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Bodybuilding Lat Training Tips

How To Build Bigger & Better Bat Wings

You've no doubt seen the big shadow shots of the mile wild backs in the bodybuilding magazines.  How do bodybuilders develop such a wild back?  The truth is, training your lats (latissimus dorsi) is different for all of us, there are training exercises that we'll prefer over others and some exercises that our unique body's will respond differently too.  The trick is to find the best combination of exercise that stretches your back, giving you maximum width for the training that you can put in.  You'll want to find exercises that isolate the lats and other back muscles help you grow and develop quicker to build your physique.

In this article we'll go through some training exercises that we think are best for building a strong and wide back in the quickest time possible, help you develop a killer physique.

Pull-Ups & Chin-Ups

If you talk to anyone with even the slightest interest in bodybuilding and working out, you soon know that pull-ups and chin-ups are a regular occurrence in most training plans.  The different between the two exercises is one puts more focus on your biceps, other than that they're pretty much the same movement.

When you first start out, you may find these harder than you'd expect but that shouldn't put you off if you keep in mind that this is a static pull motion of your entire body weight.  Most intermediate bodybuilders should be looking to complete ten or twelve in one set and some will be able to do this when adding additional weight hanging from the waist.

Alternating your grip is a great way to mix up the exercise and put the emphasis on different areas of the muscles, helping you build and develop a fuller and more defined physique.

Cable / Lat Pull-downs

Locking your legs in a fixed position, this exercise really lets you isolate your upper body with real focus on your shoulders and upper back.  It's often thought that have a very wide grip will increase the size of your lats but this isn't strictly true.  Having a wide grip will stretch and increase the width of your shoulders but to get a real blast through your lats a middle grips is best.  It's where most of your lats power is produced and where you can really smash through the weight.

Ultimately as with chin-ups and pull-ups, you need to find a grip that best suits you and your training style.  The more comfortable you feel and the more you connect with the grip and motion, the better the end result will be.

Bent-Over Barbell Rows

You don't need to be bent completely over at a 90 degree angle for this movement to be effective, standing at a 45 degree angle is perfect for getting blasting and blitzing your lats.  Using the overhand grips is ideal as focus is on your lats to perform the action and do most of the pulling.  The underhand grip will bring your biceps into action therefore preventing you from using your lats to their maximum.

Interesting you'll find you can perform a bent-over barbell row with a strong or stable core, lower back and hamstrings as you need to support yourself in a fixed position.

Single Arm Dumbbell Rows

Using free-weights is a great way to thicken and develop your back and lat muscles.  It's very easy with this exercise to jerk the weight and rush the movement.  This can often be because you've picked up a weight that's too heavy, although you can lift the weight, when bent over on bench the key is to ensure you can complete a full movement, starting with a straight arm and bring the weight up until the elbow is bent at 90 degrees.

Completing this as a single arm exercise prevent your strongest arm or strongest side from taking control of the lift and forcing your body to mirror itself giving you a well sculpted thick physique.

Summary Review

These are some of the key upper back exercises that should be followed or included in your workouts to help to develop strong, thick and wide lats.  There are other exercises that can be followed using similar movements and it's important that you find the exercises that best suit you and your training plan.

About the Author

Kevin Hodges is the founder of and since launching the site is dedicated to helping all fitness, health and bodybuilding enthusiast to be the best they possible can be.  Researching and writing articles on training techniques, dietary tips for gaining muscle and losing weight and the best supplement for maximising results.

We all have to potential to transform and improve, sometime we just need a push!

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