Lats

Other muscles

93 Exercises

Alternating Kettlebell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells in front of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and push your butt out as much as possible. As you bend over to get into the starting position grab both kettlebells by the handles.
  • Pull one kettlebell off of the floor while holding on to the other kettlebell. Retract the shoulder blade of the working side, as you flex the elbow, drawing the kettlebell towards your stomach or rib cage.
  • Lower the kettlebell in the working arm and repeat with your other arm.

Alternating Renegade Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • chest
  • lats
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup, with the body straight and extended. Use the handles of the kettlebells to support your upper body. You may need to position your feet wide for support.
  • Push one kettlebell into the floor and row the other kettlebell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side.
  • Then lower the kettlebell to the floor and begin the kettlebell in the opposite hand. Repeat for several reps.

Band Assisted Pull-Up

Category: strength
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • forearms
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Choke the band around the center of the pullup bar. You can use different bands to provide varying levels of assistance.
  • Pull the end of the band down, and place one bent knee into the loop, ensuring it won't slip out. Take a medium to wide grip on the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull yourself upward by contracting the lats as you flex the elbow. The elbow should be driven to your side. Pull to the front, attempting to get your chin over the bar. Avoid swinging or jerking movements.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Barbell Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lats
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand in front of a loaded barbell.
  • While keeping the back as straight as possible, bend your knees, bend forward and grasp the bar using a medium (shoulder width) overhand grip. This will be the starting position of the exercise. Tip: If it is difficult to hold on to the bar with this grip, alternate your grip or use wrist straps.
  • While holding the bar, start the lift by pushing with your legs while simultaneously getting your torso to the upright position as you breathe out. In the upright position, stick your chest out and contract the back by bringing the shoulder blades back. Think of how the soldiers in the military look when they are in standing in attention.
  • Go back to the starting position by bending at the knees while simultaneously leaning the torso forward at the waist while keeping the back straight. When the weights on the bar touch the floor you are back at the starting position and ready to perform another repetition.
  • Perform the amount of repetitions prescribed in the program.

Barbell Rear Delt Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a barbell using a wide (higher than shoulder width) and overhand (palms facing your body) grip.
  • Bend knees slightly and bend over as you keep the natural arch of your back. Let the arms hang in front of you as they hold the bar. Once your torso is parallel to the floor, flare the elbows out and away from your body. Tip: Your torso and your arms should resemble the letter "T". Now you are ready to begin the exercise.
  • While keeping the upper arms perpendicular to the torso, pull the barbell up towards your upper chest as you squeeze the rear delts and you breathe out. Tip: When performed correctly, this exercise should resemble a bench press in reverse. Also, refrain from using your biceps to do the work. Focus on targeting the rear delts; the arms should only act as hooks.
  • Slowly go back to the initial position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Rollout from Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place a loaded barbell on the ground, near the end of a bench. Kneel with both legs on the bench, and take a medium to narrow grip on the barbell. This will be your starting position.
  • To begin, extend through the hips to slowly roll the bar forward. As you roll out, flex the shoulder to roll the bar above your head. Ensure that your arms remain extended throughout the movement.
  • When the bar has been moved as far forward as possible, return to the starting position.

Bench Press - Powerlifting

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Begin by lying on the bench, getting your head beyond the bar if possible. Tuck your feet underneath you and arch your back. Using the bar to help support your weight, lift your shoulder off the bench and retract them, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use your feet to drive your traps into the bench. Maintain this tight body position throughout the movement.
  • However wide your grip, it should cover the ring on the bar. Pull the bar out of the rack without protracting your shoulders. Focus on squeezing the bar and trying to pull it apart.
  • Lower the bar to your lower chest or upper stomach. The bar, wrist, and elbow should stay in line at all times.
  • Pause when the barbell touches your torso, and then drive the bar up with as much force as possible. The elbows should be tucked in until lockout.

Bench Press with Chains

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the leader chain, shortening it to the desired length.Place the chains on the sleeves of the bar.
  • Lying on the bench, get your head beyond the bar if possible. Tuck your feet underneath you and arch your back. Using the bar to help support your weight, lift your shoulder off the bench and retract them, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use your feet to drive your traps into the bench. Maintain this tight body position throughout the movement. However wide your grip, it should cover the ring on the bar.
  • Pull the bar out of the rack without protracting your shoulders. Focus on squeezing the bar and trying to pull it apart. Lower the bar to your lower chest or upper stomach. The bar, wrist, and elbow should stay in line at all times.
  • Pause when the barbell touches your torso, and then drive the bar up with as much force as possible. The elbows should be tucked in until lockout.

Bent Over Barbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Holding a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • Now, while keeping the torso stationary, breathe out and lift the barbell to you. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause.
  • Then inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Bent Over One-Arm Long Bar Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Put weight on one of the ends of an Olympic barbell. Make sure that you either place the other end of the barbell in the corner of two walls; or put a heavy object on the ground so the barbell cannot slide backward.
  • Bend forward until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Now grab the bar with one arm just behind the plates on the side where the weight was placed and put your other hand on your knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the bar straight up with your elbow in (to maximize back stimulation) until the plates touch your lower chest. Squeeze the back muscles as you lift the weight up and hold for a second at the top of the movement. Breathe out as you lift the weight. Tip: Do not allow for any swinging of the torso. Only the arm should move.
  • Slowly lower the bar to the starting position getting a nice stretch on the lats. Tip: Do not let the plates touch the floor. To ensure the best range of motion, I recommend using small plates (25-lb ones) as opposed to larger plates (like 35-45lb ones).
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and switch arms.

Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Put weight on one of the ends of an Olympic barbell. Make sure that you either place the other end of the barbell in the corner of two walls; or put a heavy object on the ground so the barbell cannot slide backward.
  • Bend forward until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Now grab the bar with both arms just behind the plates on the side where the weight was placed and put your other hand on your knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the bar straight up with your elbows in (to maximize back stimulation) until the plates touch your lower chest. Squeeze the back muscles as you lift the weight up and hold for a second at the top of the movement. Breathe out as you lift the weight. Tip: Use a stirrup or double handle cable attachment by hooking it under the end of the bar.
  • Slowly lower the bar to the starting position getting a nice stretch on the lats. Tip: Do not let the plates touch the floor. To ensure the best range of motion, I recommend using small plates (25-lb ones) as opposed to larger plates (like 35-45lb ones).
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side (as you breathe out), keeping the elbows close to the body (do not exert any force with the forearm other than holding the weights). On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row With Palms In

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side as you breathe out, squeezing your shoulder blades together. On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Bent-Arm Barbell Pullover

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench with a barbell using a shoulder grip width.
  • Hold the bar straight over your chest with a bend in your arms. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your arms in the bent arm position, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
  • At that point, bring the barbell back to the starting position using the arc through which the weight was lowered and exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a dumbbell standing up on a flat bench.
  • Ensuring that the dumbbell stays securely placed at the top of the bench, lie perpendicular to the bench (torso across it as in forming a cross) with only your shoulders lying on the surface. Hips should be below the bench and legs bent with feet firmly on the floor. The head will be off the bench as well.
  • Grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest with a bend in your arms. Both palms should be pressing against the underside one of the sides of the dumbbell. This will be your starting position. Caution: Always ensure that the dumbbell used for this exercise is secure. Using a dumbbell with loose plates can result in the dumbbell falling apart and falling on your face.
  • While keeping your arms locked in the bent arm position, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
  • At that point, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position using the arc through which the weight was lowered and exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Board Press

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Begin by lying on the bench, getting your head beyond the bar if possible. One to five boards, made out of 2x6's, can be screwed together and held in place by a training partner, bands, or just tucked under your shirt.
  • Tuck your feet underneath you and arch your back. Using the bar to help support your weight, lift your shoulder off the bench and retract them, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use your feet to drive your traps into the bench. Maintain this tight body position throughout the movement.
  • You can take a standard bench grip, or shoulder width to focus on the triceps. Pull the bar out of the rack without protracting your shoulders. The bar, wrist, and elbow should stay in line at all times. Focus on squeezing the bar and trying to pull it apart.
  • Lower the bar to the boards, and then drive the bar up with as much force as possible. The elbows should be tucked in until lockout.

Bodyweight Mid Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Begin by taking a medium to wide grip on a pull-up apparatus with your palms facing away from you. From a hanging position, tuck your knees to your chest, leaning back and getting your legs over your side of the pull-up apparatus. This will be your starting position.
  • Beginning with your arms straight, flex the elbows and retract the shoulder blades to raise your body up until your legs contact the pull-up apparatus.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Cable Incline Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Lie on incline an bench facing away from a high pulley machine that has a straight bar attachment on it.
  • Grasp the straight bar attachment overhead with a pronated (overhand; palms down) shoulder width grip and extend your arms in front of you. The bar should be around 2 inches away from your upper thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, lift your arms back in a semi circle until the bar is straight over your head. Breathe in during this portion of the movement.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position using your lats and hold the contraction once you reach the starting position. Breathe out during the execution of this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Catch and Overhead Throw

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Begin standing while facing a wall or a partner.
  • Using both hands, position the ball behind your head, stretching as much as possible, and forcefully throw the ball forward.
  • Ensure that you follow your throw through, being prepared to receive your rebound from your throw. If you are throwing against the wall, make sure that you stand close enough to the wall to receive the rebound, and aim a little higher than you would with a partner.

Chair Lower Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on a chair.
  • Bend to one side with your arm over your head. You can hold onto the chair with your free hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat for your other side.

Chin-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing your torso and a grip closer than the shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position. Tip: Keeping the torso as straight as possible maximizes biceps stimulation while minimizing back involvement.
  • As you breathe out, pull your torso up until your head is around the level of the pull-up bar. Concentrate on using the biceps muscles in order to perform the movement. Keep the elbows close to your body. Tip: The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second of squeezing the biceps in the contracted position, slowly lower your torso back to the starting position; when your arms are fully extended. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you - while holding the bar at the chosen grip width - bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary (only the arms should move). The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull the bar down using the forearms.
  • After a second in the contracted position, while squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • 6. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Incline Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Using a neutral grip, lean into an incline bench.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, beginning with the arms straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Retract the shoulder blades and flex the elbows to row the dumbbells to your side.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and then return to the starting position.

Dynamic Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, swing them straight up in front of you 5-10 times, increasing the range of motion each time until your arms are above your head.

Elevated Cable Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Get a platform of some sort (it can be an aerobics or calf raise platform) that is around 4-6 inches in height.
  • Place it on the seat of the cable row machine.
  • Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  • With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Raise And Pullover

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench while holding a barbell using a palms down grip that is about 15 inches apart.
  • Place the bar on your upper thighs, extend your arms and lock them while keeping a slight bend on the elbows. This will be your starting position.
  • Now raise the weight using a semicircular motion and keeping your arms straight as you inhale. Continue the same movement until the bar is on the other side above your head . (Tip: the bar will travel approximately 180-degrees). At this point your arms should be parallel to the floor with the palms of your hands facing the ceiling.
  • Now return the barbell to the starting position by reversing the motion as you exhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Full Range-Of-Motion Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Either standing or seated on a high bench, grasp two stirrup cables that are attached to the high pulleys. Grab with the opposing hand so your arms are crisscrossed about you and your palms are facing forward.
  • Keeping your chest up and maintaining a slight arch in your lower back, pull the handles down as if you were doing a regular pulldown. The range of motion will be more of an arc. During the movement, rotate your hands so that in the bottom position your palms face each other rather than forward. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat.

Gironda Sternum Chins

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Grasp the pull-up bar with a shoulder width underhand grip.
  • Now hang with your arms fully extended and stick your chest out and lean back. Tip: You will be leaning back throughout the entire movement. This will be your starting position.
  • Start pulling yourself towards the bar with your spine arched throughout the movement and your head leaning back as far away from the bar as possible. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: At the upper end of the movement, your hips and legs will be at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Keep pulling until your collarbone passes the bar and your lower chest or sternum area touches it. Hold that contraction for a second. Tip: By the time you've completed this portion of the movement; your head will be parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly start going back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Gorilla Chin/Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Hang from a chin-up bar using an underhand grip (palms facing you) that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Now bend your knees at a 90 degree angle so that the calves are parallel to the floor while the thighs remain perpendicular to it. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, pull yourself up while crunching your knees up at the same time until your knees are at chest level. You will stop going up as soon as your nose is at the same level as the bar. Tip: When you get to this point you should also be finishing the crunch at the same time.
  • Slowly start to inhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Bench Pull

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie face down on an incline bench that is set to an incline that is approximately 30 degrees.
  • Let the arms hang to your sides fully extended as they point to the floor.
  • Turn the wrists until your hands have a pronated (palms down) grip.
  • Now flare the elbows out. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, start to pull the dumbbells up as if you are doing a reverse bench press. You will do this by bending at the elbows and bringing the upper arms up as you let the forearms hang. Continue this motion until the upper arms are at the same level as your back. Tip: The elbows will come out to the side and your upper arms and torso should make the letter "T" at the top of the movement. Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly go back down to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Inverted Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Position a bar in a rack to about waist height. You can also use a smith machine.
  • Take a wider than shoulder width grip on the bar and position yourself hanging underneath the bar. Your body should be straight with your heels on the ground with your arms fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by flexing the elbow, pulling your chest towards the bar. Retract your shoulder blades as you perform the movement.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and return yourself to the start position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Inverted Row with Straps

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Hang a rope or suspension straps from a rack or other stable object. Grasp the ends and position yourself in a supine position hanging from the ropes. Your body should be straight with your heels on the ground with your arms fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by flexing the elbow, pulling your chest to your hands. Retract your shoulder blades as you perform the movement.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and return yourself to the start position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Kipping Muscle Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Grip the rings using a false grip, with the base of your palms on top of the rings.
  • Begin with a movement swinging your legs backward slightly.
  • Counter that movement by swinging your legs forward and up, jerking your chin and chest back, pulling yourself up with both arms as you do so. As you reach the top position of the pull-up, pull the rings to your armpits as you roll your shoulders forward, allowing your elbows to move straight back behind you. This puts you into the proper position to continue into the dip portion of the movement.
  • Maintaining control and stability, extend through the elbow to complete the motion.
  • Use care when lowering yourself to the ground.

Kneeling High Pulley Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Select the appropriate weight using a pulley that is above your head. Attach a rope to the cable and kneel a couple of feet away, holding the rope out in front of you with both arms extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by flexing the elbows and fully retracting your shoulders, pulling the rope toward your upper chest with your elbows out.
  • After pausing briefly, slowly return to the starting position.

Kneeling Single-Arm High Pulley Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a single handle to a high pulley and make your weight selection.
  • Kneel in front of the cable tower, taking the cable with one hand with your arm extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Starting with your palm facing forward, pull the weight down to your torso by flexing the elbow and retract the shoulder blade. As you do so, rotate the wrist so that at the completion of the movement, your palm is now facing you.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Latissimus Dorsi-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • While lying on the floor, place a foam roll under your back and to one side, just behind your arm pit. This will be your starting position.
  • Keep the arm of the side being stretched behind and to the side of you as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off of the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and switch sides.

Leverage High Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Load an appropriate weight onto the pins and adjust the seat height so that you can just reach the handles above you. Adjust the knee pad to help keep you down. Grasp the handles with a pronated grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the handles towards your torso, retracting your shoulder blades as you flex the elbow.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return the handles to the starting position.
  • For multiple repetitions, avoid completely returning the weight to the stops to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

Leverage Iso Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Load an appropriate weight onto the pins and adjust the seat height so that the handles are at chest level. Grasp the handles with either a neutral or pronated grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the handles towards your torso, retracting your shoulder blades as you flex the elbow.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return the handles to the starting position. For multiple repetitions, avoid completely returning the weight to the stops to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

London Bridges

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a climbing rope to a high beam or cross member. Below it, ensure that the smith machine bar is locked in place with the safeties and cannot move. Alternatively, a secure box could also be utilized.
  • Stand on the bar, using the rope to balance yourself. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your body straight, lean back and lower your body by slowly going hand over hand with the rope. Continue until you are perpendicular to the ground.
  • Keeping your body straight, reverse the motion, going hand over hand back to the starting position.

Lying Cambered Barbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place a cambered bar underneath an exercise bench.
  • Lie face down on the exercise bench and grab the bar using a palms down (pronated grip) that is wider than shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale row the bar up as you keep the elbows close to your body to either your chest, in order to target the upper mid back, or to your stomach if targeting the lats is your goal.
  • After a second hold at the top, lower back down to the starting position slowly as you inhale.

Lying T-Bar Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Load up the T-bar Row Machine with the desired weight and adjust the leg height so that your upper chest is at the top of the pad. Tip: In some machines all you can do is stand on the appropriate step that allows you to be at a height that has the upper chest at the top of the pad.
  • Lay face down on the pad and grab the handles. You can either use a palms down, palms up, or palms in position depending on what part of your back you want to emphasize.
  • Lift the bar off the rack and extend your arms in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale slowly pull the weight up and squeeze your back at the top of the movement. Tip: Keep the upper arms as close to the torso as possible throughout the movement in order to better engage the back muscles. Also, do not lift your body off of the pad at any time and refrain from using the biceps to lift the weight.
  • After a second contraction at the top of the movement, as you inhale, slowly go back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Middle Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • lats
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand so your feet are shoulder width apart and your hands are on your hips.
  • Twist at your waist until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then twist to the other side.

Mixed Grip Chin

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Using a spacing that is just about 1 inch wider than shoulder width, grab a pull-up bar with the palms of one hand facing forward and the palms of the other hand facing towards you. This will be your starting position.
  • Now start to pull yourself up as you exhale. Tip: With the arm that has the palms facing up concentrate on using the back muscles in order to perform the movement. The elbow of that arm should remain close to the torso. With the other arm that has the palms facing forward, the elbows will be away but in line with the torso. You will concentrate on using the lats to pull your body up.
  • After a second contraction at the top, start to slowly come down as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • On the following set, switch grips; so if you had the right hand with the palms facing you and the left one with the palms facing forward, on the next set you will have the palms facing forward for the right hand and facing you for the left.

Muscle Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Grip the rings using a false grip, with the base of your palms on top of the rings. Initiate a pull up by pulling the elbows down to your side, flexing the elbows.
  • As you reach the top position of the pull-up, pull the rings to your armpits as you roll your shoulders forward, allowing your elbows to move straight back behind you. This puts you into the proper position to continue into the dip portion of the movement.
  • Maintaining control and stability, extend through the elbow to complete the motion.
  • Use care when lowering yourself to the ground.

One Arm Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • From a standing position, place a bent arm against a wall or doorway.
  • Slowly lean toward your arm until you feel a stretch in your lats.

One Arm Chin-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • lats
Instructions:
  • For this exercise, start out by placing a towel around a chin up bar.
  • Grab the chin-up bar with your palm facing you. One hand will be grabbing the chin-up bar and the other will be grabbing the towel.
  • Bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.v
  • Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.

One Arm Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Select an appropriate weight and adjust the knee pad to help keep you down. Grasp the handle with a pronated grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the handle down, squeezing your elbow to your side as you flex the elbow.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return the handle to the starting position.
  • For multiple repetitions, avoid completely returning the weight to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

One Handed Hang

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab onto a chinup bar with one hand, using a pronated grip. Keep your feet on the floor or a step. Allow the majority of your weight to hang from that hand, while keeping your feet on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds and switch sides.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Choose a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side of it.
  • Place the right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support.
  • Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the resistance straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and keeping the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. Also, make sure that the force is performed with the back muscles and not the arms. Finally, the upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the dumbbell; therefore do not try to pull the dumbbell up using the forearms.
  • Lower the resistance straight down to the starting position. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat the movement for the specified amount of repetitions.
  • Switch sides and repeat again with the other arm.

One-Arm Kettlebell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Place a kettlebell in front of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and then push your butt out as much as possible as you bend over to get in the starting position. Grab the kettlebell and pull it to your stomach, retracting your shoulder blade and flexing the elbow. Keep your back straight. Lower and repeat.

One-Arm Long Bar Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Position a bar into a landmine or in a corner to keep it from moving. Load an appropriate weight onto your end.
  • Stand next to the bar, and take a grip with one hand close to the collar. Using your hips and legs, rise to a standing position.
  • Assume a bent-knee stance with your hips back and your chest up. Your arm should be extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the weight to your side by retracting the shoulder and flexing the elbow. Do not jerk the weight or cheat during the movement.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

One-Arm Medicine Ball Slam

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start in a standing position with a staggered, athletic stance. Hold a medicine ball in one hand, on the same side as your back leg. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by winding the arm, raising the medicine ball above your head. As you do so, extend through the hips, knees, and ankles to load up for the slam.
  • At peak extension, flex the shoulders, spine, and hips to throw the ball hard into the ground directly in front of you.
  • Catch the ball on the bounce and continue for the desired number of repetitions.

Overhead Lat

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you. Raise one arm straight up, and flex the elbow, attempting to touch your hand to your back. Your parner should hold your tricep and wrist. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to pull your upper arm to your side as your partner prevents you from doing actually doing so.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax the arm and allow your partner to further stretch the lat by applying gentle pressure to the tricep. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Overhead Slam

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Hold a medine ball with both hands and stand with your feet at shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the countermovement by raising the ball above your head and fully extending your body.
  • Reverse the motion, slamming the ball into the ground directly in front of you as hard as you can.
  • Receive the ball with both hands on the bounce and repeat the movement.

Overhead Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Standing straight up, lace your fingers together and open your palms to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders down as you extend your arms up.
  • To create a full torso stretch, pull your tailbone down and stabilize your torso as you do this. Stretch the muscles on both the front and the back of the torso.

Overhead Triceps

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you. Raise one arm straight up, and flex the elbow, attempting to touch your hand to your back. Your parner should hold your elbow and wrist. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to extend the arm straight into the air as your partner prevents you from doing actually doing so.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax the arm and allow your partner to further stretch the tricep by applying gentle pressure to the wrist. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Pin Presses

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pin presses remove the eccentric phase of the bench press, developing starting strength. They also allow you to train a desired range of motion.
  • The bench should be set up in a power rack. Set the pins to the desired point in your range of motion, whether it just be lockout or an inch off of your chest. The bar should be moved to the pins and prepared for lifting.
  • Begin by lying on the bench, with the bar directly above the contact point during your regular bench. Tuck your feet underneath you and arch your back. Using the bar to help support your weight, lift your shoulder off the bench and retract them, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use your feet to drive your traps into the bench. Maintain this tight body position throughout the movement.
  • You can take a standard bench grip, or shoulder width to focus on the triceps. The bar, wrist, and elbow should stay in line at all times. Focus on squeezing the bar and trying to pull it apart.
  • Drive the bar up with as much force as possible. The elbows should be tucked in until lockout.
  • Return the bar to the pins, pausing before beginning the next repetition.

Pullups

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Reverse Band Bench Press

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Position a bench inside a power rack, with the bar set to the correct height. Begin by anchoring bands either to band pegs or to the top of the rack. Ensure that you will be position properly under the bands. Attach the other end to the barbell.
  • Lie on the bench, tuck your feet underneath you and arch your back. Using the bar to help support your weight, lift your shoulder off the bench and retract them, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use your feet to drive your traps into the bench. Maintain this tight body position throughout the movement. However wide your grip, it should cover the ring on the bar.
  • Pull the bar out of the rack without protracting your shoulders. Focus on squeezing the bar and trying to pull it apart. Lower the bar to your lower chest or upper stomach. The bar, wrist, and elbow should stay in line at all times.
  • Pause when the barbell touches your torso, and then drive the bar up with as much force as possible. The elbows should be tucked in until lockout.

Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand erect while holding a barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up).
  • Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the torso stationary, lift the barbell as you breathe out, keeping the elbows close to the body and not doing any force with the forearm other than holding the weights. On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Rocky Pull-Ups/Pulldowns

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using a wide grip.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Now repeat the same movements as described above except this time your torso will remain straight as you go up and the bar will touch the back of the neck instead of the upper chest. Tip: Use the head to lean forward slightly as it will help you properly execute this portion of the exercise.
  • Once you have lowered yourself back down to the starting position, repeat the exercise for the prescribed amount of repetitions in your program.

Rope Climb

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab the rope with both hands above your head. Pull down on the rope as you take a small jump.
  • Wrap the rope around one leg, using your feet to pinch the rope. Reach up as high as possible with your arms, gripping the rope tightly.
  • Release the rope from your feet as you pull yourself up with your arms, bringing your knees towards your chest.
  • Resecure your feet on the rope, and then stand up to take another high hold on the rope. Continue until you reach the top of the rope.
  • To lower yourself, loosen the grip of your feet on the rope as you slide down using a hand over hand motion.

Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a high pulley and make your weight selection. Stand a couple feet back from the pulley with your feet staggered and take the rope with both hands. Lean forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, with your arms extended up in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, extend the shoulder to pull the rope down to your thighs.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, squeezing your lats.
  • Return to the starting position without allowing the weight to fully rest on the stack.

Scapular Pull-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Take a pronated grip on a pull-up bar.
  • From a hanging position, raise yourself a few inches without using your arms. Do this by depressing your shoulder girdle in a reverse shrugging motion.
  • Pause at the completion of the movement, and then slowly return to the starting position before performing more repetitions.

Seated Cable Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  • With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the single handle attachment with your left arm using a palms-down grip.
  • With your arm extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lat as you hold the bar in front of you. The right arm can be kept by the waist. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it as you rotate the wrist, so that by the time your hand is by your abdominals it is in a neutral position (palms facing the torso). Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard.
  • Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in. Tip: Remember to rotate the wrist as you go back to the starting position so that the palms are facing down again.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the right hand.

Shotgun Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a single handle to a low cable.
  • After selecting the correct weight, stand a couple feet back with a wide-split stance. Your arm should be extended and your shoulder forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by retracting the shoulder and flexing the elbow. As you pull, supinate the wrist, turning the palm upward as you go.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Shoulder Raise

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Relax your arms to your sides and raise your shoulders up toward your ears, then back down.

Side To Side Chins

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using a wide grip.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at a wide grip, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your torso up while leaning to the left hand side until the bar almost touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space (no swinging) and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second of contraction, inhale as you go back to the starting position.
  • Now, pull your torso up while leaning to the right hand side until the bar almost touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second of contraction, inhale as you go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 3-6 until you have performed the prescribed amount of repetitions for each side.

Side Wrist Pull

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • lats
Instructions:
  • This stretch works best standing. Cross your left arm over the midline of your body and hold the left wrist in your right hand down at the level of your hips. Start the stretch with a bent left arm.
  • Slowly straighten, pull, and lift it up to shoulder height, as pictured. Feel this stretch originate in your back, not your shoulders, and don't pull too hard on the shoulders joint. Switch sides.

Side-Lying Floor Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • First lie on your left side, bending your left knee in front of you to stabilize your torso (use your abdominal muscles as well to hold you upright).
  • Straighten your right leg and rest the right foot on the floor behind your left. Straighten your right arm over your head and gently pull on your right wrist to stretch the entire right side of the body. Switch sides.

Sled Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Attach dual handles to a sled connected by a rope or chain. Load the sled to an appropriate weight. Face the sled, backing up until there is some tension in the line.
  • With a handle in each hand, bend the knees slightly, keep your head and chest up, and begin with your arms extended.
  • To initiate the movement, flex the elbow as you retract your shoulder blades, pulling the sled towards you.
  • Take a step or two back to get tension in the line and repeat.

Sledgehammer Swings

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • lats
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • You will need a tire and a sledgehammer for this exercise. Stand in front of the tire about two feet away from it with a staggered stance. Grip the sledgehammer.
  • If you are right handed, your left hand should be at the bottom of the handle, and your right hand should be choking up closer to the head.
  • As you bring the sledge up, your right hand slides toward the head; as you swing down, your right hand will slide down to join your left hand. Slam it down as hard as you can against the tire. Control the bounce of the hammer off of the tire.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Smith Machine Bent Over Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Set the barbell attached to the smith machine to a height that is about 2 inches below your knees.
  • Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up.
  • Now grasp the barbell using an overhand (pronated) grip and unlock it from the smith machine rack. Then let it hang directly in front of you as your arms hang extended perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the torso stationary, lift the barbell as you breathe out, keeping the elbows close to the body and not doing any force with the forearm other than holding the weights. On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Spinal Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • lower back
  • neck
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit in a chair so your back is straight and your feet planted on the floor.
  • Interlace your fingers behind your head, elbows out and your chin down.
  • Twist your upper body to one side about 3 times as far as you can. Then lean forward and twist your torso to reach your elbow to the floor on the inside of your knee.
  • Return to upright position and then repeat for your other side.

Standing Two-Arm Overhead Throw

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding a medicine ball in both hands. To begin, reach the medicine ball deep behind your head as you bend the knees slightly and lean back.
  • Violently throw the ball forward, flexing at the hip and using your whole body to complete the movement.
  • The medicine ball can be thrown to a partner or to a wall, receiving it as it bounces back.

Straight Bar Bench Mid Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Place a loaded barbell on the end of a bench. Standing on the bench behind the bar, take a medium, pronated grip. Stand with your hips back and chest up, maintaining a neutral spine. This will be your starting position.
  • Row the bar to your torso by retracting the shoulder blades and flexing the elbows. Use a controlled movement with no jerking.
  • After a brief pause, slowly return the bar to the starting position, ensuring to go all the way down.

Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a dumbbell standing up on a flat bench.
  • Ensuring that the dumbbell stays securely placed at the top of the bench, lie perpendicular to the bench (torso across it as in forming a cross) with only your shoulders lying on the surface. Hips should be below the bench and legs bent with feet firmly on the floor. The head will be off the bench as well.
  • Grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest at arms length. Both palms should be pressing against the underside one of the sides of the dumbbell. This will be your starting position. Caution: Always ensure that the dumbbell used for this exercise is secure. Using a dumbbell with loose plates can result in the dumbbell falling apart and falling on your face.
  • While keeping your arms straight, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
  • At that point, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position using the arc through which the weight was lowered and exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • You will start by grabbing the wide bar from the top pulley of a pulldown machine and using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip. Step backwards two feet or so.
  • Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows. If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are. Once your arms are fully extended and your torso is slightly bent at the waist, tighten the lats and then you are ready to begin.
  • While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • While keeping the arms straight, go back to the starting position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Supine One-Arm Overhead Throw

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lay on the ground on your back with your knees bent. Hold the ball with one hand, extending the arm fully behind your head. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement at the shoulder, throwing the ball directly forward of you as you sit up, attempting to go for maximum distance.
  • The ball can be thrown to a partner or bounced off of a wall.

Supine Two-Arm Overhead Throw

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lay on the ground on your back with your knees bent.
  • Hold the ball with both hands, extending the arms fully behind your head. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement at the shoulder, throwing the ball directly forward of you as you sit up, attempting to go for maximum distance.
  • The ball can be thrown to a partner or bounced off of a wall.

Suspended Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Suspend your straps at around chest height. Take a handle in each hand and lean back. Keep your body erect and your head and chest up. Your arms should be fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by flexing the elbow to initiate the movement. Protract your shoulder blades as you do so.
  • At the completion of the motion pause, and then return to the starting position.

T-Bar Row with Handle

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Position a bar into a landmine or in a corner to keep it from moving. Load an appropriate weight onto your end.
  • Stand over the bar, and position a Double D row handle around the bar next to the collar. Using your hips and legs, rise to a standing position.
  • Assume a wide stance with your hips back and your chest up. Your arms should be extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the weight to your upper abdomen by retracting the shoulder blades and flexing the elbows. Do not jerk the weight or cheat during the movement.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Triceps Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Reach your hand behind your head, grasp your elbow and gently pull. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells in front of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and then push your butt out as much as possible as you bend over to get in the starting position.
  • Grab both kettlebells and pull them to your stomach, retracting your shoulder blades and flexing the elbows. Keep your back straight. Lower and repeat.

Underhand Cable Pulldowns

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the pull-down bar with the palms facing your torso (a supinated grip). Make sure that the hands are placed closer than the shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the fully contracted position and keep the elbows close to your body. The upper torso should remain stationary as your bring the bar to you and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, while breathing in, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Upward Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Extend both hands straight above your head, palms touching.
  • Slowly push your hands up and back, keeping your back straight.

V-Bar Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a V-Bar attached to the top pulley.
  • Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the V-bar with the palms facing each other (a neutral grip). Stick your chest out and lean yourself back slightly (around 30-degrees) in order to better engage the lats. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your lats, pull the bar down as you squeeze your shoulder blades. Continue until your chest nearly touches the V-bar. Exhale as you execute this motion. Tip: Keep the torso stationary throughout the movement.
  • After a second hold on the contracted position, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

V-Bar Pullup

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start by placing the middle of the V-bar in the middle of the pull-up bar (assuming that the pull-up station you are using does not have neutral grip handles). The V-Bar handles will be facing down so that you can hang from the pull-up bar through the use of the handles.
  • Once you securely place the V-bar, take a hold of the bar from each side and hang from it. Stick your chest out and lean yourself back slightly in order to better engage the lats. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your lats, pull your torso up while leaning your head back slightly so that you do not hit yourself with the chin-up bar. Continue until your chest nearly touches the V-bar. Exhale as you execute this motion.
  • After a second hold on the contracted position, slowly lower your body back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Weighted Pull Ups

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a weight to a dip belt and secure it around your waist. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms of your hands facing forward. For a medium grip, your hands should be spaced at shoulder width. Both arms should be extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip.
  • You’ll want to bring your torso back about 30 degrees while creating a curvature in your lower back and sticking your chest out. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, exhale and pull your torso up until your head is above your hands. Concentrate on squeezing yourshoulder blades back and down as you reach the top contracted position.
  • After a brief moment at the top contracted position, inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position with your arms extended and your lats fully stretched.

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
  • After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Wide-Grip Pulldown Behind The Neck

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso and head forward. Think of an imaginary line from the center of the bar down to the back of your neck. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches the back of your neck by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
  • After a second on the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using a wide grip.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar, bring your torso forward and head so that there is an imaginary line from the pull-up bar to the back of your neck. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your torso up until the bar is near the back of your neck. To do this, draw the shoulders and upper arms down and back while slightly leaning your head forward. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.