The lats are one of the essential muscles in the body. Due to their origin in the lower spine and their insertion in the upper arms, the lats cover a lot of surface area and are responsible for many movements of the body.
If you want to develop impressive upper body athleticism and a broad back, you need to give your lats enough work. Here are three of the best exercises.
1. The Pull-up
The pull-up is one of the most effective bodyweight movements you can do. Being able to bang out sets of pull-ups says a lot about your fitness level, but they also target and develop your lats like nothing else.
Plus, the pull-up is the least demanding back exercise for your lower back. Many people choose it precisely because it doesn’t fatigue the lower back, but puts its entire attention to the upper portion.
2. The Barbell Row
Many people don’t consider the barbell row a strictly ‘lat exercise,’ and it’s not one. The row also heavily targets your lower traps, rhomboids, teres major & minor, and erectors.
But still, the row allows you to overload your muscles with more weight than machine row exercises which leads to more thickness and width in the entire back.
3. The Bent-Over Cable Pullover
No movement out there isolates your lats, but this pullover variation comes very close.
One of the main functions of your lats – due to their insertion point – is to bring your arms toward your torso. The cable pullover mimics that movement better than any other and provides a loaded stretch and contraction for your lats in that specific plane of motion.
When done correctly – using a sensible weight, keeping your arms straight at the elbows, and using a full range of motion (making sure to extend your arms fully before bringing the cable to your upper thighs for a strong contraction) – the cable pullover trains your lats like no other movement.