how I pull the bands toward's me to get the right feel In my lats.I pre pump with these and also throw them In between set's as well.Work's great for MMC.


I'm a strap whore on PULL day. Even with "lighter" weight straps allow me to use a false grip which I suppose causes a "kinetic energy leak"???? in the arms, effectively reducing there involvement.

Also what"s helped me is a tip from Thibs. He talked about about cable rows, how technically you don't even need to move your arms to engage your lats. Its true. Do some partials and the lats will activate!


agreed with everything above

do exercises that specifically move through the lats' ROM, i.e. anything with a pullover elbow movement
so - pullups and pulldowns with a close grip (you'll have to go neutral or underhand), rows pulling to the hip crease rather than stomach, and pullovers themselves


Foam roll your back to get better thoracic mobility, I notice it helps with MMC


Also, something that can be overlooked when it comes to MMC for ANY muscle...

The best place to practice...your room! Just sitting at your desk. If you can't find a muscle on your own with no resistance, you can't expect to find it once you add weight. Practice flexing the muscles you can't connect with.


Agreed! For the longest time I couldn't seem to "activate" my lats or feel them working like they should, and I couldn't do a lat spread to save my life. I started just flexing and trying to spread my lats randomly throughout the day, and it's made a big difference in my back development as of late


Reps, reps, reps, reps, reps to learn the feeling. I've surfed for 25 years and every surf I do hundreds of lat contractions. It gives the most amazing MMC. The more reps you do with a relatively light weight the faster you will learn the feeling. Also as stated light palpation of the muscle belly can help.