Waking up your lats?

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KenDowns
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Waking up your lats?

Post by KenDowns » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:33 pm

I've known for some time that I have a left-right strength difference, with my left side being stronger even though my right is dominant.

At the moment I'm specifically considering lats. I notice that on things like pulldowns and one arm rows, I feel my lat clearly on the left, but on the right its all bicep. On the right the bicep burns sooner and the arm gives out faster. This is consistent with my experience near failure on bench press, where my right side will always lag before the left, and everybody tells me lats are critical for bench.

On the working hypothesis that this is not mental, how do I "wake up" the right lat such as one wakes up the glutes with glute bridges? Simple lat exercises don't seem to do it, it's all bicep.

Any ideas?

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Re: Waking up your lats?

Post by Dub » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:52 am

Try one-armed movements and with the other arm, touch the lat working. Try to imagine it contracting/focus on the flexing and touch it with the other arm. Use ligth enough weigth too, so the lats can work in peace. Drive the movement from humerus, not from elbow, if you know what I mean.
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Re: Waking up your lats?

Post by robertscott » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:50 am

pre-exhaust. Do a few sets of straight arm pulldowns before your compounds

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Re: Waking up your lats?

Post by KPj » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:21 am

I've actually had to address this recently with a female client, and I think it may actually be quite common. I was especially surprised because there is no significant different in side to side horizontal rowing strength.

You need to find your "mind muscle connection" with the lat. My client called it "sleeping lat syndrome" which I liked. Anyway, the first thing I worked on was actually having her feel the lat working - not "burning" but, working, or contracting. You need this before you do anything else.

What i've since used is in this blog post
http://deansomerset.com/2012/06/08/the- ... ck-muscle/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But here's the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 2jd_dm0l2I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Called full kneeling pull downs. Remember the point in this recommendation isn't to smash the muscle from different angles and all that jazz. It's simply to find or groove the neural connection (mind-muscle-connection) in that sleeping lat. When you can contract it, you will be able to take that connection to every other exercise you want to do.

I'm sure some bodybuilder somwhere once said, "if you can't flex it, don't isolate it". Basically learn to flex it first.

Also with the above variation hip and neck/head position is crucial, and this makes perfect sense when you consider the multiple roles of the lats, especially as a core muscle and being the connection between hip and shoulder. You can also do one side at a time.

I also came across and have now used (with the same client) band-assisted-one arm pull ups. Discussed here
http://www.negharfonooni.com/2011/12/23 ... t-pullups/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Basically one hand grabs pull up handle, the other grabs a resistance band which is choked round the pull up handle. This forces the non-banded side to do far more work. What we found was a major difference between sides. We done twice as many reps (as singles) on the weak side for 4 weeks. Afterwards the clients pullups went from 3 to 5 (female, remember). She was stuck at 3 pull ups for about 4 months before this (which is initially why I went back to drawing board and came across all this stuff. Oh, and realised that she was never really able to feel her lats working, especially on one side).

This was just before xmas and the same client just pulled 10KG over her previous PB for a double, and I have no doubt it's related - pulling with one lat can only hold you back!

KPj
Thanks TimD

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Re: Waking up your lats?

Post by KenDowns » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:10 pm

@robert, why? Can you connect the dots for me?

@dub and @KP: I will try the and kneeling pulldown poking at my lat with other hand and let you know.

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