Want Bigger Lats – Chin-Ups And Pull-Downs

want bigger lats - chin ups and pull downs

Q: If you had to do just one exercise for your lats, which would you think is better:  Chins or pull downs?

A: I hate those “If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one pair of shorts….” questions because they aren’t realistic. But, since you asked, I’d personally say ‘chins’ are better. And it isn’t always qualified with whether you are lighter or heavier either. Some guys do chins at a lower weight because they can handle that body weight on the chin bar, but quickly abandon them once they grow and pack on mass. Chins build great backs. Look at all the greats, Arnold, Haney, Yates and Coleman all advocated chins. They kept doing them all throughout their careers because they knew that it is the single best pulling movement you can do. If you aren’t strong in chins, get strong in them. Practice makes perfect. Use a bench or chair as a spotter if you don’t have one, and then try them alone. Gradually work into them where you can begin to wear a belt and plate around your waist. The more weight you pull the denser your back will become. Try not to use straps until you get into the heavier weight or higher rep ranges with your own body weight, since you need to develop grip strength – which also benefits you immeasurably. Do a regular routine with it like any other exercise for any other body part. Your results will be wild if you do them consistently. Lat pull downs are for housewives, but they have their place if they are but one of the exercises in your repertoire.