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Thread: Lat issues

  1. #1
    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Lat issues

    I took a video after a friend told me something looked off in my back. I may have mentioned this before but I was told it looks like I am not engaging my lats at all during a pull down. I am focusing on the contraction as hard as I can do I don’t see how it’s possible not to use lats. Need some input because my back growth sucks and it is also affecting my push routine. I incorporate dead’s, bb rows and weighted pullups in my routine. I am able to pull 455 and his a solid 3 sets of 15-20 pullups at BW or 3 sets of 10 weighted with a 25. Please help, I need my back to grow so other parts can start growing too.

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    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Didn't look too bad to me.
    I'll throw some tips on what I do, you can try these and see if it makes a difference for you.

    First, back work is probably the most important muscle group to require MMC (mind, muscle connection) because you can't see it, you can only go by feel.
    A couple of things I do to get good MMC with pulldowns like those is:
    A. thumbs over the bar. This forces my hand to act as a "hook" and helps me to pull with the elbows and not my hands.
    B. As I just stated, pull with your elbows, not your hands. This can be hard to describe without some practice but, with thumbs over the bar and really just imagining your arms as hooks, concenrate on pulling with the elbows and not your hands. This will put more lat into the movement and take out as much bicep as possible.
    C. I like to use a big ROM on this movement. Now, some people like this and some don't; but I like to let my shoulders ride upward and stretch at the top. Then, the movement starts with setting the shoulders first, then pulling the bar downward using your elbows. Shoulders stay set as the hands raise, with shoulders rising again at the top. This can seem clunky at first, but with some practice using light weights, it will become more fluid.

    And, of course, also this:


    And I follow the same patter/advice I gave above with this movement
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    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I took another vid today as I also seem to have an issue feeling lateral raises in my delts. Not sure if this issue is also attributed to a weak back.

    Keep going....

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    Think you look great. What don't you like? Most back shape is due to insertions.
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    me>you ArchAngel'73's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Didn't look too bad to me.
    I'll throw some tips on what I do, you can try these and see if it makes a difference for you.

    First, back work is probably the most important muscle group to require MMC (mind, muscle connection) because you can't see it, you can only go by feel.
    A couple of things I do to get good MMC with pulldowns like those is:
    A. thumbs over the bar. This forces my hand to act as a "hook" and helps me to pull with the elbows and not my hands.
    B. As I just stated, pull with your elbows, not your hands. This can be hard to describe without some practice but, with thumbs over the bar and really just imagining your arms as hooks, concenrate on pulling with the elbows and not your hands. This will put more lat into the movement and take out as much bicep as possible.
    C. I like to use a big ROM on this movement. Now, some people like this and some don't; but I like to let my shoulders ride upward and stretch at the top. Then, the movement starts with setting the shoulders first, then pulling the bar downward using your elbows. Shoulders stay set as the hands raise, with shoulders rising again at the top. This can seem clunky at first, but with some practice using light weights, it will become more fluid.

    And, of course, also this:


    And I follow the same patter/advice I gave above with this movement
    I agree with all of this
    BUT
    I find I get a better contraction sticking my feet underneath and slightly behind me, using only the pad to prevent me from moving up.
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    me>you ArchAngel'73's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I took another vid today as I also seem to have an issue feeling lateral raises in my delts. Not sure if this issue is also attributed to a weak back.

    For that exercise to work better you need to raise the DB higher and increase your rep tempo. There should be continuous tension on the delt the entire movement and no resting on the bottom.

    I find behind the back DB raises to be far more effective than the 2 traditional versions (DB's to side or front). You start with the DB's behind your back (usually by one's butt) and do a full ROM continuous tension rep side raise from there.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by ArchAngel'73 View Post
    For that exercise to work better you need to raise the DB higher and increase your rep tempo. There should be continuous tension on the delt the entire movement and no resting on the bottom.

    I find behind the back DB raises to be far more effective than the 2 traditional versions (DB's to side or front). You start with the DB's behind your back (usually by one's butt) and do a full ROM continuous tension rep side raise from there.
    Normally I do slower controlled reps but my concern is my shoulder blade that sticks way out in the back when I go to perform the movement. Is there something I’m not engaging etc. I have had this issue for a long time. It is even worse when I do push-ups. My scapulas stick up like a cat.
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I took another vid today as I also seem to have an issue feeling lateral raises in my delts. Not sure if this issue is also attributed to a weak back.
    Hold onto something with the other hand and lean outwards when you do db lateral raises. Otherwise the bottom 1/3 of the movement is useless for your side delt.

    Doing them with a cable (in front, between legs, or behind back) takes care of this problem since there's constant tension.
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Normally I do slower controlled reps but my concern is my shoulder blade that sticks way out in the back when I go to perform the movement. Is there something I’m not engaging etc. I have had this issue for a long time. It is even worse when I do push-ups. My scapulas stick up like a cat.
    See a qualified doctor of physical therapy. It's relatively inexpensive to get a full check up and advice.

    You may be using too much weight, many folks do this. Both the concentric and eccentric should be controlled and tension maintained throughout the deltoid work. See post #6.
    Last edited by VicDumbbells; 11-09-2020 at 01:20 AM.
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    You're setting yourself up for failure by trying to target lats with that exercise. Way more upper back than it is lats

    I'm aware that people grow lats with it, but that doesn't make it a good lat exercise. Do something that gets your arms more in front of you

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