Magazine article Dance Spirit

Lat Locator

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Lat Locator

Article excerpt

STRENGTHEN YOUR ARMS, UPPER BACK AND THE MUSCLES THAT KEEP THEM CONNECTED, WITH THESE THREE EXERCISES.

FIND IT FIRST

Get the most from these exercise by honing in on your latissimus dorsi. You can primarily feel this muscle group at the back of your armpit, but it extends just past the bottom of your rib cage. To find yours, shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, then depress them, squeezing your elbows in toward your torso. You should feel your lats engage on your back, right where your arm meets your body. These muscles are important for stability in everything from partnering moves to hip-hop handstands.

LAT LOAD

Tie one end of the exercise band securely to an object to your side and at shoulder height or above, and grasp with the hand on that side. Your palm should face forward. Step away from the band so that your working arm is straight and extended to the side, raised 45 degrees from your legs, and the band is taut. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders pressed down and spread wide. Using the lat on your working side, pull the resistance band close to your thigh, stopping four to six inches before touching your leg. Slowly release and bring your arm back to the starting position. Do two sets of 15 on both sides.

Hint: If you're having a hard time feeling your lat, try internally rotating your arm before stretching the band.

PORT DE BRAS POWERHOUSE

IF YOUR PORT DE BRAS IS SMOOTH BUT NOT STRONG, TRY SOME BASIC MOVEMENTS WITH RESISTANCE. HERE'S ONE SHORT PATTERN TO TRY.

Tie an exercise band loosely around your waist. Place your arms inside the loop in front of your body (with the band positioned across your wrists) so that, when your wrists are relaxed in a low first position, there is neither slack nor tension in the band.

Slowly raise your arms to the front until they are even with the bottom of your ribcage; feel your shoulders sliding down toward the ground and your lats engaging and growing wider. …

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