The latissimus dorsi (Lats) is a large, fan-shaped muscle that starts out wide at the level of the shoulders and ends medially at the level of the pelvis. Your Lats are the biggest muscle of your back and your upper body. We often forget about Lats because they are difficult to see in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind.
The Lats are often called “wings” because when they are very wide, they actually look like wings. However, they look more like bat’s wings and less like bird’s. Your Lats perform many actions, but their main function is to bring your arms closer to your body.
Along with giving you a V-Shape, training your Lats will also help you lose weight. Building these large muscles will boost your metabolism and turn you into a 24-hours-a-day fat burning machine.
Larger, wider and stronger Lats can also help you:
They can also help improve your posture and make your waist appear thinner.
The two main ingredients to bigger and stronger muscles are diet and exercise. They are equally as important. Exercise breaks the muscle down and diet build them back up. To build larger or stronger muscles, you must eat enough calories and enough quality protein.
A wider back is a larger back. To build large muscles you should do 3 sets of an exercise with rep goals of 10 -12. The best exercises for a wide back are:
Wide Grip Pull Ups
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs
Wide Grip Bent Over Rows
Wide Grip Seated Rows
Along with diet and exercise, you will need to sleep 7- 9 hours every night and drink plenty of fluids. You cannot grow wings over night, so be patient. With perseverance you will get there.
So you want a big back, huh? No worries soldier, in this article you'll find a great routine to use on your way to build a back thick and big like a barnyard door! So read on because it's time to earn your wings.
Earning Your Wings
Enter a big gym or fitness center any day of the week. Granted, you'll see scrawny guys doingbiceps curls with bad form until they're red in the face and their shoulders are out of whack. Next time you see them they'll be doing "bouncing" bench press with more weight on than they can handle, and during that workout, they'll probably throw in some more biceps curls just to make sure to keep them "guns growing". But tap them on their back, which they completely have neglected to train, and they'll be in a world of hurt.
Ok, I may be exaggerating, but I'm sure you know what I'm aiming at here. The back is such a huge part of the body the last thing you want to do is to neglect it. Instead you want to aim your focus on it and build a back that's thick and big like a barnyard door! You want your lats to look like they're about to burst out of your skin, and you want that shirt you bought just recently to feel even tighter a month from now. Or maybe it just won't fit anymore by then? It's time to go B-A-C-K and earn your wings!
Your mission is simple; hit that back of yours hard and heavy and never look back (no pun intended)! Sure, it may sound easy but it actually takes a lot if you want to see results. This is a workout that works, but it's not a one-time deal. Use it for a handful of weeks and then find another back routine for a while before you go back to this one again.
You need to hit this one mercilessly and then get the proper amount of sleep, not to mention that you have to eat like a Cyclops, (I hear they eat loads!). But both you and I know that you can do this, so get focused, because your mission is about to begin!
Pull-ups are the God of lats and that's final. You need to do them in order to bring those lats out and to get that muscular look that normal guys without the will-power or the discipline would die for. If you can't do one then I'm sorry but this workout is not for you. What you need to do is to train yourself at doing pull-ups and increase the amount of reps little by little.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Pullups.
What we're going to do here is 50 Pull-ups to start off this workout with. I can hear you swearing from here but take it easy; you don't have to do them all at once. No, we're going to do 10 reps at a time for 5 sets with minimal rest in between each set. So let's get cracking!
All done? Great! It's time to bring out the heavy artillery and with that I'm talking about the mighty Deadlift. While this is a great exercise for your lower back, it's also a mass building exercise that you, as a bodybuilder, just should not do without. It's important that you do 1-2 warm up sets here and that you use perfect form because this is an exercise that can literally make you or break you! So please be careful.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Deadlift.
We will be doing a pyramid set here that'll consist of 4 sets altogether. For the first set you'll be doing 10 reps, then 8, then 6 and then 4 reps, and you will increase the weight as you go. Rest approximately 2-3 minutes between each and every set. Use perfect form and don't hold back on the weight.
Are you ok? You sure look a little pale there. Well, we're going to get some more blood pumped into those muscles of yours right away with some Seated Cable Row. We going to be doing a pyramid set here too, just like we did with Deadlift. This means that you'll be doing 4 sets again, and this time the rep count will also be 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Increase the weight for each set. You know the drill.
Seated Cable Rows
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Seated Cable Rows.
Two more exercises to go and then you're all done. Feels great doesn't it? Next up is Wide-Grip Pulldowns Behind The Neck and you'll be doing 3 sets with 8 reps per set. So be seated, grab the bar with a wide grip that you're comfortable with and slowly start pulling the bar straight down until it touches your neck. Then return the bar to the starting position in a slow fashion. Rinse and Repeat.
Wide-Grip Pulldown Behind The Neck
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Wide-Grip Pulldown Behind The Neck.
All right, one more exercise to go. Seated One-Arm Cable Row is the name of the game here and you'll be doing 3 sets of 10 reps. Instead of a bar you need a handle here, and the exercise itself works just like Seated Cable Row only that you just use one arm at a time. So start with your right arm and pull the handle back until your arm is at a 90-degree angle, then return to starting position. After 10 reps change to your left arm and do 10 more reps, then rest.
Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows.
- Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 10 reps
- Deadlift: 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Seated Cable Row: 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Wide-Grip Pulldowns Behind The Neck: 3 sets of 8 reps