How to Engage Your Lats: - Your lats, or latissimus dorsi, are the broadest muscles of your back and are vitally important for pulling movements like chin-ups, pull-ups and pull-downs. - Here are some great tips to more effectively engage your lats:
1️⃣ ADJUST YOUR GRIP — Position your thumb on the same side as your fingers and create a hook grip. This will help relieve tension from your forearms and biceps, which might be reducing the amount of work your lats are performing.
2️⃣ LEAD WITH YOUR ELBOWS — Instead of thinking about pulling with your arms, think about pulling through your elbows, or leading with them. This little cue can be a game changer for lat engagement.
3️⃣ MODIFY LOAD — Instead of focusing on lifting the most weight you possibly can for any given number of reps, modify the amount of weight you’re using so that you can minimize body momentum. If the weight is controlling you, and not the other way around, you’re likely going to disengage your lats and lose engagement.
4️⃣ SLOW DOWN TEMPO — Slowing down lifting tempo can be one simple way to increase time under tension, and help better illicit a mind-muscle connection. Simply put, a slower lifting tempo helps you actively think through each rep, allowing a better focus on engaging the lats.