Out of all the muscles in the body, the lower lats are the one area you cannot afford to neglect. Not only does performing lower lat exercises help develop an incredible “V-shaped” physique, but it also helps improve your overall athleticism.
Not forgetting that by working the lower lats, you’re bringing stability to your spine and shoulder joints, helping you prevent those annoying niggles you might get as you get older.
In this article, I’ll show you all of the best exercises for lower lat development and discuss the benefits of training this muscle group in more detail.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits Of Training Your Lower Lats
- 7 Best Lower Lat Exercises (Home Workouts For Muscle Development)
- What Causes Pain In Your Lower Lats? (Stretches For Release)
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
The Benefits Of Training Your Lower Lats
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the lower lats are one of the most important muscle groups in the body. They’re often overlooked by many gym enthusiasts.
Believe it or not, the lats are a significant part of your body’s core, bringing stability to your body during major lifts like squats, deadlifts, military press, and bench press.
World-famous bodybuilder Dorian Yates once stated that "most bodybuilders have wide upper lats, but inadequate lower lat width," and he was correct.
If you want full back development, then you’ll want to work your lats using a selection of different grips and movements including close and wide grip pulldowns.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to want a strong back; developing the lower lats is something everyone should aim to do, even if it’s part of an injury prevention measure.
The best part about training your back is that you don’t need an excessive amount of gym equipment; you’ll be able to perform the majority of lower lat exercises at home. So if you’ve got dumbbells, a barbell, resistance bands, or even a multi-gym, you’ll have no trouble doing these lower lat exercises.
7 Best Lower Lat Exercises (Home Workouts For Muscle Development)
1. Dumbbell Row To Hips
No lower lat workout would be complete without including a dumbbell row; they’re among the best exercises for developing lower lat thickness. Dumbbell rows are also a great alternative to a standard rowing machine.
I’m a massive fan of this movement as it allows you to work each arm individually, evening out any strength imbalances that can occur between the two sides of the back.
This exercise is a variation on the traditional single-arm dumbbell row, the tweak I’m about to show you will slightly shift the range of motion to increase lower lat activation.
Performing The Dumbbell Row To Hips
2. Seated Band Row
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One thing I love about performing the seated band row is that due to the nature of the band itself, your body can move freely, allowing you to get the maximum range of motion for your body. This is something that barbells and dumbbells can’t do.
By using a resistance band, the load pattern will be completely different from using a uniform resistance like a dumbbell (resistance stays the same). With a band, the resistance is constant, and it increases as you pull the band towards your body.
Performing The Seated Band Row
3. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
Taking your grip wider than the traditional grip (which is usually a lot closer) helps you target the outer and lower lats. It was a main component in the Arnold lower lat workout.
At the top of the wide grip lat pulldown position, your arms are slightly angled outwards, giving you maximum lower lat stretch, and as you pull the bar towards your body, it causes your arms to close inwards, contracting the lower lat muscles.
Performing The Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
4. Underhanded Bent Over Row
It can be argued that the bent-over row is the king of the back building exercises. It’s a great compound exercise that not only develops back thickness but will help build your biceps too. A barbell offers uniform resistance compared to dumbbells.
The traditional bent-over row is performed by using an overhand grip. However, by simply taking an underhand grip, you'll be optimizing the movement for targeting the lower lats. This is due to an increase in scapular depression (drawing the shoulder blades downward).
Performing The Underhanded Bent Over Row
5. Straight Arm Lat Pulldown
One of the most underrated, the best exercise for lower lat development is the straight arm lat pulldown. While this exercise is classed as a shoulder extension movement, it significantly affects lower lat development.
If you’ve ever finished your back session and thought, "I didn't feel anything in my back," then I can assure you that the straight arm lat pulldown will cure this problem for you. Always remember to make sure you are lifting the appropriate lat pulldown weight.
Due to the minimal involvement of the biceps, most of the tension is placed on the lats, plus you can do this at home easily using most cable systems or resistance bands.
Performing The Straight Arm Lat Pulldown
6. Single Arm Lat Pulldown
This little known variation of the lat pulldown is one of my favorites from the best lower lat exercises.
Due to the fact you’re using a single handle attachment on the lat pull down, it allows you to work the lats iso-laterally (one side at a time), ironing out any weaknesses that one side might have.
Performing The Single-Arm Lat Pulldown
7. Dumbbell Pullover
This old-school low lat builder will provide you with significant lower lat development. It stretches the muscle fibers and works the back muscles and shoulder girdle in a similar fashion to the straight arm pulldown.
Performing The Dumbbell Pullover
What Causes Pain In Your Lower Lats? (Stretches For Release)
If you’re unfortunate enough to feel lower lat pain while working out, then you’ll know it’s not a pleasant experience.
Usually, the pain is often caused by one or several factors such as overuse of the lat muscles, poor technique leading to a pulled lower lat muscle, or not warming up properly before you start exercising.
Occasionally the cause of the lower lat strain might be a postural problem, so if you tend to slouch...stop it.
To treat lower lat pain, the recommendation is RICE. But, there are some lower lat stretches and exercises that you can do to loosen a tight lat muscle.
Combining the above exercises and stretches is ideal for warming the lower lats up before a workout.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Are doing pull-ups daily enough to build lower lats?
While pull-ups are a great back builder, the likelihood is you won’t be able to get enough volume to work your lats to their fullest. Plus, lower lat development requires you to work the back from multiple angles using a variety of exercises. The low volume of pull-ups may not be as effective compared to lat pulldowns.
Are my lats supposed to be sore during/after doing pull-ups?
If you’re feeling your muscles burning, this is normal; it’s a build-up of lactic acid as the muscles fatigue. However, if it’s a pain you’re feeling, it could be an injury or impingement. Try another exercise that doesn’t cause this pain and strengthen any weaknesses.
Do pushups work your lower lats?
Pushups will work all of your core muscles, including the lats (lattisimus dorsi), as they’ll be needed to create stability during the exercise. While they’re great to incorporate into a workout, I’d focus on the exercises listed in this article for maximum lower lat development.
Can I build lower lat muscles at home?
100% you can. Each exercise I listed in this article can be performed from home using minimal equipment, even if you don’t have a home gym. All you need is a resistance band, dumbbells, or bar, and you’re good to go.
Developing the lower lats is essential for anyone looking to improve their physique and to build up strength. Not only will they make you look awesome in a T-shirt, but a robust set of lats will help you perform other lifts, too, such as deadlifts, squats, and more.
Out of all the exercises in this list, the best exercise for lower lat development has to be the underhanded bent over row. It allows you to lift heavy weight to build lower lat thickness.
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Last Updated on February 23, 2023