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Chances are if you have ever set foot in a gym you have seen someone who suffers from the embarrassing and debilitating condition.
You know those guys that look like they are carrying a watermelon under each arm? They unfortunately suffer from Invisible Lat Syndrome, or ILS.
If you have this condition, then fear not we have some tips on how to cure ILS. Read on to discover what we suggest.
What is Invisible Lat Syndrome?
Urban Dictionary would define ILS as:
“The awkward stance that some males take in order to swell their chest in a ridiculous attempt at make non existing muscle seem present. Generally, the arms are lifted away from the body as if huge lat muscles were pushing them away. The author thinks that looking wide is the same as being wide and believes women will not see the difference.”
What Causes ILS?
There are many potential reasons why men try to make themselves appear bigger. Here are some of them:
#1: They Want Attention
You’ve probably seen them walking around the gym trying to intimidate those smaller than them.
Sometimes they will walk slowly around, trying to make eye contact. Often they will puff out their chests too.
#2: They Want to Look Like a Pro Bodybuilder
Even the biggest bodybuilder is able to bring their arms down to their sides.
They only tense their lats while performing, they do not walk around all day with their arms sticking out to the side.
#3: They are Looking for a Mate
Otherwise known as “peacocking”, many men believe that making themselves appear bigger will impress a potential mate.
How to Cure ILS?
To cure ILS you need to stop imagining you have lats and actually build some of your own.
To do this you will need to engage in pulling exercises, as these will engage the latissimus dorsi muscle.
Pull ups, chin ups, horizontal rows and the deadlift are all good pulling exercises that you should add to your arsenal.
I would also recommend that you dedicate some serious time to working your back muscles.
Some guys and gals tend to focus on their chest, shoulders and arms, doing endless bench presses and bicep curls.
Instead I would recommend working your back twice weekly, leaving a few days between back workouts for recovery.
The exercises we would recommend include:
Our number one back exercise is the deadlift, which will add mass to your entire back, including your lats obviously.
If you add a dead stop to each rep (letting the bar stop at the bottom for a second) you will reset your lower back, and give an even more intense workout.
Chin-ups are one of the best exercises to perform when attempting to build big lats. Pulls-ups are another good option too.
Chin-ups are generally performed with a close, underhand grip, while pull-ups use an overhand and wider grip.
You may laugh at this suggestion, but pull-downs are a good lat builder.
The 2 variations to try are the neutral grip pull-down, which is performed with your faces facing inwards, this puts your shoulders into a neutral position that gives a bigger contraction at the bottom of the reps, and the single-arm pull-down, which activates your lats.
For those who struggle with an inability to feel the lats during the pull-down, I would recommend opting for the single-arm variety as it will help form a connection between your mind and muscle.
#4: Chest-Supported Rows
Some gyms may have a machine for this exercise, however if they haven’t then you can grab a bench and put it at a thirty-degree angle.
Lay face down on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand. With your hands hanging straight down, row the dumbbells to your side, making sure to squeeze your lats with each rep.
It can be tempting to focus your attention to your chest and shoulders, but a good pair of lats is not something to stick your nose up to.
They may require a lot of work to build, but the effort and dedication will surely be worth it.
No more ILS, just admiring looks at your massive lats.