Lower Lats and High Lats Explained

The terms “lower lats” and “high lats” refer to the lower insertion of the latissimus dorsi muscle.

The “lower lats” insert very low – right into the lower back. Those blessed with low lat insertions often have good lat development and a fuller lower back.

Larry Scott had low lats.

Larry Scott had low lats.

Lee Haney insane lower lats.

Lee Haney’s insane lower lats.

The lats of Larry Scott and Lee Haney insert really low into the lower back and create that “Cobra” look.


Besides being aesthetically pleasing, lower lats are easier to build up. When the tendons are short and the muscle bellies are long, there is more potential for growth.

High Lats

High lats insert higher, further away from the lower back. They create the illusion that your back is wider than it actually is, but the lack of lower lat mass takes away from your back thickness. Many bodybuilders with high lats actually lose points for having a weaker lower back area.

dennis-wolf-high-lats

The lats of Dennis Wolf insert high, and consequently, the lower back has to cover the thickness of the area on its own. That’s why people with high lats usually have to work their lower backs harder to balance things out.

Can I have lower lats?

The insertions of your lats are genetically predetermined. You cannot change them.

What exercises can I do to target the lower lats?

While all back exercises target the lower lats, there are some specific movements that will help you feel the area a little more.

– close grip neutral grip pull-ups
– chin-ups
– ring pull-ups
– one arm dumbbell rows
– close grip neutral grip T-bar rows
– one arm rows on a Hammer Strength Machine

Don’t forget to arch your back and push your chest out during those exercises. Also, imagine that your arms are just hooks and focus on pulling with your back. If you do it correctly, you will feel a pump in the lat region close to the lower back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *