Lester Ho (@lesterhokw) and I have many discussions over the...

A video posted by Diane Fu (@dianefu) on

Lester Ho (@lesterhokw) and I have many discussions over the application of various techniques and it’s biomechanical implications. Lat usage being one of the topics.

Lester adopts a technique of holding his lats while I use a conscious sweep to bring it into position. We also happen to be very different body types. We bring to you today a discussion of what it means to use your lats.

Using Your Lats: What does It Really Mean?

You have heard from many coaches and even from previous posts talk of using your lats. Some advocate a lat sweep where the bar is actively swept into the hips using the contraction of the lats.

I have also talked about the elbows being out for more lat activation to hold the bar closer in the pull.

So which is more applicable? Do you actively bring the bar in or do you set yourself up in a position where the bar is brought in naturally?

Both work to a certain extent if applied in the right context. If you are weak in the back and find it hard to hold position of the trunk and properly engage the lats, the elbows-out and HOLDING the lats will help maintain that connection of the bar to the legs in the second pull.

If you are stronger in the upper back and have a distance to cover due to long femurs, an active lat sweep will help bring the bar into position at that right time to connect the bar with the legs to finish off the second pull.

5+4=9 and so is 6+3. There are many ways to do it but knowing which way works best for your body and levers makes it more effective a movement and subsequently more efficient.

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