Slap some muscle on your back with these innovative moves. Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each of these.

X-Stretch Lateral Lat Pulldown

Do you have trouble feeling your lats work? Here's a surefire way to get them activated, pumped, and ready for gains.

What to do

  1. Set up a high cable, grab the handle and sit sideways on the ground with your working side closest to it.
  2. Using an underhand grip, focus on the negative part of the exercise – the stretch of the lats – by leaning sideways towards the cable machine.
  3. Squeeze the lats and sit upright as you pull it back toward you.
  4. Palpate (touch) your lat with your non-working hand to help you feel it in the right place.
  5. Tip: Remember to keep your chest up throughout the movement.

Angled Single-Arm Pulldown

You might already do a chest-supported row in your workouts, but what about a chest-supported pulldown? This will put you in a totally different angle than any regular pulldown and hit your lats in a whole new way.

What to do

  1. Set the handle high on a cable machine. Get an incline bench set up in front of it.
  2. Position yourself in a way that allows you to fully stretch your lats when leaning forward and extending your arm overhead, then push your shoulder blade back and down all while creating tension in the lats.
  3. Brace your core by hugging the bench with your non-working arm.
  4. Don't allow the shoulder to roll forward (humeral glide).
  5. Tip: Squeeze your adductors (inner thighs) together to maintain stability throughout your body.

Alternating Side-Dominant Lat Pulldown

Take your standard lat pulldown, but emphasize one side per rep for an even stronger contraction.

What to do

  1. Using an overhand grip, initiate the pull from the shoulder blade – pushing it down and back towards your back pocket. Keep your elbows stacked under your wrists.
  2. Keeping your upper back extended and chest up, pull harder with one side, concentrating on feeling your lat contracting on that side.
  3. While you focus on one side, allow the opposite side to assist in the movement.
  4. Tip: Don't allow your torso to lean sideways as you perform the movement.

Unilateral Chest Supported Row

You already know how to do a one-arm row. This variation will help you get an even stronger mind-muscle connection with your working lat.

What to do

  1. Set up an incline bench to support your torso, about 30 degrees.
  2. Anchor your arm to one dumbbell by pushing away from it to create stability throughout your body.
  3. Row with the opposite arm and rotate it from neutral to underhand grip.
  4. Tip: Squeeze your inner thighs together on the bench to create tension throughout your body.

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