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Close-grip chin-ups target your lower lats.
The latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in your back, is lovingly referred to as your lats. The fibers of your lats are attached to the fronts of your upper arms, the backs of your hips, the backs of your lower ribs and the middle portion of your spine. Your lats contract when you perform big movements such as pull-ups, chin-ups and back rows. The focus of this contraction is varied by the position of your arms. Targeting your lower lats gives you the look of a strong back as the muscle is toned until it disappears into your waistline.1.
Warm your back before you strength train. Do five to 10 minutes of aerobic activity such as walking, stair climbing and rope jumping to increase the blood flow throughout your body.2.
Select powerful exercises such as pull-ups and chin-ups to strengthen your lats. Use a close-handed grip for both exercises to target your lower lats. For example, during chin-ups, space your hands at shoulder-distance apart or closer, with your palms facing you. Pull your elbows in close to your body as you perform pull-ups and chin-ups.3.
Include one-handed exercises into your lat-training program. Select dumbbell rows, cable rows or seated rows and keep your elbows close to your sides as your do the exercises. For example, hold onto the lowest handle on the seated row with your palms facing up. Use one hand to pull the handle toward you as you squeeze your shoulder blade toward the center of your upper back and pull your elbow toward your abdomen.4.
Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of your back exercises. Rest for 60 seconds in between sets.5.
During your rest intervals, stretch your lats by holding onto a pole or doorframe with your right hand. Keep your arm straight as you lean forward from the waist and push your hips backward until you feel the stretch. Maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch on your left side.6.
Perform your back exercises two or three days a week with at least one day of rest in between workouts.
- Vary the exercises every few weeks to provide adequate muscle stimulation. For example, do chin-ups and dumbbell rows and then switch to pull-ups and seated rows on a machine.
- Speak with your doctor before you begin an exercise program.