Electromyography (EMG) Activity for Back Training

Electromyography (EMG) Activity

You’re heading to the gym with your mind set on having a successful back day. You know what you want to accomplish in the gym but are confused on what exercises to perform. With the numerous options for back movements, regarding the Latissimus Dorsi for this segment, you could certainly go into the gym without a plan -- hit numerous different movements – and have a successful back day, correct? Well, I am a big believer in knowing exactly what should be accomplished in the gym prior to even starting the session.

Below I will break down some of the highest electromyography (EMG) activity movements for muscle activity in the Latissimus Dorsi (lats):

Machine/cable assisted movements:

Lat-pulldown to the sternum using a narrow underhand grip with a slight lean backwards

  • Be sure to use anywhere from just outside a shoulder width grip to just inside a shoulder width grip

  • A slight lean backwards meaning, push chest up and pull bar down to upper chest/sternum area

  • Slowly lower weight (eccentric portion) back down to allow for maximal stretch in the lats

Lat-pulldown to the neck using a shoulder-width overhand grip staying upright

  • Pull bar behind the head to the upper neck

  • Keep upright, no lean back

  • Keep chest up and muscles tight

Dumbbell/Barbell row in the bent over position using an underhand grip with the arms close to the torso and palms facing to the front

  • Using either a single arm or bi-lateral set up

  • Keep back parallel to the ground

  • Pull elbows back and up to activate lats

Bodyweight movements:

Pull-up to the neck using a wide overhand grip

  • Pull up behind the head to the neck

  • Keep elbows flared out

Pull up to the sternum using a wide underhand grip

  • Keep chest up

  • Come down to just before lock-out

  • Hold contraction for a one-count

Pull up to the sternum using a wide overhand grip

  • Keep chest up

  • Come down to just before lock-out

  • Hold contraction for a one-count

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