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  • Unable to isolate lats

    I have been lifting for over a year and a half now and have not been able make any improvement in my lats. I have a very tough time trying to develop that "mind to muscle" connection. I have tried "pulling with my elbows" and using a thumbless grip with no avail.

    Exercises I've tried for several months each include,
    Wide/closegrip pulldowns
    Rack chins
    Pullups/chinups
    Straight arm pulldowns

    I have experimented with many different rep ranges and "tempos".

    Rows are also an issue for me, they are very weak in comparison to my presses. I plan to give Dante's 1.5rep rows a try later this week.

    As for diet, I eat 4,500cals w/275g protein ON, and 4,000cals w/225g protein OFF days.

    6' 190lbs



    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm becoming very frustrated with this
    My log: http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=47064

  • #2
    Have you tried straps ?

    Try chinups on the pulldown machine and get a really good stretch at the top. Then pull down the weight with your elbows (should be easier to do this with straps) while you push your chest out and pull the bar to the bottom of your chest. Hold it there for 6 seconds while you virtually try to bring your elbows together behind your back. The slowly go back to the full stretch.

    Lower your weight on this exercise, close your eyes and feel the movement.

    Let us know how it goes...
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    • #3
      STRETCH brother STRETCH . at the top of the lat pull down for example stop the movement for 2 seconds and let the weight stretch you out , and flair you lats , and that way each rep is dead weight . also on the neg of the rack chins try and get a slow lower , try count 8 in your head . by doing that i think were ever your elbows are you are gonna fell it . feels like your arm pits are gonna split , ( just my 2 cents brother ) good luck with it

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      • #4
        The article below by John Meadows, a.k.a. Mountain Dog, was once brought up in a discussion here:

        http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...untain_dog_way

        If you need new ideas to improve your lats, I reckon you will find plenty of them there.

        Comment


        • #5
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7-CwjDfkw4

          If you don't feel your lats with this you're dead

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          • #6
            On the diet I would keep your Protein at 275 every day and adjust your fats and carbs lower on off days. On the back I would concentrate on the negative portion of the exercises and slow it down.
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            • #7
              Thanks for all the contributions

              I have been using straps for several weeks now, they definitely help to take my arms out of the equation but still haven't been making any improvements as far as reps/weight.

              Will update after trying some of these techniques on Sunday.

              I love the level of maturity on this site. On other forums people have posted simple comments like "weighted chinups/" or "heavy pulldowns", when clearly I'm not lucky enough to have lat control come instinctively like some.

              Thanks again.
              My log: http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=47064

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bigshow69 View Post
                STRETCH brother STRETCH . at the top of the lat pull down for example stop the movement for 2 seconds and let the weight stretch you out , and flair you lats , and that way each rep is dead weight . also on the neg of the rack chins try and get a slow lower , try count 8 in your head . by doing that i think were ever your elbows are you are gonna fell it . feels like your arm pits are gonna split , ( just my 2 cents brother ) good luck with it
                This can't be emphasized enough! Stretch it out, deep and until it hurts...and then some! Perform the rack chins until your hands bleed. And use straps because your grip is going to fail before your lats (likely).

                Additionally, row, row, row! Heavy BB rows will build thickness, and keep your form strict.

                All the best,

                Kris
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                • #9
                  Here's something im pretty sure i read here on IM, might have even been Dante but don't quote me on that, i use it specifically for when im trying to teach people how to feel their lats and it almost always works

                  Do "one and a half reps". Do your 1st rep the way you normally would, then when letting the handle and cable go back up, stop half way, and pull back to your sternum, which would be the "half rep" and that you'll count that all as "1" rep in your logbook. You should feel that its ALL lats in that lower portion of the movement. Which will lead me to my next point


                  Surprisingly what i've found is NOT letting myself do "perfect reps" (as in going from as high and stretched as possible) helps me feel it better in my lats. When i do lats i never have the handle all the way up with myself stretched all the way, (picture it as the pullups way of "locking out" with a weight). This makes sure none of the load goes to my elbow joints, and that im controlling the weight the whole time (example:alot of people do legpress like this), after a few reps like that, THEN when i stretch i feel it MUCH more.

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                  • #10
                    Dante's long rows might work for you. You appear to have pretty high lat insertion points, and a lot of guys I know with similar insertions have a hard time feeling their lats on pulldowns or pull up type movements. Maybe consider Yates rows as well, really focusing on pulling with your elbows. I feel Yates rows much more in my traps (I have low attaching lats, guess I was lucky), but a buddy of mine who's lats insert pretty high feels them in his lats. We do them the same way.
                    Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PBRevolution View Post
                      I have been lifting for over a year and a half now
                      ^^ That. Don't worry so much about "feeling" the connection. Just make sure your lifts are going up over time and you're getting enough food. The "mind-muscle" connection comes from experience and time.

                      Also, how much has your bodyweight gone up over time? Have your exercises involving lats gotten better? Have you put on mass? If you're not progressing, you're NOT growing.
                      Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                      kind of a douche

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                        Also, how much has your bodyweight gone up over time? Have your exercises involving lats gotten better? Have you put on mass? If you're not progressing, you're NOT growing.
                        x2. Seems like something to worry about when you can do 2X45lb plates on strict chins for 6-10 reps...
                        PM me to discuss website/video/dvd etc. related work.

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                        • #13
                          Have never made much progress in lat exercises, and what little progress I have made is probably do to Bi's getting stronger.

                          Haven't had a problem progressing on presses. Legs are comparatively weak, but that's due to neglect/ignorance.

                          I'm a little over 190 now, when I started lifting I was ~135 with similar BF.

                          He's a pic taken shortly after I started,

                          My log: http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=47064

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PBRevolution View Post
                            Have never made much progress in lat exercises,
                            Stop right there. That's your answer. Eat more, get bigger, and get stronger on lat exercises.
                            Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                            kind of a douche

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                              and get stronger on lat exercises.
                              Have yet to figure out how. Bi's do most of the work during them.

                              I understand that my entire body is a lagging, but lats have yet to respond to anything I've tried.

                              Not trying to be confrontational, but i don't understand how continuing current methods is going to solve the issue.

                              I continue to progress in all other area while gaining weight, but am unable make progress on lat exercises. Month after month all my other lifts are improving, while lat exercises are going nowhere
                              Last edited by PBRevolution; 09-09-2011, 04:51 PM.
                              My log: http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=47064

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