The latissimus dorsi originates in our lumbar area and is attached to the upper arms. It is the widest muscle in the human body. The Latissimus dosi is thin and covers almost all back muscles at the posterior trunk except the trapezius. It assist teres major muscles and forms the posterior axillary fold and the armpit where it is the thickest and therefore easy to palpate. It adducts extends and internally rotates the arm when the insertion is moved towards the origin.
I realize I may have lost some of you with all the big latin terms, but let me give you the plain english version. LD is also a very powerful Rotator of our trunk. Not a car trunk, but the major portion of our body, OUR trunk. When you bend over to pick up a cooler full of food for your picnic, you’re going to need your Lats to help you stay stable, and to pull yourself back up!
When we enter our thirties and have jobs and kids and get busy,it’s easy to neglect these muscles. This can happen when we stop lifting our kids or other heavy things. What happens when the latissimus dorsi get weak? Our body is very efficient and will ask other muscles to kick in.
The erector spinae will take over and will shorten and tighten in response to the stress put on them. It’s only a matter of time and how much muscle was lost ,before a knock out spasm and pain will take the person down. It might be something as simple as brushing your teeth,maybe a response to lifting something or reaching for something etc. But it will stop one in their tracks.
When we neglect one area and others take over ,we over use muscles that aren’t designed to so what were asking of them. One example of this is over use of the trapezius muscles, specifically the upper traps that attach at the base of our skull. Chronic neck head and jaw pain often come from shortened trapezius and the muscles underneath them.
Weight training is the quickest way to make a difference in your muscles, but it must be followed with specific stretching to relengthen the shortened muscles that weakened in the absence of the Lats.
So, hear me now. I don’t care if you get a six pack ab from weight training and ab exercises. I do care that you come to me in terrible pain, and if you have only worked those lats a little, I could, instead give you a nice soothing massage versus working away your pain.
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