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. 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 (San Francisco CrossFit)

For photos of this stretch: