WEAK POINT WEDNESDAYS: LATS
The lats are the muscle group that not only can increase your overall strength, but help you look the part too.
The latissimus dorsi muscle, whose name means “broadest muscle of the back,” is one of the widest muscles in the human body. Also known as the “lat,” it is a large, flat triangular muscle that is not used strenuously in common daily activities but is an important muscle in many exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pulldowns, and swimming.
Primary Actions of the Latissimus Dorsi
1. Adduction of the arm at shoulder
2. Extension of the arm at the shoulder
3. Internal rotation of the arm at the shoulder
Secondary Actions of the Latissimus Dorsi
1. Assists with extension of the trunk
2. Assists with flexion of the trunk
3. Assists with lateral flexion of the trunk
4. Assists with anterior and lateral pelvic tilt
5. Assists with depression of the scapula
6. Assist with protraction of the scapula
7. Assists with deep inspiration and forced expiration
In my experience, training the chest like a powerlifter and the back like a bodybuilder is the best way to get stronger, bigger and avoid injuries in the long run.
So with that in mind, I always prescribe a shit ton of volume when creating a plan for myself and my clients. Of course, a combination of heavy weights for lower reps and moderate weights for higher/ultra high reps is used, in order to take advantage of the weighted stretch and to chase the pump with all the added volume/tonnage.
I love weighted chinup variations, heavy cheat kroc rows, heavy cheat T-bar rows, weighted inverted rows and every now and then lat pulldown variations in order to abuse the weighted stretch.
I’ve been experimenting with Dumbbell pullovers lately with good results, so they’re definitely going to be a staple to my training from now on. Specifically, I perform a day of heavier pullovers and a day of somewhat lighter pullovers to add extra quality tonnage.
With pullovers, I follow the breathing method in order to assist with rib cage expansion. To do so, simply lay across a bench, breath in with your chest and expand the rib cage when you’re extending the arms overhead and exhale when you lower the dumbbell towards your chest.
This method was a favorite of the Golden and Silver Era bodybuilders that were going after rib/chest expansion. Many programs of the past utilized this technique among many others in order to achieve as big rib expansion as possible. That’s how you can get that thick wide upper body look.
Here are some videos explaining further the history of rib expansion via dumbbell pullovers and showing you how to perform the lifts correctly.
Obviously, with Nucleus Overload being a staple in my training plans, I primarily use the pullovers, kroc rows, chest supported rows and bodyweight chinups for all the added ultra high volume.
If you enjoyed this article make sure you share it with those that you think will find it useful.
Want to work with me? Shoot me a DM on Telegram or Twitter, or via the contact page.