How to Improve Your Lat Muscles Without a Gym


Two classic lat exercises are the cable pull-down and the assisted or non-assisted pull-up. The lats, short for latissimus dorsi, are the largest muscles of your torso, extending from your inner-lower back region, across your back and looping around to the front of each upper arm. As the two main functions of the lats are to bring your arms down towards your sides and also to bring them back, you don't necessarily need a gym to work them. At home, you can work your lats with dumbbells or resistance bands.

The lats extend from the lower back up to the arms.
(Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Things You'll Need

  • Resistance band
  • Two dumbbells
Step 1

Grab the two handles of the resistance band with an overhanded grip and sit on the floor.

Step 2

Extend your legs until they are almost fully straight and bring your feet close together. Bend forward at the waist to position the middle of the resistance band up against the soles of your feet.

Step 3

Lean back until your torso is upright and then straighten your arms. Keep the handles of the band a little more than shoulder-width apart.

Step 4

Pull the handles towards the sides of your chest by bending your elbows and bringing your shoulder blades close together. Hold the contraction for a second or two. To concentrate on your lats rather than your upper back, keep your elbows in toward your body when pulling back.

Step 5

Return the handles forward to the beginning position by extending your arm and bringing your shoulder blades forward.

Step 1

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhanded grip.

Step 2

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, lean forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the ground. Bend your knees a little to ease the hamstrings stretch caused by the forward bending position.

Step 3

Place the dumbbells right under your chest region, with your arms almost fully extended. Turn the dumbbells so that the two ends are facing one another. Your elbows should be pointing out in this position.

Step 4

Raise the dumbbells upwards and in a slightly in backward direction by bending your elbows and moving your shoulder blades close together. Once the dumbbells are close to your lower stomach, stop and hold the contraction for one to two seconds.

Step 5

Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting point by extending your elbows and moving your shoulder blades forward.


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