Loosen and Lengthen Lats

Latissimus Dorsi Muscle

Latissimus Dorsi, known as Lats for short is the broadest muscle of the back and one of the widest muscles. It is not used strenuously in common daily activities

The origin:

Along the lumbodorsal fascia of the lower back, arising from the inferior thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, sacrum, iliac crest, and the four most inferior ribs.

 It runs obliquely, superiorly and laterally through the back and armpits to insert on the posterior side of the humerus of the upper arm. As the latissimus dorsi approaches its insertion point, the many muscular fibers from its many origins merge to a point, giving the muscle a triangular shape.

The insertion:

Floor of the bicipital groove of the humerus.

 

Function:

The latissimus dorsi has several different functions, all of which involve movements of the arm. The primary function of the lat is the adduction of the arm. Another function of the lat is extension of the arm (from a flexed position) , as in swinging the arm toward the back. The lats internally/ medially rotates the arm, moving the front of the arm towards the body’s midline. When performed with a bent elbow, medial rotation of the arm brings the hand towards the chest, like when folding the arms or touching the elbow on the opposite arm.

Actions such as pull-up or chin-up or when pulling a heavy object down from a shelf above one’s head.

Asana
Urdhva Muka Svanasana: Lats contact, drawing lower back upward and opening chest. – Chest Protector
Adho Muka Svanasana: Stretch – Long Lats. Tight lats can reduce range of motion in shoulder flexion.
Virabhadrasana: – Motion control. Without full shoulder flexion, the back has to over-arch to compensate, can cause injury.
Bhujangasana: -Posture Prrof. Strengthen muscles to prevent a collapse chest. Pull shoulder blades down and back  strengthen muscle (middle and lower trapezius) that oppose lats.
Valerie Lange
200hr Weekend (Jan to May 2015)