Shut Your Lats DOWN!
Think: BREATHE. RIB POSITION. REACH.
When people have tightness in their back, they tend to relay on static stretching. While this has its time and place, it's typically executed with a poor rib cage position (flared), forced motion, and ultimately a brain that fights back.
Instead, teach the system proper movement while inhibiting (stretching) the lats. The proper non-compensatory position will allow you to optimally stretch the muscles. Follow these easy steps:
1. Posterior Pelvic Tilt (flaten the back): This should be done with the abdominal muscles and not a FORCED motion.
2. Breathe: Rib Cage should come down and abdominals should further contract
3. Reach Back (weight not necessary): Instead of just lowering your arms behind your head, think of reaching away from you as you lower your arms.
4. Maintain Position: Sustain the downward ribs while inhaling and exhaling.
Note: Good breathing, rib position, and abdominal contraction should lead to an enhanced lat stretch.
*Take Home Message: Let the system (brain) turn down the tone on the hyperactive muscle, instead of forcing a stretch. The system ALWAYS WINS!