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Will This Isolate the Lats?

Can you isolate the lats by lying on your stomach and pulling dumbbells back while squeezing your shoulder blades? I think it’s kind of like the same concept as doing shrugs for the traps. I’m curious if there are any good lat isolation exercises.

Why do you need to “isolate” them? It’s not going to happen without EMS. As far as single-jointed movements for your back, you can use dumbbell or barbell pullovers, and straight-arm pulldowns.

If you’re having trouble activating them on compound exercises (chins and pullups in particular), think of your hands as hooks attached to the chinning bar and pull from your elbows.

Pull ups, pull downs, bent over rows, T bar rows, one arm dumbbell rows, and cable rows. If you focus on pulling with the elbows you will minimize the work from the elbow flexors and isolate the lats.

Edit
Damn Ramo you beat me to it. “Pull from the elbows” You know what your talking about. Let me second the thumbless hook grip.

If your having trouble activating your lats, start your back workouts with wide grip pullups, it worked for me.

[quote]Bonn1997 wrote:
Can you isolate the lats by lying on your stomach and pulling dumbbells back while squeezing your shoulder blades? I think it’s kind of like the same concept as doing shrugs for the traps. I’m curious if there are any good lat isolation exercises. [/quote]

I think this will thicken up your upper back and it should will work lower traps as well. I’d use it at the end of a workout. I’ve done something like this but on a hammer strength machine. If your just starting out I’d stick with rows. Just my 2 cents.

There’s no such thing as true muscle isolation. Focus on heavy deadlifts, chin-ups/pull-ups, and barbell rows to develop your back. These should be staples in anyone’s program anyway and should go without saying.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
Why do you need to “isolate” them? It’s not going to happen without EMS. As far as single-jointed movements for your back, you can use dumbbell or barbell pullovers, and straight-arm pulldowns.

If you’re having trouble activating them on compound exercises (chins and pullups in particular), think of your hands as hooks attached to the chinning bar and pull from your elbows. [/quote]

That’s a fair enough question. I’d like to isolate them for two reasons. First, after doing a lot of sets of a strenuous exercise like deadlifts, I like to do some isolation lifts to give my CNS some time to recover before something more strenuous again. Second, I think my traps are ahead of my lats in development and they and the rhomboids carry the load more than the lats when I do compound back lifts. I wasn’t consciously thinking of pulling from my elbows, though. I’ll try that.

I’ve tried pullovers but I don’t really feel it in my lats when I do them. I don’t really feel it anywhere in my upper body. I just eventually reach muscle fatigue and can’t do more reps.

What does “EMS” stand for?

OK I hear you. I’d do pull downs or pull ups with different grips. These will hit the lats. Stick with the basics don’t bother with all that crazy shit.

EMS Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Pull Ups (not chin-) with a very wide grip (>>shoulder width) and straight arm pull downs (using a cable tower, keeping arms straight and not moving the elbow joint, pulling down from an overhead position to your hip) to isolate Lats

Pullups are pronated hands right? People use the two interchangably so often I still don’t have it straight although I do both ._. And is there a point to doing the pullup where your hands are one after another and you go to one side of the bar? Like instead of hanging face forward from the bar your facing sideways.

Ive got to say I never really “felt” my lats working until I started using straight arm dumbbell rows and straight arm cable pulldowns. …

I cant engage them properly enough to do them justice with just chins and pullups… . Ill get 10+ reps and add weight and its still too much of an arm exercise for me. …

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
Ive got to say I never really “felt” my lats working until I started using straight arm dumbbell rows and straight arm cable pulldowns. …

I cant engage them properly enough to do them justice with just chins and pullups… . Ill get 10+ reps and add weight and its still too much of an arm exercise for me. …[/quote]
How do you do a straight arm dumbbell row?

Give this a try:

Most gyms have straps that are intended to go around your ankles for cable exercises. Grab them and put them on your arms, just above the elbow. Now sit down at a pulldown station, and hook one of the arms to the cable.

Basically a one arm pulldown that isolates the lats.

Thanks, you guys are really creative! Just wondering, would the technique I listed above hit the lats at all or just the rhombs and traps? I wasn’t talking about doing “airplanes.” It’s closer to just lying down with weights in hands and rolling or squeezing the shoulder blades together.

Lots of good advice here. I used to have your traps/no lats problem- Row to your lower stomach. I’ll bet that you row to chest or higher. If not, ignore me.

[quote]dannyrat wrote:
Lots of good advice here. I used to have your traps/no lats problem- Row to your lower stomach. I’ll bet that you row to chest or higher. If not, ignore me. [/quote]

Interesting. For the bent-over row, I definitely go above the stomach (maybe even the lower chest line). I’ll row lower.

[quote]Bonn1997 wrote:
Thanks, you guys are really creative! Just wondering, would the technique I listed above hit the lats at all or just the rhombs and traps? I wasn’t talking about doing “airplanes.” It’s closer to just lying down with weights in hands and rolling or squeezing the shoulder blades together.[/quote]

That’s primarily a traps/rhomboids exercise. It’s basically a horizontal shrug. The lats perform shoulder adduction and horizontal shoulder extension. Basically, they insert on the humerus and are only really involved in exercises where the humerus is pulled to the sides/or back. Since there is none of these actions occurring during your exercise, it’s not a good lat exercise.

I’d do as several people have already suggested and perform straight arm pulldowns to isolate the lats. If you still want to perform the horizontal shrugs for your traps/rhombs then feel free.

Good training,

Sentoguy