If back width is your goal, you are going to love what we have for you today!
Your back is a huge muscle group that is made up of a bunch of different muscles.
Because of this, you can’t go in on back day and only do some regular pull-ups, one style of pull-down, and some rows, and expect to have a muscular and balanced back.
The way you “set up” an exercise, the way you perform it, even the hand position you use can totally change which muscle in your back you bias.
Today, we will focus on the muscle that can help you have a wider back, and that is your lats — specifically UPPER LATS.
Your lats are a “two-part-muscle” (upper and lower.) For width, it is ideal to try to hit your upper lats a little bit harder.
The exercise we are showing you today is actually our FAVORITE exercise to throw in a client’s plan if they come to us wanting to focus on back width.
And that exercise is… The Wide-Grip Pulldown 1.5
Basically, it’s a super wide-grip pulldown with the addition of a partial rep at the bottom of the movement.
That extra ½ rep may not seem like much, but it specifically focuses on the part of the lift that favors the upper lats quite a bit more.
That little bit of extra love can work wonders for anyone wanting to focus on back width.
This style of pulldown is not a “staple” back exercise.
It does not replace all of the basics you should still be doing, such as pull-ups, regular pull-downs, rows, deadlifts, etc.
Throw it in when you want to change things up and/or shock your muscle to promote some more upper lat growth.
There are some setup and technique cues you need to focus on if you are trying to hit your upper lats instead of your lower lats or the middle of your back.
Even if you think you know how to do this exercise with proper form, take a few seconds and watch THIS VIDEO we filmed beforehand.
Set-up and technique matter when it comes to what part of the back you are biasing!
WIDE-GRIP LAT PULLDOWN 1.5
- Use a seated cable pulldown machine.
- Grab a standard wide pulldown bar.
- Use a super wide-grip (well beyond shoulder width.)
- Sit with your body directly under the bar, but slightly leaned back, so your arm path allows you to favor your lats instead of your mid or upper back.
- Pull down just as you would with a typical wide-grip lat pulldown (see technique tips.)
- Squeeze at the bottom.
- Only raise the bar ½ way (around forehead height) and then go back down.
- Squeeze again.
- Slowly go back to the starting position.
That is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps or until failure.
Reps and sets will vary depending on your workout program, etc. We aren’t looking to go low and super heavy with this.
We suggest 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
You will want to use a challenging weight, but due to that extra “½ rep” at the bottom, you will likely need to use a slightly lower weight than you would use with a standard lat pulldown.
- Retract your scapula and press your shoulders down.
- Squeeze your elbows into your sides both times you pull down.
- Use a controlled motion from beginning to end.
- Focus on your form, especially the eccentric portions of the movement.
IE: don’t let the weight just “jerk” back to the starting position. Go slow!
If your lats seem “locked” and unable to grow….
This might be the “shock” your back needs to bust past a plateau! When performed correctly, it is crazy what that little ½ rep can do to bias your upper lats and help you grow a wider back!
Give it a try for at least 6-8 weeks on at least one of your back days each week! As long as you are doing the exercise consistently and correctly — we know you will see a significant improvement in back width!
If you are trying to get results FASTER & EASIER ….
Just like there are specific exercises you want to do based on your goals, there are certain approaches you should take with your diet and training plan.
What you eat, how often you lift (and what style), how much cardio you do, etc., — should all be dependent on where you are right now, your long-term goals, and your body type.
If you don’t know your body type and want help with that, we have a 6 question BODY TYPE QUIZ that anyone can take FOR FREE!
You will get your results in just minutes and be given some suggestions as to what you should be doing if you want the best results possible!