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Archive for November, 2011

Say What? The Latissimus Dorsi!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Muscle of the week! Meet your Latissimus Dorsi…more commonly known as your “lats”. The latissimus dorsi is a large muscle that is one of the more superficial muscles on your back. This bad boy is a huge help when it comes to skiing! Do you think it’s just your biceps holding you back from doing one more pull up? Think again, the latissimus dorsi plays a big role with pull ups and ski specific motions! Here are some basic facts…

Origin: Spinous process of the lower six thoracic and lumbar vertebrae (mid to lower back), the sacrum, and the posterior iliac crest (part of your pelvis)

Insertion: Medial margin of the intertubercular groove of the humerus (crosses the shoulder joint to your arm)

Muscle action: Extends, adducts (moves arms closer to body), medially rotates the arm. Along with pulling the shoulder down (pull up motion)

The soreness that comes with this muscle can present itself in different ways. The day or two after a hard double pole workout or set of pull ups, the pain can present itself laterally to your shoulder blades (scapula) and often feel like it goes into your armpit. The reason the pain is there is because this is near the insertion of the muscle, and thats where its experiencing the greatest pull. Other soreness can be low back pain spasm, which could be related to a multitude of things: hip alignment issues, leg length discrepancy, poor technique, first time classic racing in a while, etc.

(The arrow points to the location of the latissimus dorsi)

Happy skiing!