Build big lats and maximize their flexibility training like this…
If you’re going to stretch your lats, you have to make sure that you are stretching them out the right way. Most of the time, the mistake made is not stretching your lats when you should. So many people put them in the “out of sight out of mind” category when it comes to the muscles they focus on in their workouts. That is a quick way to getting a muscle imbalance that will likely make your shoulder workouts suffer in the future.
That said, if you want to keep your upper body in balance and build your back as big as you can naturally build it…you’ll have to be sure you learn how to stretch your latissimus dorsi muscles out correctly. The lats are one of the broadest muscles of your entire body, stretching from as far down as your pelvis to your upper arm bone or humerus.
In order to fully stretch the lats you need to make sure that you somehow move those two points farther away from each other. Many will attempt to stretch out their back and lats by grabbing onto a bar in a squat rack and leaning back. While this does move the pelvis further away from the arm it doesn’t raise the arm up and away from the pelvis as much as if you were to get your arm over your head.
That said, the first thing you want to do if you are going to properly stretch your lats is reach up overhead as far as you can. Once you do this, then you want to gradually sit back to allow your lats attachment on the pelvis to sink further away from the humerus. While you feel a good stretch by making these adjustments, you’re still not done.
From here, work on getting into the interior or medial portion of the lats by rotating your hips back and away from the side you are stretching. For instance, if you are stretching your left latissimus dorsi muscle you will want to rotate your left hip back and away from your arm. This will help you to sink the stretch in even greater and really get a good change in flexibility over time. Finally, you want to lean your trunk to the opposite side of the arm you’re stretching to further stretch out the lats as they make their attachments to the spine.
The interesting thing to point out about the lats is that they don’t connect in the same way on everybody. Some won’t even have an attachment to the pelvis. If this is the case for you, you likely won’t feel an increase in the stretch by sinking your hips back. That’s ok if that is the case. Simply perform the twist and leaning portions of the lat stretch and aim for your best stretch possible.
In order to develop a complete athletic physique from head to toe you have to be sure you are paying attention to every part of your training. Stretching is just as important as your workouts and the exercises you do for your lats and back. For a complete step by step program on how to train like an athlete, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
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