How to train lats at home

How to train lats at home - main image

Using lat exercises like pull up bar routines and upper body strength workouts for an overall home lat workout

Lats give you wings. At least so they say. In reality, lats make you look incredibly broad, and from the front POV, they extend outwards under the armpits giving them that wing-like expression.

”Lats are the largest muscles in the upper body and because of that, they perform a lot of different functions. They connect at five different points including the spine, pelvis, ribs, scapula, and upper arm.” – BroBible, 2016.

Safe to say these muscles are as important as the key to your car when it comes to upper body strength. But big muscle groups often require ample space, heavy equipment and a good variety of tools to achieve your rep count and weight gain.

Thankfully, lat muscles can be done at home. And we’re going to find out how in this article. You’ll be reading a quick ‘how-to’ so get ready for written instructions using words like, ‘shoulder width apart’, ‘knees bent’, ‘arms straight’ and so on – if this isn’t your style of learning then get yourself on YouTube.

Let’s do it.

Pull Ups

Let’s start with a pretty classic and fundamental exercise. Pull-ups challenge your lats and surround muscles very well. The demand of pulling up your entire body weight (let alone added resistance) takes a lot of work.

Let’s look at Steel Supplements for a breakdown –

  1. ”Stand directly underneath a pull-up bar, then jump up to the bar and dead hang with straight arms. Your feet should not touch the ground, your grip should be overhand, and you should have a wide grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. When you are ready, exhale and pull your shoulders back and down to pull your elbows down and lift your chin over the bar. Your hands should stack directly over your wrists and elbows.
  3. Squeeze your back muscles with your chin over the bar, then inhale and slowly drop back down to a dead hang.”

Wide Push Ups

Thankfully, you can rely on some traditional routines to help train the lats. Most lats exercises seem to challenge you in more direct ways but with compound movements, you can challenge your lats and more (win-win).

Here’s another breakdown from Steel Supplements –

  1. ”Get on all fours on a soft, flat surface.
  2. Press back into a plank position on your hands and toes. Your feet should be inside the width of your hips and your hands outside the width of your shoulders. While your hands are outside of your shoulders, make sure they are still in line with them.
  3. When you’re ready, exhale and bend your elbows out to the sides to lower your chest towards the floor. To get the full range of motion, lower until your chest falls below your elbows.
  4. Squeeze your lats, chest, and shoulders at the bottom, then slowly push back up to the wide-arm plank.”


Easy. Make sure to check out more over at Verywell Fit and Menshealth. You may also want to look at shoulder blades based issues for safety, a common problem. Doing latissimus dorsi is also worth looking at medically to understand more.


What is underhand grip?

This is a type of grip that flips the hand position round, reversing the standard one.

Should I only do dumbbell lat exercises if I can?

No, make use of variation where possible to target different areas of the muscle.

What can cause a weak back?

Sitting for long periods of time is the most common activity that leads to a weak back and a slouched posture. Bodyweight lat exercises as well as resistance band lat exercises can help you build strength in your back and bolster these important postural muscles.

How do I perform a single arm dumbbell row?

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forward from your hips to lower your chest toward the floor, one arm hanging directly from your shoulders and palm facing up, toward the ceiling. Brace your core, then pull the weight toward your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, then lower back to start

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