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How To Build Bigger Lats – 4 Exercises To Get A Mile Wide Back

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When it comes to building bigger lats you have to learn to pull with your lats when doing any back exercise. At first this will not be easy, but the more you train your lats the better your mind to muscle connection will become, making it easier. One way to give yourself a head start is by learning all the muscles included within the lats so that you’ll be able to know which part of your back to feel when doing any lat exercise, this will quickly improve your mind to muscle connection which results in more muscle gains.

The Latslat anatomy

Also known as the latissimus dorsi the lats are attached to 4 individual muscle groups which are all connected together in one piece. Starting from the front side of your humerus it comes down attaching to your scapula, lower thoracic spine and lastly the thoracolumbar fascia. Taking a look at the lat anatomy on the right will hopefully make it seem much simpler than it sounds.


Now that you understand what muscles make up the lats here is a brilliant routine for you to try that will get your back wide and thick, but remember you must also be eating the right foods and getting enough rest to allow the muscle to repair/grow bigger. Ensure you choose the right weight to use when performing these exercises so that you actually feel the lats working or else you’re just wasting your time.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups are a compound exercise that work the pull muscles in your body and maybe the best exercise for a wide back. They work a variety of muscles, but mainly the lats and traps with a bit of your biceps, triceps and chest also involved within the movement. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the pull-up bar and literally pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

pullups

Dumbbell Pull-overs

This is great for the lats, but also works the chest so having a good mind to muscle connection here is very important because you need to focus all your energy into the lats and not the chest if you want to gain the full benefit of this exercise. Due to the long range of motion that this movement requires your lats will be worked from the top to bottom.

Begin by laying flat on a bench while holding a dumbbell over your chest with your arms extended and elbows slightly bent. Once in place lower the dumbbell behind your head without touching the floor and repeat.

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

2 Minutes Rest Inbetween Each Set

dumbbell pullovers

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

The wide grip pulldown will help build even more lat width, but only if you do it correctly. Sit down at the pulldown machine and make sure you adjust the knee pad so it securely locks you in place, then grip the bar with the palm of your hands facing forward shoulder width apart. Now lean your torso back slightly and stick your chest out, once your in this position bring the bar down until it lightly touches your upper chest and pause at the bottom for 1 second before you slowly bring the bar back up.

A common misconception with this exercise is that people think the wider you grip the wider you lats will become, but this isn’t always so. In fact a really wide grip is very damaging to your shoulders because it stretches your shoulder girdle out significantly.

4 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

wide grip lat pulldown

Deadlifts

The king of compound movements and the greatest strength exercise. The deadlift works your lats, lower back, abs, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Your feet need to be shoulder width apart and your shins need to be close to the bar. Place your hands on the bar just outside of your feet and ensure you keep it even on both sides (use the lines on the bar as a guideline). MAKE SURE your starting posture is you sitting back in to it with your bum stuck out, chest out, shoulders held back and head up. This will help you keep a neutral spine throughout the whole motion. Now drive through your legs first and not your back if you don’t want to injure yourself. P.S. wearing a weight lifting belt will help you lift more weight and lower the risk of your back being injured.

3 Sets 8-10 Reps

2 Minute Rest Inbetween Each Set

deadlift

Do this routine once every four days to get lats you can be proud of when you take your shirt off. If you have anymore questions about this routine or the lats then please feel free to leave a comment down below.

10 thoughts on “How To Build Bigger Lats – 4 Exercises To Get A Mile Wide Back

  1. Very informative info, I started to finally feel my lats working after I got a bit stronger. At first I had to do assisted pull ups and it felt like i was just using my arms since my lats weren’t engaged and they were weak. I’d say you can definitely feel it when the exercise is done right. I also didn’t know about the connection to the chest and how much these common exercises help the chest too.

    1. Yes the pull-up is a full upper body exercise which is why it also works the chest, but only as long as you do it with proper form.

  2. These are all great exercises to work on the back. The exercise I like the most is definitely the pull ups. Unfortunately I can only do one. However, with all the other exercises combined I know that with months of practice and endurance I would be able to do more pull-ups. Thank you for the tips it is very helpful. You said to rest and eat right so what do you recommend that I eat ?

  3. I usually do pull ups at the gym to help with my upper body strength and this site is good for people wanting to learn some good workout techniques. I try to work out every chance I get and I think your site can help me with that by introducing new workouts to me and how to do them, so i’ll be coming back often to check for new articles ! The more workout information you add, the more people will continue to come on your site. Good job Andrew.

  4. Hey Andrew, thanks for this interesting and very informative article. I go to the gym very regularly and my back is one of my weaker parts I think, or at least my lats are. I still have trouble doing many pull-ups. I knew almost all of these exercises already, but I didn’t think that deadlifts target the lats so much. I thought that they mostly work the lower back.

  5. Andrew, my man !

    I’ve been struggling for a while now with getting my back to its former state (stopped working out as work was standing in the way).

    One of my routine sets was the pull-ups exercise and since I stopped practicing those (for more than one year), I noticed that my back and lats are a lot smaller than what it used to be.

    Never knew it was the main reason, but now after reading this I’m aware that it was the main reason, hahaha.

    Now and thanks to you my friend, I have two more sets of movements in mind which can help get my back in shape even more quickly than It would have with doing only the few stuff I know.

    Much appreciated !

    1. Hey Aydo, My Man !

      Glad to have helped you 🙂 P.S. Pull-Ups should never be taken out of anyone’s routine because they are the best exercise for lat growth by a long stretch, at least now you know haha.

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