Do You Want To Build Wider Lats? If So Try This…

When it comes to building the ideal muscular physique a key component that really sets things off is having a Wide V-Shaped Muscular Back!

However, a lot of guys have trouble stimulating their lats to the max during training. Part of the reason for this is that you can’t see your back when you work it. So it’s harder to develop that “mind muscle connection” where you can really feel the muscles stretch and contract as you do your exercises.

Another reason why guys have trouble building up their lats is because very often the arms (specifically the biceps) take a lot of the workload when it comes to rowing and pulling exercises. Now this isn’t necessarily a “bad thing” because you are still building muscle, but if your goal is to build wider lats than having the arms taking over can limit your results.

One of my buddies and fellow muscle building coach, Nick Nilsson, just shared a killer lat training tip with me and I wanted to pass it on to you here. This simple change in your lifting technique can help you maximize muscle activation in the lats when doing rowing and pulling exercises.

Change Your Grip & Build Bigger Lats…

All you have to do is vary your grip when training your lats, instead of wrapping your thumbs around the barbell like you normally do, push your thumbs against the BOTTOM of the bar instead. Just like is shown in the picture below…

Thumbless Grip For Wider Lats
Try This Thumbless Grip To Activate Your Lats More…

As you do pull ups, pull downs, or rows you want to actively push your thumbs into the bottom of the bar.

The whole act of pushing with your thumbs will take some of the biceps activity out of the lift and allow you to focus more on feeling the lats working. This has to do with the whole agonist and antagonist muscle action, because pushing with the thumbs engages the triceps more and thus neutralizes the biceps involvement.

Now the only draw back here is that you’ll probably have to use lighter weights until you get used to the new grip and technique. But that’s ok, after all the purpose of this technique is to help stimulate new muscle growth in the lats, not to see how much weight you can lift.

Give this simple “Thumbless Grip” technique a try in your next back workout, and leave me a comment below letting me know how it works for you!

And if you’d like to learn some other killer training tricks like this for stimulating new muscle growth in your stubborn bodyparts, than I highly recommend you check out my buddy Nick Nilsson’s new program:

“Mad Scientist Muscle”
How To Build MONSTER Muscle Mass
With Science Based Training.

Nick is one of those guys who thinks outside the box. He is one of the most creative muscle building coaches that I know. I’ve picked up dozens of unique tips and tricks from following his programs and I regularly apply them to my own training.

So if you are looking for a new twist to help you maximize your muscle growth. You owe it to yourself to check this program out. Click Here To Visit Nick’s Website.

Mad Scientist Muscle
About The Author

leehayward

Lee Hayward is a competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online helping people build muscle, lose bodyfat, and get in shape since 1999. Lee was selected as one of the Top Fitness Trainers Online through YouTube's Next Trainer Program and his work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes.

15 Comments

  • Jay

    Hey Lee,
    I’ve used this technique for some time now and i find it very effective, i still have a little bit to much body fat to really see my lats bulge but i do have a very strong back! This technique is awesome!
    your tips and advice are always spot on mate! good stuff
    Jay

  • Jay:
    Hey Lee,
    I’ve used this technique for some time now and i find it very effective, i still have a little bit to much body fat to really see my lats bulge but i do have a very strong back! This technique is awesome!
    your tips and advice are always spot on mate! good stuff
    Jay

    Cool, glad to hear that it’s working well for you.

    When it comes to improving the shape of your physique there are only 2 things you can do, increase muscle size and burn off the bodyfat. It sounds like you have the size part, now you just need to focus on losing bodyfat.

    As you get leaner that will go a long way towards improving your V-shape because your waist will get slimmer, but your lats and shoulders will still remain wide.

  • Justin

    Hey Lee, I am about 9 weeks in to the Blast your Biceps Program and I’m loving every second of it! I am kinda integrating the nutrition info from 21 Day FMB into the BYB program and it seems to be working fairly well. My question for you is this: I have a Primer Week starting on Monday the 16th. Would it be alright if I did more fatloss style training (ex: Extreme Fatloss Diet Workouts from J. Marion) during this primer phase and steer away from Phase two just for the primer week and go back to Phase 2 of BYB when overload phase comes around? My biggest concern is losing strength gains (and size gains) that I have made thus far 3 weeks into phase two of the program. What would be your advice? Thanks a bunch.

    -Justin

  • Josh

    Hey lee, is this technique effective while using lifting straps? (For the purpose of ripping out more reps?)

  • jim whitfill

    Texas Size Greetings Lee,

    Three modes of building wide lats come to mind:

    1. Larry Scott scapula pull-ups (which may be seen on YOU TUBE), which is the flexion and pronation of the scapula.

    2. Larry Scott one arm rows, which involves the upper body being in a vertical position while the lower body is in a deep lunge, which ends with the upper body being in a horizontal position, and the lower body remaining in a lunge position (this should also be on YOU TUBE). This also stretches the lat all the way to the connective tissue of the spinal errecti.

    3. Doing power assisted pullups with your elbows being in leg raise sleeves minus the use of the biceps (which means the lats must perform all the work.

    I do hope these three will help!

    Jim Whitfill

  • Hi Lee i find a great way to really isolate your lats is to use elbow slings and attach them to an independent cable lat pull down that way it takes your whole grip out of the equation. you can even attach them to a pull up bar to stimulate your neurological muscle fiber while using minimal grip and still working the targeted muscle

  • Rick

    I always thought dead lifts were the king of back exercises.

  • Chuck S

    Rick,

    I think Lee is saying that doing the thumb thing on the barbell (or dumbbell?) with deadlifts would also help.

  • Suneet

    Thanks for the tip Lee

    wider lats are something that I really want right now

    great timing with the post
    Ill implement it in the next back workout itself

  • Justin:
    Hey Lee, I am about 9 weeks in to the Blast your Biceps Program and I’m loving every second of it! I am kinda integrating the nutrition info from 21 Day FMB into the BYB program and it seems to be working fairly well. My question for you is this: I have a Primer Week starting on Monday the 16th. Would it be alright if I did more fatloss style training (ex: Extreme Fatloss Diet Workouts from J. Marion) during this primer phase and steer away from Phase two just for the primer week and go back to Phase 2 of BYB when overload phase comes around? My biggest concern is losing strength gains (and size gains) that I have made thus far 3 weeks into phase two of the program. What would be your advice? Thanks a bunch.

    -Justin

    If you are going to do primer and overload phases with Blast Your Bench. Do a 1 week primer before starting the actual bench specialization routine. Then when you actually get into the bench routine follow it with a 3 week overload phase. That’s kind of what I recommend in the Blast Your Bench nutritional guide anyway.

  • Josh:
    Hey lee, is this technique effective while using lifting straps?(For the purpose of ripping out more reps?)

    Yeah, if you are using straps you may not need to do this because you can relax your grip more and not activate the biceps as much.

  • jim whitfill:
    Texas Size Greetings Lee,

    Three modes of building wide lats come to mind:

    1.Larry Scott scapula pull-ups (which may be seen on YOU TUBE), which is the flexion and pronation of the scapula.

    2.Larry Scott one arm rows, which involves the upper body being in a vertical position while the lower body is in a deep lunge, which ends with the upper body being in a horizontal position, and the lower body remaining in a lunge position (this should also be on YOU TUBE).This also stretches the lat all the way to the connective tissue of the spinal errecti.

    3.Doing power assisted pullups with your elbows being in leg raise sleeves minus the use of the biceps (which means the lats must perform all the work.

    I do hope these three will help!

    Jim Whitfill

    Thanks for sharing 😉

  • alma:
    Hi Lee i find a great way to really isolate your lats is to use elbow slings and attach them to an independent cable lat pull down that way it takes your whole grip out of the equation. you can even attach them to a pull up bar to stimulate your neurological muscle fiber while using minimal grip and still working the targeted muscle

    Interesting, I’ve never tried that before…

  • Rick:
    I always thought dead lifts were the king of back exercises.

    They are awesome for building thickness in the back. And because they are such a big heavy move you’ll need to wrap your thumbs around the bar and grip tight for deads. So this tip here wouldn’t apply for them.

  • Chuck S:
    Rick,

    I think Lee is saying that doing the thumb thing on the barbell (or dumbbell?) with deadlifts would also help.

    Only use this for rowing and pull down type exercises that isolate the lats. Don’t use it for deadlifts.