Lat “Non-Responder” Solution (LATS WON’T GROW!)

Grow bigger wider lats with one routine

Having lats that don’t respond to normal training and resist growth is actually pretty common. The reason for this however is pretty straight forward and not so difficult to fix. In this video, I show you the most common reason for lats that won’t get wider or bigger and give you ways to fix that with one simple exercise. In fact, this is one back exercise that you are likely doing in every back workout you do already.

The one armed row showcases exactly why you probably aren’t getting your lats to respond. Most of the time, we perform this back exercise incorrectly which leads to more back thickness being developed and less back width. In search of the added width, we seek out other exercises that spread our arms out over our heads (as in pullups) but still don’t get the results we are looking for. That is because the solution was not what exercise you did but how you did the ones you were doing.

With the one armed row, you need to do two very important things if you want to maximally affect the lats. First, you must keep your upper arm tight to your body as you pull through each rep. Your elbow must stay tucked to your side in an adducted position. This is not the most comfortable thing to do however, as you are likely to feel an intense contraction if you aren’t used to performing your reps this way.

But that is just the beginning. In fact, beyond just the position of the elbow in relation to the torso you also must limit that amount that the elbow bends if you want to force more lat spread. The tendency is to let the elbow bend a lot as you pull but this is because you are recruiting extra help from the biceps to help you lift the weight up. Good for your biceps but bad for your lat recruitment.

Back to the position of the elbow, realize that as it tracks away from your body almost perpendicular to the torso you are shifting the majority of the work to the traps, rear delts and rhomboids. Again, this is not a bad thing if you are trying to build more back density and thickness. When looking for back width however and that elusive V Taper, you are going to get it from training the lats and to do this the elbow must stay tight to your side.

The move you are trying to accomplish is very similar to the straight armed pushdown. This move allows you to get your elbows tight to your sides while getting the upper arm to pass behind your body into extension. You should feel as if you are mimicking the same motion as you pull with an arc and limit elbow flexion on the row variation I show you here.

For more advanced tips to help you get those stubborn muscles to grow, head to and get the TNT series workouts. Each one of these programs is designed to help you to kick start the growth you are seeing in your must stubborn muscles groups. The best part is that each of them integrates directly with the ATHLEAN-X Training System as well.

For more videos on how to get wider lats and back workouts for a wider back, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

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