Want to build some cobra lats Bruce Lee style? Get ready for some real pain! 1,2,3…go!
Having big arms may be cool but having big lats is 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 with the most effective lat exercises for natural bodybuilders.
1.Pull-ups -all variations;
As explained in this article doing pull-up is a highly effective way to develop your lats. When the exercise is done correctly and the muscle is properly activated, you will be sore for days after a pull-up session.
The pull-up is a compound movement that hits the lats, the biceps and the forearms directly. Make sure you incorporate it in your routine.
2. Pullover (on a machine or with a free weight)
Regardless of the popular opinion the pullover is not a chest exercise. The chest gets hit indirectly 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 movement for the lats. The cool thing about this exercise is that you can squeeze out completely the “juice” of your back muscles.
Note: The pullover could be a dangerous shoulder exercise. Make sure your shoulder is tight and sort of shrugged down when you are doing this movement. Don’t use a lot of weight and focus on higher reps.
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 since each side is allowed to work separately. That’s how you even out your lat muscles. Don’t go too heavy on this exercise. By doing jerky motions you may be able to lift a ton of weight but the goal here is to work the lat and not just lift the weight.
Regardless of what people may think the deadlift hits the lats super hard. The deadlift works the whole back in an isometric fashion and the weight is super heavy. The lats have to contract very hard in order to keep the bar closer to body and promote more efficient pull. It’s not uncommon to see lat tears during maximum effort deadlifts. The deadlift will build thickness that’s hard to achieve otherwise.
Once a week variation:
Deadlifts – 3 sets of 8-10 reps;
Pull-ups – 5 sets of as many as yo can;
One arm dumbbellrow – 3 sets of 15;
Twice a week varitaion:
Deadlifts – 3 sets of 8-10 rep;
Pull-ups – 5 sets of as many as you can;
Single arm dumbbell rows – 3 x 15;
Pull-ups (different variation from Day 1) – 3 sets of as many as you can.
Pullover – 3 x 20;
Add weight and/or reps each workout you can. Plan a deload phase after 6-8 weeks of training.
Note: The above program is just a modest example of a powerful back workout. You should modify it according to your needs.