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7 Top Lat Exercises for A Shield-Like Back

Top Lat Exercises for A Shield-Like Back

The back muscles, particularly the lats, make up for some of your body’s core muscles, including supporting the spine and overall body structure. Therefore, lat exercises improve the appearance of your back and are also essential to maintain the back muscles as strong and sturdy. Whether you dream of building a charming muscular body with bodyweight workouts or by hitting the gym, lat pulldowns are versatile for both types of routines. So, if you were looking for the top lat exercises that help build a shielded back with a gorgeous V-shaped body, then you have come to the right place! This article will enlighten you about the best lat exercises along with all the necessary information you need to know about lat pulldown.

Why Include Top Lat Exercises Into the Workout Routine?

Lat pulldowns allow your body to target and develop back muscles for a profound body proportion. A strong back will ultimately let you allow the daily activities along with the intense workouts with more energy. Moreover, lats, that are also called latissimus dorsi make up for the largest back muscles. They run down from the shoulders till the hips. So, next time you prefer shoulder workouts, also keep in mind that lat muscles perform the primary functions during the pulling motions of the body and hence deserve special regard in your workout regimen.

Thus, it does not make sense for any muscle-building aspirant or a passionate bodybuilder to leave lat exercises from the regular workout routine. We need not discuss the vitality of pulling motions during daily life activities, let alone the workout routines. Therefore, lat exercises mainly involve rowing pulling motions that are typically crucial to enhance the body’s energy. Also, resistance-building individuals can happily use heavier weights alongside variations in lat exercises with dumbbells and resistance bands.

Lat Pull Down Workout Routine

You have to take into account your health and fitness level, along with your current bodybuilding phase, while deciding how to add lat exercises into your workout routine. To give you an idea, we have given our suggestions below on how to do lat pulldowns at home or the gym-

Lat Exercise for Beginners:

To outperform the ultimate beginner’s workout routine with lat pulldown, choose not more than 1-2 lat exercises. Then, perform these exercises in 1-2 sets with 12-16 reps. You can pick lat exercises with dumbbells such as one arm dumbbell row or the best row exercises with a resistance band. The lat exercises will hit your back muscles in a challenging manner to construct a solid back.

The Middle or Advanced Level of Lat Exercises:

The bodybuilders in their intermediate or advanced levels of bodybuilding can choose 3-4 variant lat exercises. A variety of movements with different types of exercises and types of equipment will put different muscle groups at work simultaneously. For example, if you fall under this category, you can choose a combination of barbell and dumbbell rows with pull-ups. Do 2-3 sets of each lat pulldown with 8-12 reps and rest between the sets. Use resistance and intensity to get an inch closer to the perfect back you desire. To have a holistic workout routine for the upper body, don’t forget to include the lower chest workouts and terrific triceps workouts.

The Best Lat Exercises

It’s time for you to feel your lats! So get ready to pull up, pull down, and row for a chiseled back. While exercises such as big biceps workouts are fascinating for many, lat exercises are daunting for those who understand the essence of putting back muscles at work that coordinate with abs, chest arms, and shoulders. So, brace yourself for the “mirror muscles” and give a try to the below-given list of lat exercises at home or the gym-

1. One Arm Row Lat Exercise

One Arm Row Lat Exercise

The one-arm row lat exercise demands a balance between one leg and one arm. You can do this lat exercise at home as it does not require heavyweights. You can go for lighter weights, but if you feel tremors in the body while performing this lat exercise, take a leg down and keep the weight on the leg in use with a light rest on the toes.

Follow these simple steps to perform a one-arm row on one leg-

  • Move the weight to the right leg and bend with your hips.
  • Bring the torso parallel to the floor and lift up the left leg upward. Your entire body should be straight at this point.
  • Hold a wall if you cannot maintain balance in the beginning.
  • Now, pull up the elbow in a row and then lower down gradually.
  • If you wish to perform this lat exercise as a resistance workout, you can perform the variation rowing with a long bar.

2. Barbell Row – Popular Lat Workout

Barbell Row - Popular Lat Workout

The barbell row is a popular lat exercise that helps boost back strength by putting various back and arm muscles at work. While dumbbells let you work each side of the body, a barbell bar gives you the liberty to lift heavier weights. Although not a particular lat exercise, the movement is famous as a bodybuilding and powerlifting workout.

Execute Barbell Row With These Following Steps:

  • With the palms facing the body, grab a barbell row.
  • Bend over and take the torso at an angle of 45 degrees. Don’t exert the torso as it may strain your back.
  • Now, slightly keeping the knees bent to protect the back, pull the bar with the energy and squeeze it to pull it till the belly button.
  • Repeat 8-12 reps of barbell row to pull it as a lat exercise.

3. Lat Pulldown With Resistance Band

Lat Pulldown With Resistance Band

This, again, is an easy one and you can do this lat exercise at home without much assistance. However, if you want to do this at the gym, you can use a lat pull machine for better intensity. But, if you are performing this lat exercise at home, it is wise that you use a door holder for the band and stuck it in a doorway above.

Follow This Process To Perform Lat Pulldown With Band- 

  • Grab the band tight and squeeze the back muscles to pull the elbows down to the rib cage.
  • For a more challenging move, bring both hands together.
  •  For a more targeted move, perform this lat exercise with one arm at a time.
  • Perform at least 10-12 reps.

Also See: How to Get Rid of Arm Fat

4. Dumbbell Pullover Lat Exercise

Dumbbell Pullover Lat Exercise

Yes! Pullovers can also be great lat exercises. They employ various muscle groups to work out together. Not only the triceps, but this lat exercise with dumbbells also targets the lats and the chest. If you wish to perform this lat exercise at home, you can use a ball to engage your core and lower body.

Use These Simple Steps To Perform Dumbbell Pullover-

  • Put yourself into a bridge position and hold a weight right above your head. If you are a beginner, pick a lighter weight.
  • Keep the arms straight with your elbows a little bit bent and now lower the weight that has reached behind you nearly equal to the head level.
  • Press your back at the peak of the movement and pull the weight up to the initial position.
  • With 3-4 sets, do 12-16 reps of this lat exercise.

5. The Standing Lat Pulldown

The Standing Lat Pulldown

The standing lat pulldown is undoubtedly one of the most effective lat exercises. So if you are having posture, strength, or size issues with the lats, don’t worry! Standing lat pulldown is here to save you! It certainly improves the aesthetics and can help you a hardcore back. You will require a cable machine to perform this lat exercise.

Follow these actions to perform the standing pull down

  • Keep your core tight, bringing the shoulder blades down.
  • Pull the bar down till you reach it to your upper chest.
  • Wait for a few seconds at the bottom, then press your lats and slowly return to the initial position.
  • With tightness intact, repeat 3-4 sets with 8-12 reps.

6. Wide Lat Pulldown

Wide Lat Pulldown

The wide lat pulldown is another best lat exercise for back strengthening. It can bolster the overall strength of the upper body and can also improve posture. To gain a great upper body shape and fitness, make the wide grip lat pulldown your staple. To do this lat exercise at home, set up a cable machine at a high angle, along with the lat bar attachment.

Ace the wide lat Pulldown with these steps-

  • Lean back and brace your cores.
  • While bringing the back and shoulder blades down, pull down the bar till it touches the upper chest.
  • At this moment, take a small pause and press your lats. Now vigilantly return to the initial position.
  • Maintaining the stiffness in the core, complete 3-4 sets with 10-12 reps of this lat exercise.

7. Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown

Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown

When you go overhead to the underhead, you hit the lower lats as the primary target. You will need a standard cable lat pulldown machine for this lat exercise. The specialty of hammer strength is that it enables you to go through a smooth motion path with free weights. Therefore, you can derive optimum strength and endurance with hammer strength lat pulldowns.

Perform the hammer strength lat pulldown with these straightforward steps-

  • Sit firm on the seat and keep the pads against the peak of your lower quads.
  • Grab the inner handles and then slightly lean back.
  • Contract your back muscles and press shoulder blades together while pulling down the handles till they reach your lower chest.
  • Return upwards again with arms stretched.

Also See: When to Drink Protein Shake Before or After Workout

Let’s Sum Up!

Lat exercises are a great way to activate different muscle groups in one go. Not only do they strengthen the upper body, but they also build muscles in a much faster way. You can try a lat exercise with variation as per your convenience. But, remember, if you are doing a lat pulldown for heavy resistance training or as a beginner, keep warm-up sessions a priority. Also, if you have predominantly weak muscles or if you feel that you might get muscle strain, consult a professional trainer before hitting the gym for lat exercise. Mostly, these lat exercises work best for all types of people and help them build an enormously strong back and muscular physique. So, try them out now, and leave your thoughts about them. Till then, keep hustling!

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