Big arms may be cool, but big lats are what separates the little boys from the men. Developing your latissimus dorsi will have a more profound effect on how you look than adding an inch to your arms. Here’s a list of the most effective lat exercises for natural bodybuilders.
1.Pull-ups (all variations)
The pull-up is a highly effective way to develop wide lats. When the exercise is performed correctly, you will be sore for days after a pull-up session.
2. Pullover (on a machine or with a free weight)
Contrary to a popular belief, the pullover is not really a chest exercise. The chest gets hit, but the lats and the long head of the triceps are the primary movers. This is one of the few exercises that can be classified as isolation movements for the lats.
Note: The pullover could be hard on the shoulder joints. Don’t use a lot of weight and focus on higher reps (8-15).
3. Single arm dumbbell rows
The single arm dumbbell row gives you a great lat stretch prior to the contraction. It also allows you fix any lat imbalances that you may have between the left and the right side. That’s how you can even out your lat muscles. Don’t cheat.
The deadlift hits the lats super hard too. The lats have to contract intensely to keep the bar closer to body and promote a more efficient pull. It’s not uncommon to see lat tears and strains during maximum effort deadlifts. The deadlift will build thickness that’s hard to achieve otherwise.
Once a week variation:
Deadlifts – 1 sets of 5-8 reps
Pull-ups – 5 sets of as many as yo can
One arm dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 15
Twice a week variation:
Deadlifts – 1 sets of 8-10 reps
Pull-ups – 5 sets of as many as you can;
Single arm dumbbell rows – 3 x 15
Pull-ups (a different variation from Day 1) – 3 sets of as many as you can.
Pullover – 3 x 20
Add weight and/or reps. Plan a deload phase after 6-12 weeks of training.