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  1. #1
    Emevas's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Lat activation/pulling with the elbows for dummies

    Hey folks,

    I made some videos that attempt to clear up what is often a confusing concept for new lifters regarding pulling with the elbows instead of the hands for lat activation on upper body pulling. I figure I'd post them here. It's in 3 parts, unedited, and poorly narrated by yours truly. I make no claims as a professional trainer or hold any certifications, but this took me a while to figure out, and I wanted to pass it on.

    YouTube - Lat activation/pulling with the elbows part I: Theory

    YouTube - Lat activation/pulling with the elbows part II: Horizontal pulls

    YouTube - Lat activation/pulling with the elbows part III: Vertical pulls
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69

  2. #2
    Kickapoo's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm having some trouble understanding exactly what I'm doing wrong.

    Don't get me wrong-being an idiot in high school and stupid lifting have given me a shitty canvas to start from (there was a very long period of time where my bicep curl exceeded my bench press which I find exceedingly retarded in hindsight) and I find myself cheating my biceps into a lot of exercises where they don't belong.

    So, with the rows, I am trying to swing my elbow back (up, relative to the earth) and tight to my body while keeping my biceps out of the equation? I don't do much lat work (I'm not at the point in my lifts where I need to really worry about supplementary muscles, but feel free to call me retarded for this and I'll change accordingly), but I'd rather learn now and get started on it because my lats have seemed to be unequal due to my scoliosis (larger right lat, larger left trapezius).

    Nice shoes btw.

  3. #3
    Emevas's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You aren't swinging the elbow up, no, the elbow is what is doing the pulling. Like I said in the third video, think of your hands like hooks. They're sole responsibility is to hold onto the weight. When the weight moves, it's because your elbow is moving.

    You don't do much lat work? What program are you doing?

    I got those chucks years ago. Very low mileage, haha.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69

  4. #4
    Kickapoo's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Right now I'm at cardio only because my basement is being finished and that's where all my equipment is. I was doing stronglifts, albeit very inconsistently, and the past two weeks have mostly been me taking the time off to finally box and figure out a program that I should do when whatever asbestos or whatever clears out of my basement.

    And maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying. Is my elbow supposed to remain fixed? Relaxed? I'm sitting here with a thirty pound dumbbell and my girlfriend keeps looking at me like I'm crazy because I'm doing rows on a coffee table and muttering how I don't get it.

  5. #5
    Emevas's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ah, the way you phrased it made it sound like you were lifting and not training your lats.

    Don't fixate on how your elbow should feel. Again, the point of emphasis is that the elbow is what is PULLING, not the hand. In the first video, I show this with the band. The weight is simply in your hand because that is how you, as a human, are designed to hold ****, but to recruit your lats, you want to pull with your lats, which you do by initiating the pull with your elbow instead of your hand.

    What you should feel is your lats stretching when you pull with them, rather than a bicep pump.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69

  6. #6
    Kickapoo's Avatar
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    Alright, I think I have it. I was trying out all sorts of wonky **** without doing much but apparently cockblocking myself and entertaining my SO, but I did what you suggested and literally made my hand into a hook and I don't know, it clicked for me.

    Thanks a lot. I figure its better to figure this **** out now then waste time when training would be feasible.

    10/10, would view again.

  7. #7
    Emevas's Avatar
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    Glad I could help. I spent years just going through the motions with my upperback work, with nothing to show for it, and once I figured this **** out, my lats finally grew.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69

  8. #8

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Those were good videos. I need to concentrate on not gripping so hard and just have the hand like a hook, using the old "monkey grip."

  9. #9

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Great concept. Only when I thought of the motion of rows as "squeezing the shoulder blades together" or bringing the "elbows to the ceiling" rather than pulling the bar to my chest did my upper back begin to get stronger
    Last edited by CarlosJesena; 11/04/2010 8:00am at .

  10. #10
    elipson's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thank you for this Emevas. I've been doing them wrong for years with no idea.

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