Got Imaginary Lats?
Ok, no one has imaginary lats, but most people have difficulty finding and using them.
From our technologically hunched over lifestyle many muscles have been left behind to wither, fade, and become unnoticed. One of those muscles are the lats.
Nerd Alert: The lats attach from your humerus (arm), usually scapula, ribs, lower ½ of thoracic spine, hips, through the thoracolumbar fascia. The lats act on the arm to adduct (pull the arm closer), extend, internally rotate. It also draws the scapula (shoulder blade) down and in towards the spine. It also assists in spinal sidebending and extension when working bilaterally.
For the Non Nerds: The lats run from the back of your arms down through your low back and to your hips. It’s responsible pulling your arm back and rotating it. It helps to pull your shoulder blades down and in. It can move the spine back or to the side.
In other words it functions on a bunch of different body parts, is supposed to be a powerful muscle for force production, force transmission, and posture.
Ok so what do these muscles feel like?
Put your left hand under your arm reaching more to the backside of your ribs (not putting fingers in your armpits)- this arm is feeling for the muscle
Straighten your R arm, roll your shoulder back and down, then pull it into the back of your left hand. You should feel a large muscle tighten.
If you don’t feel much happen sit up straight and roll your shoulder back more and pull your right arm into your side again. It should fire more now.
If you still don’t feel anything make a fist with your right hand
If you’re still not feeling anything, make a fist, squeeze your butt and abs then pull your arm down
-Hopefully you felt your lats with step 2. If not, you have some work to do.
Practice getting that mind muscle connection with your lats. You want them engaged for almost every exercise in the gym. This can make a great exercise to help reset your posture if you sit for long periods of time.