The wide-grip pull-up is a classic back exercise…everybody has seen this and knows basically how to do it, so I won’t go into great detail about those.
THIS variation, done with two training bands, is going to work those lateral fibers of the lats even HARDER than the normal version. It’s become one of my favorite back exercises of all time, to be honest, due to the incredible tension it places on the outer aspect of the lats.
To do this one, you’ll obviously need a couple of training bands.
I also recommend doing these on the chin-up bar found on most power racks (or on a Smith machine with the bar set to the highest position). The reason is you’ll need something on the sides of the bar to hitch the bands onto to make this exercise work.
So first, hitch the bands to the top/side cross beam of the rack, right beside the chin-up bar (mine are in front of the bar). Put your right wrist through the left band.
Next, put your left wrist through the loop of the right band.
Now reach out wide to the sides on the bar, stretching both bands so they cross in front of you. Your grip should be wide enough that the bands get some decent stretch. You’re going to keep this grip through the entire set.
In this exercise, you’re not going to be actively pulling against the bands…they’re simply going to be supplying constant lateral tension against the wrists as you do the exercise. This constant lateral tension strongly activates the very lateral fibers of the lats, which are responsible for upper lat width.
If lat width is something you want more of, this exercise is going to do it for you.
It also gives you pretty near-continuous tension on the lats, even at the bottom of the movement, where lats will normally get a bit of a break. No break here.
So once you’ve got your grip on the bar, take your feet off the ground (or bench, if you’re standing on one to get into position).
You’ll already be feeling the tension on your lats even before you start. Now when you start the pull, you’ll REALLY feel it in the outer lat fibers. Come all the way up as high as you can.
Go for as many reps as you can with good form.
If you’d like to extend the set, you can set the safety rails in the rack to a couple of feet off the ground and set your feet on those rails. This takes up some of your bodyweight and you can adjust resistance using leg power.
This allows you to get more reps and force a full range of motion on those reps.
By the time you’re done, your lats will be on fire and pumped up beyond recognition…I can promise you that.