Increase Pull-Up Strength with Lat Pulls

I’m going to go crazy and call the lats a core muscle. Yes, you are thinking correctly; I said lats, the muscles you think of using for pull ups. They are very, very large back muscles. These muscles come down and attach into your thoracolumbar fascia, which is also where your transverse abdominis attaches (main core muscle for spinal stability.) Having strong lats goes a long way for protecting your back.

Not strong enough to do pull-ups yet or want to increase the number of pull ups you can do?

You are going to love lat pulls.

  • Increase pull up strength Place a heavy band over the door and close it.
  • Stand tall in an athletic ready position. This means a small squat through your hips not your knees.
  • Knees should not extend over toes.
  • Lock your corset in place. I like to put my hand on the opposite side of my stomach to feel for tight core muscles.
  • Do not scrunch your back!! No substituting QL and Paraspinals for Lats.
  • Pull down using your lats 100% and not your shoulder.
  • Elbow stays forward, inline with body.
  • Focus on working your lats!
  • If you are having trouble isolating your lats then loop the band around elbow. Taking your grip out it makes it easier to recruit the right muscles.


Increase pull up strength Trouble Shooting:

  • Make sure you do not pull too far down.
  • Do not scrunch your back.
  • See how my elbow is going back and my shoulder is going forward? This is wrong.
  • Keep your elbow forward in line with your body.
  • If you look closely in this wrong example you can see how my lats are not firing as much as above and my rotator cuff is taking over. This is how rotator cuffs get over worked!!!



The exercise is also great for shoulder pain. It’s a good starting point for building a strong scapula instead of overusing the small shoulder muscles. Plus you get to do more pull ups!

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