Your latissimus dorsi, or lats, are the largest muscles in your back. They are responsible for extending your arm or bringing it toward your pelvis as well as internally rotating your upper arm. Training your lats can be done with a variety of equipment, but toning, or resistance bands, provide an inexpensive and easy-to-use method of exercise. Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each lat exercise. Train two or three times per week on nonconsecutive days. Use a band that is thick enough to challenge your lats so that they adapt to training.
Band Lat Pulldown
Secure your band around an overhead pole or other immovable object or use the door attachment at the top of the door. Make sure the band is secure so it will not snap or pull something down on you.
Sit on a chair or kneel on the floor to stretch the band slightly. If there is no tension in the band when you start the movement, it will be too easy to perform.
Extend your arms overhead with your palms facing forward. Slowly bend your elbows and draw them down into the sides of your ribcage. Keep your hands pointed up to the ceiling with palms forward.
Slowly raise your arms back to the start position for one complete repetition. Repeat until you perform eight to 12 reps.
Secure the band in door about waist to chest height or wrap around a pole or other immovable object. Make sure the band is even on both sides.
Step back so that there is slight to moderate tension in the band with your arms extended in front of you. The further you step back, the more tension you create.
Bend your elbows, driving them straight back and pulling the ends of the band toward your body. Keep your palms facing each other the entire movement.
Slowly release the band back to the start position for one complete repetition. Repeat the exercise for a total of eight to 12 reps.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription; American College of Sports Medicine
- American Council on Exercise: Back Exercises