…continued – Upper Back – Lats
Low Cable Rows
This is one of the best exercises for both lat thickness and width. It’s performed on a low cable row machine. Primary muscles involved are the lats. Secondary muscles used are the biceps, forearms, shoulders, lower back, quads, hamstrings, and a little bit of chest.
The Low Cable Row is definitely a power exercise and a perfect one for Max-OT. You can use a variety of different bar attachments for variation and generally handle a lot of weight with good form. Personally I like the straight bar with a shoulder width grip.
Grip a straight bar with a shoulder width grip. Sit into position with your knees slightly bent. Pull the bar to the bottom of your sternum. As the bar approaches your ribcage arch your back and thrust your chest forward. At the top of the movement do not lean back past parallel more than 10 to 15 degrees. Pause slightly when the bar touches your ribcage. As you lower the bar back to the starting position bend at the waste and stretch your lats fully. Make sure you do not jerk the weight and cause slack in the cable at the top of the movement. This invites injury.
If there is one exercise as physically demanding as squats this is it. Barbell rows separate the men from the boys. It’s demanding and very effective. Primary muscles involved are the lats. Secondary muscles used are the biceps, forearms, shoulders, lower back, quads, hamstrings, and a little bit of chest.
You can do these on a platform or a regular flat bench used for barbell bench press. Grip a straight barbell with a shoulder width grip. Take the bar off the rack and bend forward with your back parallel to the floor and slightly arched. Do not round your lower back. Pull the bar up with force to the bottom of your ribcage. Make sure you keep your elbow close to your sides and flex your back when the bar touches your chest. Lower the bar twice as slowly as you raise it. At the bottom of the movement stretch your lats fully.
Wrist straps are very helpful when doing back. The allow you to handle much heavier weight without worrying about grip fatigue.