Welcome to Drunk Anatomy! Every week Lindsay investigates a muscle of her choosing and reports those findings here on this blog for your entertainment and edification.
Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Outside of random trivia, she has retained nothing from talking with the therapists re: anatomy. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?
MUSCLE OF THE WEEK: LATISSIMUS DORSI
- The latissimus dorsi is NOT the fin on a dolphin's back. I am devastated.
- They're the lats! Or your "wings" if you're feeling fun and flirty.
- It's the biggest muscle in the upper body so it's kind of a big deal if you're into musculature? Who knows. Probably doctors know, but they're not here, are they? No, we're here.
According to various sources on the interwebs, it's the big triangle-shaped surface muscle centered in the mid-back. Most of it hangs out in the center of your back but it reaches the hip and upper arm. This thing gets around.
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
You use it to do pull-ups (If you do those, but honestly who, outside of kids in PE, does those?), swim, general arm movements, or scale the side of a building like King Kong-- Mantis Massage does not officially endorse scaling buildings, though Lindsay the Mantis Massage Office Superhero unofficially wants you to follow your dreams. It's involved in adduction (Whaaaat is adduction? Adduction is moving your limbs or whatever to the center of your body. ...K, cool.), shrugging, and internal rotation (Again, what even? Apparently it's moving the joint to the midline of the body. Did that actually clarify anything?).
IN SUMMATION, you use it all the time so doing stretches for it and strengthening it is probably a solid plan if you're invested in breathing or moving your arms. But do what you want, I'm not your mother and I never will be.
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE, LINDSAY?
Foam rollers are aces for stretches. To stretch the latissimus dorsi, or the "lats" as us in the know call them, you lay on your side with the foam roller squished underneath you hamburger style and roll on it! (Foam rollers are also great help in cracking your back. You will look an idiot while you do it but you'll get, like, eight pops out of it, so who's snickering in the corner now? That's right, it's you. The super cool human with a loosey goosey back who's going to win the office limbo competition.)
I watched some YouTube videos and there's a stretch you can do where you kneel at a desk. I will now break it down for you:
Hold your hands together like you're arm wrestling yourself and you're struggling. You don't think you can win, your arm's giving out so you rear back like you're trying to escape defeat because you're a sore loser. But then you go forward with intensity like you think you've got this, but ahhh, no, you suck, so you pull back again. Do that like ten times and you will have sturdy lats that last through the winter.
And that is a wrap on the latissimus dorsi! Tune in next week when I will explain another muscle! Hint: it's a muscle.
Impress your therapist with your anatomy knowledge and ask her to check on your latissimus dorsi next time you come in! She will be stunned and you will be the new favorite.