The largest muscles of your upper body are the latissimus dorsi, and their power matches their size. They run from your shoulders down into your lower back and connect to your glutes. The lower part of your lats
Paired with the glutes, they make a powerful tandem that helps power you through demanding exercises like the squat and deadlift. The lower lats are best worked with these big movements, as well as barbell bent-over rows.
Latissimus Dorsi Anatomy
Building up your latissimus dorsi will make it appear that you have wings poking out of your
Read More: Lat Exercises With Free Weights
Latissimus Dorsi Function
Your lats act on your shoulder joint to move your arm. They can pull your arm behind your body, pull your arm down towards your body from an overhead position, and either rotate your arm in or out depending on the position of your arm. The
Lat and Glute Connection
The glutes are the most powerful muscles in the lower body and they lie directly below the latissimus dorsi. They connect to the
If you want to work the lower lats you should focus on using this powerful connection between the lower lats and glutes. Large, multi-joint movements, specifically the squat, deadlift and row are the best options. They use both the glutes and lats and you can use a surprising amount of weight in these exercises to stress the muscle.
Lifters have used this time-tested barbell exercise since the dawn of modern weightlifting in the early 1900s. It tests the strength of both your back and hip muscles, perfect for targeting the lower lats.
How To: Place a barbell on your back above your shoulder blades. Grip the barbell a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Stand tall with the barbell on your back, then squat down as low as you comfortably can. Try to keep your feet flat on the ground and chest up to prevent your back from rounding over. Stand back up with the weight on your back.
Your lats work to hold the weight in this exercise and your hips drive the upward momentum that allows you to lift the barbell off of the ground.
How To: Start with a barbell on the ground. Stand in the center of the barbell with your shins an inch away, your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grip the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Lean back, press your heels down into the
Read More: Deadlifts and Lats
Use this exercise to directly strengthen your back muscles, including your lower lats. Your glute muscles work to maintain your position during the exercise.
How To: Start standing, gripping a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Stick your butt back and lean your torso forward slightly to begin the exercise. The barbell should be touching the top of your knees in this position. Pull the barbell up until it touches your stomach, slightly above the navel. Then, lower the barbell back until it touches your knees.