Mastering the lat spread pose is crucial for bodybuilders who want to excel in competitions. This pose, which showcases the width and density of the lats, is considered one of the key poses in bodybuilding. In fact, there is an old adage in bodybuilding that says shows are won from the back. But why is back development so important?
Unlike mirror muscles that can be easily seen and trained in front of a mirror, the back is not visible during training. This makes it challenging to establish a mind-muscle connection with the back, which can lead to suboptimal results in terms of muscle growth. However, practicing the lat spread pose during back workouts can improve the mind-muscle connection and enhance muscle pumps.
Pro bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Heath, and Chris Bumstead incorporate the lat spread pose into their training routines to achieve maximum muscle stimulation. Even personal trainers recommend this posing-during-training principle to their clients, as it consistently leads to improved muscle connection and enhanced muscle pumps.
In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know to master the lat spread pose. We will provide step-by-step instructions, advanced techniques, common mistakes and challenges, and the best exercises to develop a wide and thick back to improve the lat spread.
Professional bodybuilders are judged on eight mandatory poses, two of which are the front and back lat spread. The latissimus dorsi, commonly known as the lats, is the largest back muscle. The lat spread pose is specifically designed to highlight the width and thickness of the lats.
Mastering the lat spread poses requires practice and persistence, especially for beginners who may find it more challenging to engage and spread their lats. Here are the step-by-step instructions for performing the front and back lat spread:
Front Lat Spread:
1. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly turning them outwards.
2. Place your hands slightly higher than hip level.
3. Contract your legs to bring out the definition in your quads and glutes.
4. Exhale sharply, brace your core, and push your chest out.
5. Pull your shoulder blades back and down, leaning back slightly.
6. Contract your lats as hard as possible.
7. Pinch the sides of your waist between your thumbs and index fingers.
8. Spread your lats by pushing your shoulder blades out and flaring your elbows.
9. Return to an upright position, squeezing your chest, abs, and arms for peak contraction.
Back Lat Spread:
1. Stand with your back toward the judges or the camera.
2. Take a staggered stance, raising the heel of your rear leg off the floor.
3. Maintain slight flexion in the front and back knee.
4. Contract your calves, hamstrings, and glutes.
5. Pinch your waist between your thumbs and index fingers.
6. Take a deep breath, draw your shoulder blades down and back, and pull your elbows together behind your back.
7. Spread your lats by flaring your shoulders and elbows.
8. Lean back slightly toward the judges to reveal the size and depth of your back muscles.
To achieve a professional-level lat spread, here are some advanced techniques and tips:
1. Keep your midline tight by contracting your abs and obliques while hitting the lat spread pose.
2. Practice posing regularly to improve your technique and endurance.
3. Visualize the muscles you are targeting during the pose to establish a stronger mind-muscle connection.
4. Pay attention to your overall posture and body positioning to create a more aesthetically pleasing pose.
Remember, mastering the lat spread pose takes time and dedication. Don’t expect to achieve perfection on your first attempt. Just like any other aspect of bodybuilding, practice and persistence are key to success.
By incorporating the lat spread pose into your training routine and following the step-by-step instructions and tips provided in this article, you can improve your back development and enhance your performance in bodybuilding competitions. So, start practicing and watch your lat spread become a winning pose.