Flaring lats are an essential development in bodybuilding. That V-shaped look to the torso makes the ladies swoon and intimidates the men. The absolute best way to achieve flared lats is to include bar exercises into your exercise program. Bar exercises will develop your lats faster than any other back exercise. Therefore, let’s look at the top bar exercises for developing flaring lats.
You just can’t beat the basic pull up for building monster lats as well as increasing bicep strength. Pull ups should be a staple in your strength training routine, especially if you mainly workout at home. The great thing about pull up workouts is that they can be performed just about anywhere. A high bar or beam, doorway mount bar, or even a sturdy backyard tree limb will serve the purpose.
Grasp the bar with a wide grip, palms facing out and elbows pointing to the outside. Slowly pull yourself up while keeping your shoulders down and pressed back. Once you eyes reach bar level, slowly lower yourself down until your arms are just slightly bent and repeat. Do not let your arms go completely straight when lowered and do not kick or swing when rising. It is also a misconception that you must get your chin over the bar. Doing so adds absolutely no extra value to the exercise.
Chin ups will work the lats as well as substantially working the biceps. This bar exercise is also a good option for building strength if you are having some difficulty with the basic pull up because chin ups are easier to perform.
Grasp the bar with a narrow grip (about shoulder width or less apart), palms facing in and elbows pointing directly away from you. With elbows slightly bent (don’t hang with arms totally straight), slowly pull yourself up while holding the shoulders down and pushed back. Even though this is called a chin up, it is not necessary to pull your chin over the bar; eye level is sufficient.
Pull Ups with Narrow Grip
For this lat exercise, you will need a bar as well as a narrow grip handle. Hang the narrow grip handle over the bar to begin.
Grasp the narrow grip handle while it hangs over the bar. With elbows slightly pointed outwards and shoulders down and back, slowly pull yourself up until your eyes are level with one side of the bar. Lower yourself back down, but don’t allow your arms to straighten completely. Pull yourself up again until your eyes are level with the other side of the bar. Therefore, your head should go to one side of the bar on the first pull up and to the other side of the bar on the second pull up. Continue to rotate sides until you complete your set.
Pull Ups with Alternating Grip
For this pull up exercise, one palm will grasp the bar facing in and the other palm facing out. This lat workout is a cross between a pull up and a chin up and develops one side of your back while allowing the other side to rest. Therefore, you will complete one full set and then switch hand grips for another set in order to work the other side.
With your hands grasping the bar in the instructed way, slowly lift yourself up until your eyes are level with the bar. Remember, do not allow your arm to straighten fully at the bottom, do not kick or swing and keep your shoulders held down and back. Most of your weight will be on the chin up arm (palm facing inward) and this is the lat that is being most worked.
Should you need extra resistance for any of these lat exercises, you can wrap large chains around your upper body for added weight.