Monday, February 09, 2009

Your Poor Lats, Instructions For Care and Feeding

Your Lats are unheralded super beasts. Whether they are hucking your carcass through a 150 pullups, stabilizing your spine in the back squat, ripping a sub 7 minute rowing 2k, or just pulling 225 from the ground a couple of 45-plus times, they never let you down.
And what do you do? Basically, you ride em hard, and put em away wet because YOU have to stretch your precious "hamstrings". Your lats are like the Ford F150 on the ranch that never gets washed, but gets used to pull out stumps.

Doodes. Even Lats need love sometimes.
I know y'all know how to grab a bar and stretch these "wide back" beasts. But, here is a fancy little trick to really wind them up.

Grab a PVC pipe or a dowel and get your elbows close together while kneeling in front of one of your box jump boxes. Now, while trying to keep your elbows close together, slide your hands apart on the pipe to externally rotate your arms (remember lats are powerful internal rotators of the arm.)

Once you feel wound up in that awkward externally rotated position, and keeping elbows together, bring your arms into relative flexion by attempting to bring your chest to the ground. Keep your back straight and elbows together. If you can bang out a high rep Cindy, chances are that you are probably feeling a pretty good stretch about now. In the next photo, note that my elbows are coming apart a little, due to the ungodly force of the stretch I'm enduring.

Take huge breaths, hold at lease 90 seconds. Or, better yet, practice your contract relax here. Don't worry, the tearing sensation will go away.

Coach Kstar


Hollis said...

I love the increase in posts. Please keep it going.

Thank you for all the hard work guys

Brett_M/31/181cm/85kg said...

You are like the fountain of knowledge K-Star. Thanks for the posts.

Roop said...

Coach - just watched your video on Stretching is Dead, with that in mind should this stretch follow the PNF method of 5sec on, 10 sec off. Or is this different and we should hold for 90secs in peak tension?

Anonymous said...

Hey Adrian! I was one of the phantom crossfitters who visited you yesterday. We weren't sure what the deal was when we stopped in, and you were obviously in the middle of a work out. And we wanted to shop at Sports Basement. We loved your space and would love to come down for a workout sometime! It was great meeting you.

Unknown said...


That's a wicked stretch. My shoulders usually feel like they're all over the place, out of the socket before the muscle gets stretched, but they felt locked down here.

This will be done regularly and frequently.