How to Build Lats Fast

Large lats are impressive among weight lifters.

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The lat, or latissimus dorsi, is the widest and most power muscle in the back. It's responsible for drawing the upper arm downward and backward and rotating it inward. Many weight lifters struggle increase the size of their lats for a variety of reasons. Sleeping, eating and working out properly will help you build your lats fast.

The Basics


Get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep in a cool, dark environment for the most efficient sleep. Proper sleep will allow your lats to grow bigger and stronger.


To build bigger lats, you must practice proper dieting. Eat a diet high in protein but also consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and diary products. Avoid as much processed food as possible. Eat six small meals per day rather than three large ones. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water aids in digestion and flushes your body of toxins.


Stretch your lats often to increase flexibility. The more flexible your lats become, the easier it'll be to perform reps with proper form. Stretching will also help you prevent injuries. Two effective lat stretches are the wall lat stretch and the overhead lat stretch.

Weight Training


Train your lats a maximum of twice per week. Even though they are the most powerful muscle group in your back, they need plenty of time to grow back bigger and stronger. Your muscles grow when you rest them, not when you train them.


Target your lats with exercises such as wide-grip pullups and lat pull downs. Almost every gym has a pullup bar and a lat pull down machine. If you can't perform the desired amount of reps for wide-grip pullups, use the assisted pullup machine. If the pullup bar is too easy, try attaching weight around your waist with a weight belt.


Focus on pulling the weight toward your body with your lats, not your biceps. To ensure that you're pulling the weight with your lats, contract them before each rep. Focus on form and technique rather than weight. Lifting heavy weight with improper form won't build your lats fast. It may actually result in an injury.


Complete eight to 12 reps for each set, which is effective for building mass among bodybuilders. Lower reps than eight are generally better for strength, not mass.


  • Consult with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
  • Always warm up before weight training to help prevent injuries.

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