Two important things regarding back training
1) the lats are THE base of strength that most people are lacking - huge muscles that support the body through ALL strength movements (I’m saying they are INTEGRALLY IMPORTANT to a strong bench or squat or deadlift or overhead press and if you get the lats bigger / stronger these lifts will improve). Most people aren’t using their lats properly in back movements - I’ll show you how I coach it below.
2) Back development is a DECISIVE factor in wether a physique appears strong and powerful or just average-gym-bro. The back is made up of ALOT of different muscles - erectors / rhomboids / traps / rear delts / even the tricep plays into this effect on the physique - these all exert force on different joints at different angles. So if the goal is optimal development and APPEARING STRONG when viewed from the back - how is a few sets of lat pull downs and a few sets of seated rows each week gonna cut it? Short answer: it won’t.
So the goals should be: get the lats ridiculously STRONG so all our lifts improve PLUS hit all the muscles of the back from different angles and with different tempos and reps to ensure the non-lat muscles don’t get left behind.
When it comes to using the lats properly the cues that make the biggest difference are:
When pulling horizontally (ie seated row) - set up, grab the weight, sit up tall, then pull your shoulder/s BACK TOWARD EACH OTHER, and then DOWN TOWARD YOUR HIPS - once they’re in this position start pulling the weight, focus on driving your elbows to the base of your spine.
If pulling vertically (ie lat pull) grab the bar or handle, get seated in position, then ROLL your shoulder/s back and down toward your hips, as you drive your chest up proudly. Then pull the weight, driving your elbows to the base of your spine.
I wanna talk about selecting movements to hit the other muscles of the back optimally - but my kitten wont stop meowing and wants to play so I’ll cover that next post.
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