The lats (latissimus dorsi) my nemesis and challenge, are consternating muscles for different reasons. It my case they are weak, long and loose, which is why the exercise in the video above is fairly benign for me sensationally. But that is also why I can’t do a pull-up to save my life.
The lats connect the arms to the spine directly and to the pelvis through the broad thoracolumbar fascia. When the lats are tight they can be responsible for a number of classic postural imbalances such as bottom ribs that stubbornly pop forward when standing due to a shortening of the lower back forcing the front of the ribcage to lift out and up.
The lats can also be an issue for certain people in the attempt to get up into handstands as I wrote about last week. In many ways the lats are a weightlifting muscle and having never had a weightlifting practice, I sometimes think that is what it will take to finally solve my fifteen year battle with this massive muscle.
If yours lats are tight, or you just want to do some exploring, give this exercise a try and see how it goes.
Lats Stretch With A Block And A Belt.
- Belt the arms just above the elbow.
- Place a block in your hands with your arms bent at 90 degrees.
- Create a right angle with your upper and lower arms.
- Raise your arms and the block up keeping the arms bent at the right angle.
- Engage the abdominals so that your rib cage is stabilized throughout. Don’t let your rib cage puff forward or up.
- The belt will help to keep the elbows from separating making sure they don’t flare out to the side.
- It doesn’t matter if you go all the way up, what matters is maintaining the right angle of the arms, and separating the arms from the ribcage.