The lats are often woefully neglected during most exercise programs.
Exercises involving the lat muscles also utilize multiple other muscle groups and are rarely worked to fatigue since other muscles reach that point first. Also, the lats are far less visible than other major muscles, such as the biceps, chest and abs and, therefore, are often not the main focus of detailed sculpting.
However, if you want to increase the size of your lats then one simple exercise, done in several variations, will have your muscles screaming for mercy and responding in size. That exercise is the lat pulldown performed from behind the neck and with wide and reverse grip variations. Combined as an extended set, these lat exercises will get the results you’re looking for.
What Are Extended Sets & How Do They Benefit?
Performing extended sets has a powerful impact on a targeted muscle or muscle group. The reason is that extended set training hits that same area with variations in the same or similar exercises which actually seems like each one is less strenuous while in reality each one is continuing to work that area to fatigue. This occurs because the varying exercises cause your body to approach the weight from different positions, making each one seem to be easier without changing the amount of weight.
Of course, pushing your muscles to fatigue is where you want to end up. Fatigue is the point where the muscle has hit its limit and begins to tear down. During periods of rest afterwards, the muscle fibers are repaired and strengthened in anticipation for confronting that amount of resistance again, thus accumulated muscle mass.
The Lat Workouts
Extended Set Lat Pulldown
The idea of this lat workout is to bring your muscles to that precious point of failure on all sets. Once you hit that point on the lat pulldown behind the neck, immediately switch to the next exercise (front lat pulldown with wide grip) and repeat, switching once again to the last exercise (lat pulldown with reverse grip) which is the easiest lat exercise and, therefore, allows you to get that much more from your lats at the end of the cycle. Repeat for 3 sets.
Lat Pulldown Behind the Neck
Start by going to failure on the first set. Don’t cheat and give up early! Pull will all you’ve got until you can’t do another repetition, even if you can’t pull the weight all the way down. Once you reach failure, immediately switch to the next exercise.
Lat Pulldown with Wide Grip
Perform a set until you reach muscle failure. Again, don’t cheat! Pull hard and make those lats work! When you reach failure, immediately switch to the next exercise.
Lat Pulldown with Reverse Grip
Perform this last set of the cycle until you reach muscle failure and then repeat the cycle.
You’re lats should be on fire once you complete this lat exercise cycle for 3 complete sets. If you normally don’t feel the pain in your lats on regular workouts or only feel it some the next day, you are sure to feel it after completing this lat workout!