Back Workouts

Build A Beefy Back Using These 6 Lat Exercises

Men spend more time working on their chest & biceps than they do training the rest of their bodies… and for what?

Building a bigger and well-toned back isn’t only about doing lat pulldowns. You need to vary your workout to train your lats for optimal growth and strength. This is the very reason bros often complain about not having an alluring V-shape mid-section.

If you want the best growth, train your lats using unique exercises with enough volume.


Other than developing a great and bigger back, you’ll also boost up your metabolic rate because this area contains huge muscles. Remember, the more muscle, the more calories you burn.

Above all, chicks love men with V-shaped torsos. Don’t be those guys with the invisible lat syndrome. Follow these 6 exercises if you want to create some barn door lats.

6 Explosive Lat Exercises

1. Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down

Let’s start off with an exercise you are familiar with. We’ll use this as a warm-up exercise and then jump into the rest.

Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down

How to perform?

  • Take a wide-bar and attach it on the top of the pulley. Sit down on the pull-down machine. Don’t forget to adjust the knee pad to help hold you down.
  • Now grab the wide-bar with your palms facing forward and your hands spaced wider than your shoulder’s width. This way you’ll be effectively targeting your lats.
  • While you maintain this grip, bring your torso back at about 30-degrees to get a slight curve on the lower back and to stick your chest out. This will be our starting position.
  • Now, pull the bar using your upper arms and back, until it touches your chest. Your entire focus must be on squeezing your lats and rear delts when the bar touches your chest.
  • Hold this position for a second and slowly return back to your starting position.

Do this for three sets of 8-12 reps.

2. Single-Arm Row on Smith Machine

This exercise is a great way to finally use that smith machine. This is pretty tough and will require some practice before you use a lot of weight.

Single-Arm Row on Smith Machine

How to Perform?

  • Load the smith machine bar with plates and position yourself in a way that your left hand grabs the smith bar in the center.
  • Slightly bend your knees and lean slightly forward. Keep your shoulders square and chest out.
  • Now rotate the smith bar to unhook it and gradually lower your arm for a full extension Keep your back flat and don’t bend your body any further. Hold the bar for a second at the bottom position and finally pull it upward toward the ceiling by squeezing your shoulder blades.
  • These are similar to one arm dumbbell rows. The only difference is you’re using a smith machine.

Perform three sets of six to eight reps each.

3. Negative Pull-up

The negative pull-up produces an intense stretch on the lats and is great for their development and shape. If you’ve heard of negatives in other exercises, this is the same principle, only with pull-ups.

Negative Pull-up

How to Perform?

  • Stand under the pull-up bar and grab the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Jump or pull yourself up until your chin rises above the bar. This will be the starting position.
  • Gradually lower your body while keeping your core tight and your focus on your lats. Keep your leg bent and crossed.
  • Allow your arms to extend slowly as your arms straighten.

Take 3-5 seconds on your descent and jump or pull yourself back into the starting position.

Check out the rest of the exercises on the next page…

4. Decline Dumbbell Pullover

You’ve been doing the dumbbell overhead exercise on a flat bench. Hit your lats with a different angle doing the same exercise on a decline bench.

Decline Dumbbell Pullover

How to Perform?

  • Grab a dumbbell and set it on the base of the decline bench. Now lie down on it with your feet locked on its pads.
  • Grab the dumbbell by wrapping both hands around the dumbbell like the picture above. Fully extend your arms so that the dumbbell is above your head. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, keeping your arms fully extended, rotate your shoulders back till the dumbbell reaches the back of your head. Hold this position for a second. You’ll feel a stretch in your lats.
  • Finally, rotate your shoulders back to your starting position and repeat the process.

Do two warm-up sets and one working set until failure.

5. Single-Arm Long Bar Row

This is the variation of dumbbell bent over row but with a barbell. This will put a great stretch on your lats and you can do this with or without a landmine attachment.

Single-Arm Long Bar Row

How to Perform?

  • Take an Olympic barbell and load its one side with a heavy plate. The other end should be positioned between the corner of two walls or in a landmine attachment.
  • To bring yourself in starting position, position yourself just behind the plate and grab it with your left hand by bending your torso so that it is parallel to the floor.
  • Now pull the bar towards your elbow until the plates touch your lower chest. Hold this position for a second and retract down to your starting position. Don’t let the plate touch the ground. Go for another rep.

Do three sets of 8-12 reps with different weights.

6. Single-Arm Cable Row

It’s like a normal row workout but using a single arm attachment. These are great for targeting the lats and help with core strength and stability.

Single-Arm Cable Row

How to Perform?

  • Attach a D-handle to the pulley and sit down on the machine with your feet placed firmly on the platform. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Now pull back the D-handle towards your chest until your torso is positioned at 90-degree with your legs. Slowly retract back and perform another rep. Repeat the same process for the left side.

Aim for three sets of 8-12 reps for each side.

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