T Nation

Back/Shoulders & Stretching

Two quick questions if anyone would like to help me out please.

I started working out about 3 weeks ago with a friend and have been generously reading up on muscles and workouts from the internet. We seperate shoulders and back between two consecutive days. When i was looking at exercises and the muscles they work i noticed when we did ‘shoulders’ the upper lat is actually what we were working out. the majority of it covers the back. i didnt see the point in doing this so would you think it would be foolish to combine the two into one day(id rather dedicate a whole day to cardio)? is there anything wrong with doing so? i still work out my actual shoulder muscles in the same day if i did so.

also when it comes to stretching i can touch my toes no problem. id like to expand my stretching further though, being able to kick my leg higher up and the whole deal, overall more flexibility. can anyone link me to a good stretching workout so i can develop more flexibility??

thanks alot guys.

You might combine some work on the rear (posterior) deltoid when doing shoulders and back but the Latisimuss Dorsi should be separate. You don’t maybe mean the trapezoid do you?? That’s the muscle on the upper back across the shoulders. It is often worked in with the shoulders since you almost always activate it by the time your elbows are even with your shoulders. The lats are below your armpits and are responsible for pulling the arms downward. The Lats are the antagonist (opposite) muscle group to the shoulders and should not be very active during any shoulder exersize.

I do work lats with shoulders since it allows antagonist supersetting. You do the opposite motion in alternating sets (e.g. Military Press is upper body vertical pushing, Pullups/Pulldowns is upper body vertical pulling). This provides a built-in stretch for the opposite muscle group and is a very time efficient methodology.