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Overdeveloped Lats:Lay Off Pull Ups?

I have pretty poor posture;forward rounded shoulders and forward head (i have heard it described as “turtle back”). I started doing rows to work my back in an attempt to balance things out but they ended cooking my lats alot more than the mid back. When i flex my lats in the mirror this turtle back thing gets much more pronounced.

In short I am going to lay of rows abit and focus strictly on scapular depression/retraction until the imbalance in taken care but i LOVE pull-ups and they are great for depressing the scap; should i still do them or lay off as well?

I vote lay off them for 3 to 4 weeks and focus on hitting the external rotators. You’re only as strong as your weakest link so do only exercises that your weakest part can do.

When your shoulders have been sitting back where they should be ease back into compound exercises with lower weights and work your way back to pullups. Hopefully by then any pattern of poor form will have been erased.

You should probably actively try to improve your posture, rather than trying to fix the imbalances you think are causing it. I think one way is putting a piece of duct tape across your back so if you lose your posture it rips off. I know someone who did a ton of bench and arm work, etc. but very little back work for a long time and still have very good posture.

I’d ask Cressey or Robertson, you don’t want to wait till it’s too late.

As was said, work your external rotators. I prefer to do them with a cable/weight stack machine but dumbbells are fine too. focus on your scapular retractors too, reverse flies and dip shrugs are some killer movements for those that feel AMAZING when rounded shoulders are present. Try some face pulls too.

I’d lay off the pull-ups for a few weeks/month and focus on the external rotators and scapular retactors. You’ll probably be a stronger vertical puller for it when you come back to them.

good luck

Andy-

I am actively trying to be aware of my posture throughout the day and also have started doing corrective stretching like the Egoscue method and yoga type stuff. But truthfully, i am really out of balance and strengthening exercises are a neccesity at this point; i could not hold proper posture if my life depended on it. Years and years of slouching and bike riding are to blame (because, you know, it is not MY fault :wink:

If you have have access to a power rack I suggest you try inverted push ups.

Try to build up to 3 or 4 sets of 8 to 10. You will need a spotter to help you if you can only do a few at first.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=472224
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-115-training

Here are the addresses to the last 2 neanderthal no more articles that address your problem. Part four has links to the first 3 parts. These will provide all the details you need if you want to make correcting this problem a top priority in your training.

Thanks everyone. A lot of the recomendations are actually what my current program is: I do external rotation on a pulley machine, scap depression/retraction, and reverse flyes and plan to start up with some face pulls next session. in addsiton to the exercises i stretch my chest/ant. delts between each set and will now start stretching the lats as well.

I also do thoracic mobilizing on a roller since my kyphosis is pretty pronounced. Glad i am on the right track, though. i will try to post some before and after pics in about 4-6 weeks.

Never heard of those but they sound interesting. How do you do them and what do they work?

[quote]Heliotrope wrote:
If you have have access to a power rack I suggest you try inverted push ups.

Try to build up to 3 or 4 sets of 8 to 10. You will need a spotter to help you if you can only do a few at first.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=472224
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-115-training

Here are the addresses to the last 2 neanderthal no more articles that address your problem. Part four has links to the first 3 parts. These will provide all the details you need if you want to make correcting this problem a top priority in your training.

[/quote]

Thanks for the link. I have read those previoosly and found them super helpful. I got alot of my intial info from them (including corrective stuff for the abs and glutes that can help my posture with no upper body work at all)

The lat’s function simplified is to pull the humerous down and back. That won’t cause the hunchback look. I’d be more suspicious of shortening of muscles on the anterior torso. I agree with the others about external rotators though I would add some scapula retraction movements as well.
You need to be mindful of your posture at all times as well.

Do a search for the “Neanderthal” article series. It identifies postural problems and specific remedies.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone with overdeveloped lats.