Lovin’ Those Lats! (And a New Workout Review!)

My Monday got away from me! But that’s okay–I’m combining my review with information about lats–the latissimus dorsi muscles, because the new workout I want to review really ramps up lat activation!

Your lats are muscles in your back, coming to a V in the lower back and fanning up and out to your sides. You can click here for more info and diagrams.  Typically we become more trap dominant (trapezius muscle), causing us to hunch our shoulders more, pronate (roll or shift shoulders forward) and inactivate the middle portion of our back.  This often causes the “dowagers hump” you see in some elderly people (and some not-so-elderly!).

I know in years past, before I was in school, there used to be emphasis on posture: sitting, standing and walking uprightly.  But somehow we got the idea that was just a bunch of silliness and we started slouching and hunching, instead.  Not only is it ungraceful, it actually leads to joint and health issues!

During the T-Tapp workouts, you will often hear Teresa say, “shoulders back”.  As we get more neurokinetically connected and aware, we realize it’s not just shoving the shoulders back, but actually “lifting ribs”.  Trainer Kayla Howard has an excellent video about what “ribs up” really feels– Hmm… Are You Slouching?

Throughout the day and during workouts, I like to tell my clients to think of a string pulling their heads up to the ceiling. This elongates your spine vertically and helps prevent just pulling shoulders back or tilting the ribs to get them “up”.  The lats typically get weaker as the traps take the lead, and it takes time for it to feel natural and easy to engage lats to hold you in a more graceful, upright position.

Now, aside from better posture and looking more graceful :) what benefits are there to “ribs up, lats engaged”?

  • Inch loss in the tummy, thighs, and arms–no kidding!
  • Better digestion because the organs aren’t squished together
  • Less stress on the adrenals–how well do you work when you’re squished?!
  • Better spinal alignment
  • Less back pain as your muscles get stronger
  • Metabolism boosted–even as much as 15%

Each of those are pretty powerful!  Yet there’s one more–better hormonal balance. Yes, you read that right!  It is closely associated with the metabolism boost.  In the LadyBug workout, Teresa often reiterates that it’s all about those lats, and engaging, activating and really r-e-a-c-h-i-n-g away with arms to activate them to their max, which in turn helps with better hormonal balance.

Do you have a hard time finding your lats or feeling like they are truly engaged? Try this tip:

Stand with your back against a wall. Bring your feet out just enough to curl your core and get your lower back flat against the wall. Now lift ribs and get the upper back/shoulders connected as much as possible.   Now put your arms in front of you–elbows stay bent and palms are facing each other (but not touching).  Keeping your hands in that position, start to open them out as if you are getting ready for a big hug. Do this slowly and engaged–as if you are pushing through thick mud, trying to push someone’s hands away with backs of yours.  Keep your tummy tucked and ribs up.  The backs of your hands are aiming for the wall you are against.  Usually when your forearms are about 45° from the wall you will feel the lats kick in.   That is what you should feel when you open out your arms for Hoedowns, Butterflies, at the start of the first set of Plies, and when you have the arm out to the side for Balance and Step Lifts!

Now that you have found them ;) it’s time to engage them–ALL the time!  Throughout your day, during workouts, ribs up, lats set!

 

Want a workout that will work those lats, really ramping up that activation?!  Mindful Movement for Healthy Hormones, Thyroid and Menopause Management is for you!  Teresa tweaked and developed moves to go with Mary Shomon’s book, The Menopause Thyroid Solution.   Most of us like to have a dvd to work with vs. just doing it from a book, so Teresa now has a workout dvd to go along with Mary’s wonderful and informative book!

I haven’t had an opportunity to actually do all of the workout, but what I have done (and I have watched all of it!) is WONDERFUL!

Teresa starts you out using a hand towel for more lat activation to get those ribs UP.  That alone is worth the dvd! :)   After your spine is warmed up, you go into a tweak on Plies, with an added “Plie Pull”–again, really targeting those lats.  She finishes the Plies with a combination that will really get you sweating and saying, “OHhhhhh! So those are my lats!”  ;)

Teresa has sprinkled Spinal Curls throughout the workout to relax and give the lats a break after all the hardcore work!  She also adds “not-free kickouts” and clap-pulls that really help get rid of lactic acid and therefore–less soreness!

Just when you think you know Oil Wells…..Teresa ramps it up!  A great activation tweak starts it off before you actually do the move.  Oil Wells will never be the same again!

She also has sprinkled in Organs in Place a few times–so your tummy will benefit along with those lats! ;)

Now we move on to T-Tapp Twist–oh my!  Again, the form tweaks along are worth getting this dvd! This is similar to the MORE T-Tapp Twist–but the tips will take things up a notch!  Draining the thoracic duct is so important for adrenal and hormonal health–and this is the move to do it!

And there’s even MORE!

Teresa revisits T-Tapp Twist and Oil Wells–with a towel!  Using a towel helps with lat activation but it also helps with alignment.  Sometimes as we are focusing on one end, the other goes out, as I like to say!  Using the towel as she shows in Mindful Movement helps keep the lats set and spinal alignment, helping you to maximize every part of the move.

Finally, a subtle tweak on Hoedowns creates even more activation for optimal results!

Several water breaks are built in–don’t skip them!

This is a great workout to add to your T-Tapp repertoire.   It’s great for anyone with hormones!  It’s a power-packed workout, with a 30 minute straight through workout, a great Instructional that is just over 41 minutes, both Instructional and the workout are chaptered to individual movements, and there are form tips as well (16 minutes’ worth)!

You can click HERE for more info.

I personally can’t wait to work this into my schedule!  Healthy Hormones–the T-Tapp way!

 

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4 thoughts on “Lovin’ Those Lats! (And a New Workout Review!)

  1. Christy

    I received my DVD last week and slowly worked through the instructional and OH MY…I found my lats! I was definately using my traps until your string pulling my head tip and this WO. Love this workout!!

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