Muscle group:   The back muscles, the shoulder muscles, complex exercises

Trained muscle:   Latissimus, trapezius, deltoid, middle back muscles, lower back muscles

Focused muscle:   Latissimus

Fitness level:   Beginners, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


Lat presses represent an extremely effective and intense exercise for the latissimus dorsi. The trapezius and rhomboideus, the deltoid, and the erector spinae are activated as well practising lat presses.

Lat presses

Lat presses with the feet and butt remaining on the ground represent the easiest version of this exercise and can already be practised by beginners. Start in supine position. Heels press into the floor. Your knees are bent at an angle of approximately 90°. Bend your elbows the same way and keep your arms as close to your body as possible. Tilting the pelvis deactivates the abdominal muscles what causes more tension for the lat. From this position press your elbows strongly into the floor what raises your upper body. Remain in that position with your lat tensed actively. To add more intensity you could perform small up and down movements. The exercise becomes easier by erecting the pelvis and tensing the abdominal muscles supportingly.

Lat presses variations

Lat presses can be performed more intensely (for advanced athletes) by lifting your feet from the ground as well. In this version (butt still on the floor) you could keep the pelvis tilted. Highest intensity can be achieved by lifting the butt (just for experienced athletes). In this version your body would solely rest on your heels and elbows. The body pulls towards the head. Please erect the pelvis and tense the abdominal muscles performing this variation.


Lat presses are extremely intense. The arm flexors remain deactivated what puts more tension on the latissimus dorsi. In other popular back exercises, like pull-ups or lat pulldown the arm flexors are activated significantly making the workout less intense for the lat.

Antagonist: Chest muscles

Stretching: Lat stretches

Lat presses variations

Lat presses variations

Lat presses

Lat presses

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