EXERCISES THAT TARGET the latissimus dorsi are staples of any good bodybuilding routine. Moves like the pulldown, the pullup, and the row—and their many variations—are essential for any guy trying to build back muscle. (That presumably means you.)
Surprisingly enough, though, lots of guys simply get lat exercises wrong—or if they do them correctly, they’re simply not getting as much out of them as they could be. Here’s how to make the most out of your lat exercises.
1. When doing pulldowns, keep your torso upright and pull the bar as low on your torso as possible. Pretend you are pulling the bar toward your belt, not your chest. Too many times, people lean way back as they do this movement. Don’t bother—you’re just working your glutes, not your lats.
2. It’s not about moving the weight, it’s about making the muscles work, so make sure you don’t swing. As you swing backwards, you’re using momentum to help move the weight. The other issue with leaning backward is the tendency to pull the bar right to your chest, which then engages more of your rear deltoids, resulting in less isolation on your lats.