Cactus at the wall: Latissimus Dorsi Test

The latissimus dorsi, the lats, are a pair of muscles on the back that attach the arm to the pelvis and the spine. Everything is exercise but Cactus at the Wall is as much of a test for the length and tone of your latissimus dorsi as it is an exercise. Any way you classify the experience; it can be very intense. Bodies react differently—if your latissimus dorsi are long and loose this will be fairly easy—if your lats are tight get ready for something deep.

 Cactus at the Wall   cactus at the wall

Cactus at the Wall

  • Stand with your back to a wall. Place your feet four to six inches away from the wall. Don’t lock your knees.
  • Open your arms out to the side and bend the elbows bringing your forearms to a right angle with your upper arms.
  • Moving slowly, with the exception of the lower back and neck, try to soften the back of your body to the wall, focusing on the middle of your back at the base of the rib cage..
  • Bring your awareness to the wrists and fingers. They would like to be flat against the wall as well.
  • Open the fingers and work on extending both the wrists and fingers hoping to relax everything against the wall except for the lower back and the neck.
  • If this goes well, slide the arms up and inch or two at a time trying to extend the latissimus dorsi.

Don’t do too much.

This is another example of how tight we are in the back of our body. Back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, you name it—so many of our chronic aches and pains stem from being tight in the back.

Cactus at the Wall: Follow Up on the Latissimus Dorsi Test
Going Upside Down: Handstands