Many people have a hard time feeling their lats working due to a poor mind-muscle connection. A good way to meet your lats is to do pullovers. Contrary to popular belief, the pullover is not a chest exercise. The primary movers are the long head of the triceps and the latissimus dorsi.
The pullover can be done in many different ways (e.g., free weights, machines…etc.). There are even machines dedicated specifically to that exercise. The most popular would be the one designed by Arthur Jones, the owner of the brand Nautilus. Jones’ lat machine keeps the lats under constant tension, even at the bottom of the exercise. If you perform the movement correctly, you will feel a massive pump in your lats.
On the other hand, when you do pullovers with a dumbbell, there’s no resistance at the beginning of the movement. The Nautilus machine fixes this and can cause an insane burn in the latissimus dorsi muscles.
If your gym does not have a pullover machine, you could try cable pullovers.
Build a mind-muscle connection with your lats
By doing exercises that target the latissimus dorsi directly, you are building the mind-muscle connection needed during powerful movements such as deadlifts and pull-ups.
Note: Some people like to pre-exhaust their lats with pullovers prior to pull-ups in order to make the lats the weak link. You could do the same if you have trouble feeling your lats during pull-ups.