Mobility Monday with Rachel: The Lats

  September 24, 2018

Hey y’all! We are back for another Mobility Monday with Rachel! Today we will be addressing the muscle group, the Lats. Most of us know WHERE our lats are, but we may not know what they do or how to activate them during different movements when they can help us tremendously. Watch this short video below then Rachel goes into more detail for us!

The lats are a powerful muscle we depend on to perform lots of different movements in CrossFit. They are vital in the performance of toes to bar, muscle ups, pull ups, and several of the Olympic lifts. But, when not properly maintained, the lats can totally work against us making many workouts difficult and increase our risk for injury. Let’s avoid that! 
The latissmus dorsi works to move the arm closer to the body, rotate it toward the body, and bring the arm back behind the body (shoulder adduction, internal rotation, and extension). When the lats are tight, the shoulder is relatively stuck in these positions making it difficult to get your arms all the way over head. Also, since the lats have an origin on the spine, restriction can cause an increase in the arch in your low back. You can see how this might be risky when attempting to hold weight overhead.  Adding weight to an already bad situation is asking for trouble! Even if you are not yet experiencing pain, treating this area may improve your ability to move which directly improves your ability to perform!
It’s important to maintain good length (AND strength) in your lats to reduce your risk of experiencing pain or acquiring an injury. Try these simple mobility tips to assess your Lat Mobility, but if you’re experiencing pain and it persists, come talk to me!
-Rachel Atufunwa, PT, DPT 

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