Lat activation during pull ups

In order to develop my lats even more, I love doing pullups. But... Discussion today: I guess I am not activating part 3 of my lats ( lower point). By look? All 3 parts are well developped. But... I was told " feel them engage". Well I don't. I do feel most of the muscle as soon as it gets into position... Not the bottom part. Anyone else has that? talking about strict pullups☺️ (Kipping I don't need to feel anything... I just fly.

Replies

  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    edited July 2017
    If you are doing the exercise properly, you are likely activating "all" of the lats, whether you actually "feel" it or not.

    On the list of "10 most important things to be concerned about when lifting weights", that's probably about 29th :-)

    If you feel you aren't hitting all of lats, I would look at doing some row variations, like cable rows with a wider-grip bar or Meadows rows.
  • CoachFrenchie
    CoachFrenchie Posts: 135 Member
    edited July 2017
    I am a perfectionist so for me it is not number 29 : I am a perfectionist when it comes to my Olympic lifts as well! Wish I could let it go
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    for what it's worth i mentioned that once in my lift club, and our trainer said that actually, a lot of his women clients say they can't really feel their lats engaging either. there's some parallel area that 'his' men seem to have trouble with too, but not being a man i don't care about their problems :tongue: so i forget what it was.

    i've been doing a lot of front squats this year, and i remember how much i felt that rack position in my mid back muscles at first. so if you're an olympic lifter maybe you're already strong enough there that yours don't seriously perceive the effort.
  • Mycophilia
    Mycophilia Posts: 1,225 Member
    edited July 2017
    I saw this yesterday and it might help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7U1Wfx94UQ
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    spartan546 wrote: »
    I am a perfectionist so for me it is not number 29

    As was said, it won't affect your results. But if you want to feel them, do the lat pulldown. It reduces involvement of the abs and other muscles, so you can concentrate on your back. This makes it better for building lat mass too. Sit close and use a wide grip. Don't internally rotate your arms on the way down, like many do. :+1:
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    spartan546 wrote: »
    I am a perfectionist so for me it is not number 29 : I am a perfectionist when it comes to my Olympic lifts as well! Wish I could let it go

    I appreciate perfectionism and apologize if that sounded dismissive. Given the diffuse origins of the lats, and the lesser neural activation in the origin areas you are describing, and general anatomic variations, I would guess that the ability to "feel" that area working is not something that everyone can do.

    Again, it doesn't mean they aren't being worked.

    Again, I would recommend trying some wider grip pulldowns lesser weights, meadows rows, or some single-arm cable pulldowns. All of those are going to be isolation movements that should put you in better "contact" with those muscles than just doing a straight pullup.

  • CoachFrenchie
    CoachFrenchie Posts: 135 Member
    Thanks everyone. I will try more pulldowns :) everything is going so well: from front squats to clean and jerk... I just need to concentrate on the fact that my form is good. And let go a little. That's a lesson for me anyways.
    Thanks again.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    orrrrrr . . . . if you can be bothered with all the fussy setup involved, there's always seal rows. i would definitely do more of those if there were a way to do them that didn't require me to do more work arranging the equipment than i get done in the set.
  • lemmie177
    lemmie177 Posts: 479 Member
    I have problems like this too. My arms always want to take over during pullups. I do a set of scapular retractions (leaning backwards so the angle is almost like a row) as warmup, presumably to help activate the lats. Using an overhand wide-grip helps too, but I suck so much at them.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    orrrrrr . . . . if you can be bothered with all the fussy setup involved, there's always seal rows. i would definitely do more of those if there were a way to do them that didn't require me to do more work arranging the equipment than i get done in the set.

    Not to mention getting the damn seals to sit still.

  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Azdak wrote: »
    Not to mention getting the damn seals to sit still.

    :D:D:D:D it's silly how much this pleased me. shoulda seen it coming a mile away too, but nooooooo . . .

    i was too busy thinking about how even thinking about them makes me fill in a mental soundtrack of seal noises with every rep.

    it's hard to row a seal anyway. those flippers are so slippery.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,971 Member
    FWIW, I don't see how you can do a pull-up w/o involving your lats.

    Doing a pull-up involves a complex network of muscles including your hands, forearms, biceps, triceps, delts, pecs and lats that all need to work together to complete the movement.

    I seriously doubt whether you can "feel" your lats "activating" or not during the movement matters. You simply can't complete a pull-up w/o them.

    However, it's a compound -- not an isolated -- movement. If you want to isolate your lats, there are other exercises, as mentioned above, that you can do starting w/straight arm lat pull-down and/or dumbbell rows.