A lot of people that start working out only want to target those beach muscles like their chest, bis, abs which is not a good idea in the least. Your back needs to be included so you can continue to strengthen your core preventing injuries. The back has some of the biggest muscles in your body not only will it help build symmetry it will help with your daily activities.
So how to get a great lats workout in at home? Working out lats at home is easy choose 1-2 of these workouts as a beginner and more as you work your way up perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Dumbbell Pullover
- Wide Grip Pull ups
- Close Grip Pull ups
- Renegade Rows
- Balancing Rows
- Barbell Rows
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows
Lats Workout At Home With Dumbbells
Building a ripped and chiseled back is a part of a perfect body that will serve you well throughout the years. A lot of people are only concerned with beach muscles that include a big chest and big bis, but that will only take you so far and can lead to injuries when not keeping your back strong. Here is a great workout to hit those lats up and get that superman or superwoman triangle physique.
Here is a simple workout that you can adjust according to the weights you have. Perform 2-3 sets when starting out and increase that to 3-4 as you get stronger. Reps should vary so often from 8-15. The lighter the weight the more reps and the heavier the less reps. If you only have light weights just stick to the 15 look to get heavier weights in the future. You can also go up to 20 reps as well but I wouldn't do more then this.
Equipment Needed: Now this isn't set in stone we will also discuss alternative workouts further down the article – Set of or adjustable dumbbells (light, medium, heavy), adjustable bench (or stability/swiss ball), pullup bar (or resistance bands).
Dumbbell Pullover – this is more of a workout then just hitting the lats just like more exercises don't just hit one muscle group. You will also feel this in your core and chest. This is a great workout for your lats just control your temp (don't go to fast) and keep your arms as straight as possible. Lie with your back on the bench crossways.
Grip the dumbbell with both hands slowly lower behind your head so it is at 180 degrees then bring back up to in front of your face keeping arms extended. Make sure your neck and back are getting support from the bench and your legs are wide enough to balance well. Start with lighter or no weights to get the move down and go from there.
Wide Grip Pull Ups – this is a simple move but can be tough to even complete one for most so don't feel embarrassed if you can't do even one pull up. That doesn't mean you can't work towards one. There are always options. Start with your hands at shoulder length then move a little bit wider this will help hit those wider muscles and lats. From there pull yourself up then back down in a controlled manner.
Chin up max is a great thing to use along with a bench or chair to assist with the pull up. If you are still struggling that is okay you can use resistance bands which work great and you will get a great workout in. Just either wrap around the pull up bar or get an anchor for the door. You can honestly wrap around a railing if you have stairs or if you have something to anchor to lower on the ground you can lay on your stomach and pull. There are many options.
Renegade Rows – these are a great workout for building your lats and working on your stability and core. Start with very light weights or just with your body to get the move down. You will still use lighter weights then most other workouts found here and that is not a bad thing. Start in the push up position with a pair of your dumbbells about shoulder width apart.
Complete a pushup with your hands on the dumbbells as you complete the pushup move the dumbbell into the air across your torso so it is fully extended. Then return to the position and perform with the other arm. These are best done with regular dumbbells but these I have performed only with the PowerBlock Dumbbells and it still works great. Not sure on the bowflex or other ones. PowerBlocks seem to be the most durable though.
Dumbbell Deadlifts – these are a great way to hit up your entire back, hams, glutes and those lats. You can also add a shoulder shrug to the top to hit even more muscles. Just watch your form and make sure you are breathing.
Get those heavier dumbbells out and with your stance at a little wider then shoulder width grab the dumbbells and lift keeping your chest and head up and your butt down. Lock out at top and slower bring them back down. Again do not forgot to breath and keep your abs tightened. This is one of the best overall total body exercises with weights.
Dumbbell Row – one arm dumbbell row. This is a great workout to hit that back and lats up and get them burning. You can use a bench or swiss ball leaning over find your balance. Using medium to heavy weight here you are going to perform a simple row just using one arm.
Make sure you are very controlled here and not in a hurry. Keep your elbow in as far as you can and pull dumbbell close to your ribs. The more controlled you are and the lower you get the dumbbell to the ground the more stretch and hitting those lats it will get.
Best At Home Lats Exercise
The best at home lats exercise is the pull up. There are unlimited options with equipment you can even use a branch hanging off a tree or a jungle gym on a playground anything that can withstand your weight that you can perform the exercise. Honestly just doing something like push ups, sit ups, pull ups and a cardio workout (like burpees or jumping jacks) will take you far when trying to get into shape.
Perform a combination of Standard, Wide and Narrow Grip to hit up all parts of your back and lats. Although pull ups are a simple move if you can only perform 1-3 pull ups you probably won't advance quickly you need to be able to push past that limit and their are several ways to do so:
Chin up max – is a piece of a simple equipment that attaches to a pull up bar. You set the assistance you need and you can keep going past your limit. I still suggest you do as many as you can without the assistance. Then take a quick break to gather yourself and jump back into it.
Chair/Bench – you can also help support yourself with a chair or bench underneath you. Make sure either one is sturdy and right underneath you. You should only need to use one leg to take yourself past you max. Only use the support you need to complete. If you need to take a break that is okay.
Resistance Bands – you can use a resistance band to perform a movement just like a pull up. Let's say you do 3 pull ups and can't do anymore jump down and use your resistance band to push those reps up. This will help build those muscles to help you do more pushups.
Lats Bodyweight Exercises No Equipment
Lats aren't the easiest muscle to hit up without any weights so I would suggest to at least get a decent cheap set of resistance bands you can find them for anywhere from $25-50 and they go up to 100lbs+ of resistance.
Dips – you can perform dips on a chair, bench, stairs, picnic table just something stable and to get off the ground a little bit. You can extend your legs or only have one leg down to make them more difficult. When starting out just have them at a 90 degree angle.
Elbow Presses – lie on your back and find a stable position because you are going to need to lift everything up but your heels. Elbows down and push your your elbows bringing your body off the ground and back down. If you are doing this correctly you will get your body off the ground and your lats will be torched and full extended until you can't move them. Not an easy workout in the least but it gets the job done.
Related Specific Questions Answered
What Exercises Work Your Lats?
There are many workouts that will hit your lats depending on what equipment you have access too. These include medicine ball slams, reverse grip barbell row, the almighty pull up, and of course the dumbbell pullover.
Can You Target Lower Lats?
You can target your lower lats by doing wide grip pullups or pulldowns if you have access to the that equipment. If you only have dumbbells you can also target your lower lats by doing one arm rows just bring the dumbbell back toward your hip.
If you don't have dumbbells there is a nice third option seated band rows. With these you just keep the bands at constant tension which makes the lats work overtime since you can work angles you really can't with dumbbells or barbells.
Where Are My Lats Located?
The Latissimus Dorsi otherswise known as Lats are located in the middle of the back and somewhat covered by your traps.
Do Pushups Work Lats?
The pushup works out a lot of muscles that include your chest, tries, abs, shoulders and back which also does include the lats. So push up away.
How To Open Up Your Lats?
You can open up and stretch your lats by hanging from the pull up bar or kneeling on a bench or chair. You can flex your lats by putting your hands in a fist at your hips with palms backwards then extending your elbows out flex your upper body and there you go that simple.
Your lats are a very important part of your back. Just dedicating a workout to your back you should be able to work them in with ease as they are hit with most of the usual back workouts.
The great thing about lats is you don't need any special equipment just a pullup bar or some resistance bands will get the job done. Try to mix up your reps and get some heavier, light, medium days in to provide maximum growth.
If you don't have any weight or equipment at all of course there are a couple options. Bodyweight workouts are a great thing to do and mix in anyway even if you are lifting weights. You can get a total body workout in with no weights just with pull ups, situps, abs, and some burpees.
Another great thing about back workouts is the variety you can stick to the above for awhile mixing in different kinds of workouts along your journey or you can try knew workouts something like single arm long bar row or even a decline dumbbell pull over. If you get bored lifting weights you can always make it more interesting.
Another one to add is the negative pull up I actually just did these for the first time and they are nothing new just a way to add some flavor into your pullups. So when you pull up you can do a 2 or 3 count on your eccentric contraction (way down) count to 6 then repeat. It is a completely different way to workout. Most of the time you are wanting to do more of a high tempo rep this will really shred you and make it burn.