Training the lats is a pretty much unique experience for every bodybuilder. The back is one of the largest and most complex muscle groups and training it demands a high level of patience and determination. Luckily, there is a wide range of exercises that will help you build a killer back, including a variety of high pulling exercises, pullovers and pull-ups.
Many bodybuilders begin training their back by first focusing on the upper portion of the back, then moving on to the lower part. However, many bodybuilders also have wide upper lats but narrow and weak lower lats. The reasons for this are countless, but the solution is pretty simple – all you have to do is involve the lower lats by turning your grip upside down!
For a complete back development, it’s advisable to use all types of hand positions – overhand, underhand, neutral and even mixed. But changing your grip from overhand to underhand during lat pulldowns and barbell rows is the most efficient way to engage the lower portion of your back and allow a greater range of motion. Furthermore, if you use narrower grip, you’ll be able to stretch the lower lats more during the extension and pull the elbows farther back for the contraction.
So if your back muscles are lagging, trying different grip styles can help you significantly speed up your progress by increasing the challenge and targeting different muscles. To stimulate some insane growth in the lower lats, blast your back with the following advanced workout:
- Machine pulldowns with an underhand grip: 3 pyramided 10-rep sets, followed by 1 main set of 8 reps
- Chinups : 1 set of 8 reps
- Barbell rows with an underhand grip: 1 warm-up set of 15 reps, followed by 1 work set of 6 reps
- Hammer Strength machine rows with a neutral grip: 1 set of 8 reps
- Back extensions: 1 set of 14 reps
- Deadlifts with a mixed grip: 1 set of 8 reps
Note: All work sets should be brought to absolute muscle failure (even by using forced repetitions at the end of the set) to reach the intensity needed. For those that are not used to such intensity, 2-3 work sets are recommended.