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Nova Performance Weekly Blog

by Adam Smith on Aug 23, 2021


What are lats?

The latissimus dorsi muscles, known as the lats, are the large V-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column. They help protect and stabilize your spine while providing shoulder and back strength. Your lats also help with shoulder and arm movement and support good posture.

Lat Activation during a deadlift.

Without properly activating your lats during the deadlift or in fact picking up anything off the floor you will be significantly weaker.

As your lats (Latissimus Dorsi) start to be pulled around and down instead of being tight.

As a result making the deadlift a lot more harder than it already should be and causing potential injuries in the future.

If you do not brace your lats properly you will find that the bar will start to drift away from you causing the weight to feel even more heavy, as the weight has travelled away from the optimal centre of mass.

You will also find that your lockout will be significantly harder, as your glutes will start to struggle to push your hips through as your body has shifted position, causing you to not finish the lift.

Also due to not properly bracing your lats, you may find yourself hitching the lift, this is where you pull your shoulders back to help aid you in completing the lift by locking out.

As a result of hitching it puts your upper back and biceps in a lot more stress then they should be.

To prevent this, learn how to brace and properly activate your lats and traps when about to lift. To do this efficiently, address the bar in the most comfortable way for you.

Proceed to get into position to perform the deadlift.

However before pulling imagine you are corkscrewing your elbows into your body, allowing for your lats and upper back to be fully activated, whilst keeping constant pressure throughout and contracting the tension.

Then finish strong!

However when doing this make sure your shoulders do not pull back when trying to focus on the lats, as you want them to stay neutral.

As a result of this you may add more range of movement for the bar to travel in, creating a harder lift.


I hope you enjoyed the read and stay posted for the next one. If you have any questions just shoot me an email on

If you want to see some of my training logs and videos follow me on Instagram @thicc__astley or @npbarbellclub

This is was co- written by Jack Whitaker, if you wanna see some of his lifting click here @theincrediblebulk_1

See you all soon!

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