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Back Blasting Lat Development


BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Bodybuilding Articles Back Blasting Lat Development

The curtain rises. The lights dim. The show is about to begin.

The curtain rises. The lights dim. The show is about to begin.

On this day, however, a movie screen is hardly necessary. All you need is any of today’s hot bodybuilders and you’re ready for action. Mr. Whoever flips around, drops his hands on his hips, and spreads ‘em as if he were under arrest.

What follows is nothing short of eye-popping.

At first, they look like enormous batwings, preparing to take flight. But a closer look at those bulging slabs of iron and there can be no mistaking what they are.

Latissimus dorsi.

The lat-wings we are talking about, or course, are what others refer to simply as your back. Few fitness experts would disagree that the back is a vital element in attaining a healthy, premier physique, especially if it is that V-shape you’re after. For women, a sturdy, shapely back combined with a firm waist is what produces that hourglass figure that is synonymous with glamour and beauty.

Building the foundation for a strong, healthy back is not without other benefits, either. It can certainly improve your posture while stabilizing the torso in such a way as to diminish the risk of injury elsewhere in your body.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to build your lats the width of a movie screen. You may or may not be looking to put on a ‘Titanic’-sized production. But if you are, here are a few exercises in the gym that could help you to become the next Latman:

* Behind-neck Pull Downs. Find a firm grip on the bar, try taking a wide hold so you’re hands are a few inches wider than shoulder length apart. Using a moderate amount of weight, slowly pull the bar down toward your head, slightly arching your head forward. Pull the bar behind your head and stop at ear level, squeezing your lat muscles as they contract. Slowly allow the weight to pull your arms back to an outstretched position, but make sure that you remain seated on the bench. Allow the lats to stretch for a moment before you repeat the process. Try two or three solid sets of 10-12 repetitions.

* Close-grip Front Pull Downs. Grasp the handle bar firmly. Slowly bring the weight down toward your torso, pushing your chest a little forward while slightly arching your back. Concentrate on pulling the weight down with your elbows and not your biceps. Bring the handle down to your chin, and tightly squeeze for a second or two before slowly releasing. Remaining seated through the repetition, allow the weight to pull your arms upward and finish off with a lengthy stretch. Repeating this motion for 10-12 reps over two or three sets will help widen your back and grind the muscles in the middle of your back.

* Dumbbell Rows. Grabbing the dumbbell with one arm, let your free arm take a firm hold on the bench with the corresponding knee resting on the bench for balance. With your arm fully extended toward the floor, slowly bring the weight up toward your side, using your elbow and your lats to do the work. Keeping your elbow pressed firmly against your side, pull the weight up into your hip, squeezing during the contraction. Hold this stance for a beat, then slowly release, allowing your arm to drop under control toward the floor. Repeat the exercise for 10-12 reps and then rotate to the other side.

It is crucial to maintain proper form during these exercises and not to exceed reasonable weight. There is nothing more excruciating than severe back pain or the feeling that a spear is being driven through your spine. So with that in mind, back to work.


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