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Why Strengthening Your Lats Can Improve Your Runs

  wide-lats-running-form.jpg [19659002] Photo: praetorianphoto / Getty Images

Of course, you know that running requires a bit of strength in the lower body. You need powerful glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves to push you forward. Your abdominal muscles help keep you up and reduce the strain on your lower half.

But there's a muscle you'll probably never think about when it comes to your steps. We're talking about your lats (or latissimus dorsi) – the largest muscle in your upper body.

What do lats have to do with running?

Remember, running is a full-body exercise ̵

1; so the big torso muscles are also involved "Influence your mileage, think about your gait or pattern of movement as you run," says David Reavy, physiotherapist, performance therapy expert and founder by React Physical Therapy. "When your left leg steps forward, your right arm swings forward, creating a rotational force," he explains. "Your abdominals and lats help with this movement."

The stronger your lats, the easier this rotation will be and the more efficiently you nail your steps. Plus, strong lats help keep the rest of your muscles from overdriving. Translation: You will not tire so quickly and can run longer.

"Whatever tires you before will not tire you out so quickly because you bring more muscle to the party," says Reavy, who says you'll be surprised how much your lats are part of Equation are as soon as you focus on strengthening. (Psst: An open letter to each runner who thinks he can not travel long distances)

An easy way to determine if you need to increase your lat strength is to judge your shape. Here are a few tell-tale signs to watch for while walking: they fall forward or fall, or your head is forward, and your shoulder blades crawl up your ears. Either something happens to you? Then it's time to pay a little more attention to your lats.

How do you strengthen your lats?

You could start here with the best beginner exercises and stretches. Most importantly, make sure the surrounding muscles do not hinder your goals. For example, a firm triceps (the back of the arm) or the upper trapezius (where your shoulder meets your neck) may prevent your lats from activating during the exercises. This would work against your best efforts.

To release these other muscles:

  • Triceps Release: Lie on your side and place a foam roller or a lacrosse ball under your triceps, where he feels tense. Bend and extend the elbow for 10 to 15 repetitions at each point. Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Upper Trap Unlock: Grab a Lacrosse Ball and place it in your trap where you will feel tension. Then find the corner of a wall against which you can stand in a bent position and push the ball into your trap. Then move your head away from the ball and back and forth for 20 to 30 repetitions when the latch is released.

Now that you're loose and supple, you can strengthen your lats with these three resistances Reavy Tape Exercises:

  • Hold the resistance band up with both hands, palms facing forward and arms in Y-shape , Pull the shoulder blades back, pull them over your back and pull the band apart as you take it behind your head and hit a T-shape. Raise your arms back to a Y and repeat this for 15 reps.
  • Hold the resistance band behind your back with your palms facing forward. Pull back on the shoulder blades, pull them over your back and pull the band apart as you raise your arms to shoulder height to hit a T. Lower your back and repeat for 15 reps.
  • Hold the resistance band in front of you, palms facing backwards. Pull your shoulders down and pull the strap apart as you pull the strap over your head and back and form a semicircle. Hit a T behind, take the band back over you and in front of you and repeat for 10 reps.

Another fun and easy exercise is the zombie slide, says Reavy towel under the chest. Extend your arms to a Y-shape and keep your eyes and head down. Pull yourself forward with your lats so that your chest is almost between your hands and elbows at your sides – a kind of lat pull on the floor. Remember, do not just shrug and pull the shoulder blades down and back. Keep your forearms and elbows near the ground. Then push back and repeat the process for 15 repetitions.

From there, you can move on to pull-ups and pull-ups – two great exercises to strengthen your lats.

If all of this does not work Let's practice your lat muscles, how about this benefit: Active sitting that essentially supports your core, stacks your spine, and grips through the lats when you sit or sit at your desk Sitting at the dining table, this will not only do strengthen your back muscles, but also improve your posture.

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