Are doing pull ups daily enough to build lower lats?

What is the most effective way to build your lats? Find out what other people from the message boards think...

Let's talk about training! Training for bodybuilders isn't the same for every muscle group, so we need to learn more than just exercises for training each muscle - each muscle should have a different way of being trained so that you grow as fast as possible and build a developed physique! Training the lats is something that, for some of us, is especially unique.

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First I'm going to go into what exercises are best for widening the back. I will also throw in the distinction between width and thickness movements. You can read about the lat development that you can find in the IFBB Professional bodybuilding circle, and genetics in lat building. Finally, I will talk about how to get that V-Taper look by manipulating the physique, and touch on posing.

The best exercises for lat width are movements that work on a vertical plane, usually. There are also some exercises that work on a horizontal plane that are effective for width, too. Horizontal movements such as rows generally feed the back's thickness while vertical movements such as chins cause width to improve in the lats. There are also one or two movements that work somewhere in-between being strictly vertical or strictly horizontal pulling.

Bodybuilders who are just starting will have a very hard time with the pull-ups, because it is just your entire bodyweight being moved by your arms and back, and you probably aren't strong enough to really perform well at pull-ups yet.

No matter who is performing them though, chins are a great lat builder. Advanced bodybuilders have many ways to go with chins. Since your body weight alone is so easy to do chins and pull-ups with, you can manipulate your grip and see which style of chins and pull-ups you like best.

There are several handles for chins and pull-ups. You can try using the V-bar handle by hanging it over the pullup bar like you might see in a long bar row, which I will talk about later.

You can also get the most out of chins because your back is so strong that you can pull your sternum up to the bar and manipulate time-under-tension like that.

Once you find a style of chins and pull-ups that you prefer over the others, you can do one of two things - use that exercise as a warm-up for the back and biceps and use 3–4 sets of 8 reps to get the blood pumping, or treat it as a real mass-building movement and put a dumbbell between the ankles and work heavy in the 4–8 rep range after a warm-up. Advanced bodybuilders definitely have a lot of options for chins, because they can treat them like any other exercise.

Intermediate bodybuilders will have more trouble with chins, though. At an intermediate level, you will probably work with your bodyweight or adding five to twenty-five pounds of extra weight on very heavy sets. You are really limited to regular pull-ups or chins, because those two basic movements are hard enough for you.

You could try changing it up with variations in grip width and using different bars for the movement, but it would be best to just stick with regular pull-ups and chins. You will need to work on the pulldown machine to perform a thorough warm-up without tiring yourself out, and then you can do this movement early in the workout, adding weight if necessary to stay in the 4–8 rep range.

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