This blog provides encouragement to people who are beginning training, returning to training, going through physical therapy, or recovering from injury. I'm not selling anything here, I just like giving, and getting, encouragement!

Training your lat muscles at home with a resistance band

If you want to develop the width in your back, you need to do exercises for your lats. Those are the muscles that attach at your armpit area, your spine, and your lower back. If you have access to a gym, the best exercise is a pull-down machine that most people just call a lat machine. At home, you can train lats by doing pull-ups.

The problem with pull-ups is that, even for someone like me, who has good lat development, they're very difficult. If you haven't spent much time swinging around the jungle, it can be almost impossible to do more than one or two with good form, and doing one or two repetitions isn't really the best way to build muscle. You need to do 6-12 repetitions (reps).

Fortunately, if you have a resistance band, you can train your lats at home without doing pull-ups. This is how you do it:

• Hold a resistance band up over your head and stretch it apart. You can bend your elbows and bring the band down in front of your head, or behind it. You can adjust the difficulty by using a lighter, or heavier resistance band, and by the distance between your hands (the closer, the more difficult).

Visualize your lats spreading like the hood of a cobra

And that's it. If you've never tried this, you will be amazed at how it engages your lats. Make the movement slow and steady, and try to hold the tension for a few seconds. Flex your lat muscles as if your back was the hood of a cobra!
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