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Push-Ups = Sore Lats?

On days when I cannot drag myself to the gym, I do puch-ups throughout the day. I use my dumbbells to position my hands, utilizing a grip with my palms facing my torso. In the following days, I always have a LOT of soreness in my lower, side lats. Is this because the lats are stabilizing muscles for this exercise? Can I count push-ups as part of a back workout? Am I actually builing my lats with push-ups?
Thanks.

cause that’s probably where you’re weakest… not many people know how to use their lat’s when they bench press.

Not saying this is you, but if that is a weak area for you, then the pushups are showing it.

As I understand it, you can’t practically use your lats to move the weight in the bench except on a single. So how would pushups change things?

Pushups are good - in addition to the target muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), the lower and upper back and abs have to do a lot of work. There’s even an element of (static) leg work, as the whole body must be rigid and stable during pushups.

Try them with legs propped on a chair whilst wearing an X-vest (or have someone place a 45 lbs plate or two on your back) for a pretty interesting workout.

[quote]dermo wrote:
On days when I cannot drag myself to the gym, I do puch-ups throughout the day. I use my dumbbells to position my hands, utilizing a grip with my palms facing my torso. In the following days, I always have a LOT of soreness in my lower, side lats. Is this because the lats are stabilizing muscles for this exercise? Can I count push-ups as part of a back workout? Am I actually builing my lats with push-ups?
Thanks.
[/quote]

You guessed it!

The Lats are a supporting muscle group when you do Push-ups. A Push-up is far and away more of an “athletic” movement than say the Bench Press (then again lying on your back was never considered “atheltic.”) In fact, you even work your hips, legs and many other muscle groups when you do a Push-up.

There is balance involved with the Push-up, think about it. You are basically balancing your self on your toes and hands, then attempting to do a strength move while in that position. There are far more muscles worked in the Push-up than any seated or lying pressing movement.

Next time you are in a Push-up position notice how flexed your abs are!

Those who claim that they can’t gain size or strength from Push-ups are wrong.

If you do Push-ups with an a backpack, or a sandbag on your back and your feet elevated you will gain nothing but size and strength not only in your pecs, but in your delts (and other muscle groups) as well. There are limitless variations to the Push-up which makes it one of the greatest exercises for whatever you want to accomplish.

(CAUTION: The above view is not popular as marketers want you to think that the only way to gain size on your chest is to purchase a Bench and a set of Barbells. While both are great, and I own both, you simply don’t need them to gain size and strength relative to your chest! However, those who sell this equipment would love you to think the Push-up is inferior as that’s the only way that they can make money!)

The push up does not count as a back workout. If your lats are sore, they are your weak point. Without trying to start the bench press debate again, the push up and bench press are both very effective exercises, as is any exercise when done correctly and has a purpose, and can be used many different ways. There is not a conspiracy between the bench companies to rid the world of the push up.

[quote]Ink wrote:
Try them with legs propped on a chair whilst wearing an X-vest (or have someone place a 45 lbs plate or two on your back) for a pretty interesting workout.[/quote]

For a cheaper alternative, buy an Ironwoody band (or two), put in around your back, put your hands in the ends. You have now added variable resistance to your push ups. Enjoy.

[quote]hfrogs00 wrote:
The push up does not count as a back workout. If your lats are sore, they are your weak point. Without trying to start the bench press debate again, the push up and bench press are both very effective exercises, as is any exercise when done correctly and has a purpose, and can be used many different ways. There is not a conspiracy between the bench companies to rid the world of the push up. [/quote]

So the push up is only meant for pushing and prescribed exercises known for back? So in saying that the lats are the weak point, do you mean if they are worked more, in the pulling motions back workouts are known for, they will no longer be weak and therefore not be sore when doing push ups? Also, do you work for a bench company or the fitness industry?

[quote]hfrogs00 wrote:
The push up does not count as a back workout. If your lats are sore, they are your weak point. Without trying to start the bench press debate again, the push up and bench press are both very effective exercises, as is any exercise when done correctly and has a purpose, and can be used many different ways. There is not a conspiracy between the bench companies to rid the world of the push up. [/quote]

Never stated that there was a “conspiracy.” Simply wanted to make the point that in terms of a total body workout, and the ability to build the chest the Push-up is a great movement. Furthermore, you don’t “need” to ever do a Bench Press in order to build the chest. You might be surprised that the newbies who really don’t understand this.

By the way, companies that sell Benches do not promote the Push-up for obvious reasons. That does not make them “bad.” Simply makes them smart!

Pushups never fail to make my lats sore. This despite that I do pullups for reps with a hundred pounds hanging from my waist. DOMS has little to do with strength.

I firmly believe that bench pressing is unnecessary for all but the strongest bodybuilders. With a set of paralletes, the leverage available is simply enormous. As a shoulder exercise, elevated and planche pushups are without equal.

DI

[quote]dond1esel wrote:
As I understand it, you can’t practically use your lats to move the weight in the bench except on a single. So how would pushups change things?[/quote]

I disagree with this. Since the pushup is slightly declined (as well as an arched bench) the lats drive the scapulae down toward the feet, which is somewhat up in a declined position. Try doing 1 arm pushups with your feet spread eagle if necessary. You lats will do more work that your pecs. Also, the lats do act as a spinal flexor, and I believe a scapular retractor.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
dond1esel wrote:
As I understand it, you can’t practically use your lats to move the weight in the bench except on a single. So how would pushups change things?

I disagree with this. Since the pushup is slightly declined (as well as an arched bench) the lats drive the scapulae down toward the feet, which is somewhat up in a declined position. Try doing 1 arm pushups with your feet spread eagle if necessary. You lats will do more work that your pecs. Also, the lats do act as a spinal flexor, and I believe a scapular retractor.

[/quote]

The lats do not act as a spinal flexor. The main reason being they originate on the posterior crest of the ilium, back of the sacrum, and spinous processes of the lumbar and lower 6 thoracic vertebrae and inserts on medial lip of the intertubercular groove of the humerus. It cannot flex the spine. In case you were thinking extension but wrote flexion, it does not extend the spine either. It is not proven to be a scapular retractor either. There is not an attachment on the scapula.

The actions of the lats are adduction, extension, internal rotation, and horizontal abduction of the glenohumeral joint.

The anatomy info was from

Manual of Structural Kinesiology. Forgot to add that.

[quote]chubs108 wrote:
hfrogs00 wrote:
The push up does not count as a back workout. If your lats are sore, they are your weak point. Without trying to start the bench press debate again, the push up and bench press are both very effective exercises, as is any exercise when done correctly and has a purpose, and can be used many different ways. There is not a conspiracy between the bench companies to rid the world of the push up.

So the push up is only meant for pushing and prescribed exercises known for back? So in saying that the lats are the weak point, do you mean if they are worked more, in the pulling motions back workouts are known for, they will no longer be weak and therefore not be sore when doing push ups? Also, do you work for a bench company or the fitness industry?
[/quote]

If your lats are sore from push ups then yes train them with rows and pull ups and they will be stronger. But your lats really should not be sore because they only contract at the initial push off the floor as you adduct the shoulder joint and then they act as a stabilizer. Plus the load is not nearly significant enough to tax the lats.

Nope. I do not work for a bench company.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
hfrogs00 wrote:
The push up does not count as a back workout. If your lats are sore, they are your weak point. Without trying to start the bench press debate again, the push up and bench press are both very effective exercises, as is any exercise when done correctly and has a purpose, and can be used many different ways. There is not a conspiracy between the bench companies to rid the world of the push up.

Never stated that there was a “conspiracy.” Simply wanted to make the point that in terms of a total body workout, and the ability to build the chest the Push-up is a great movement. Furthermore, you don’t “need” to ever do a Bench Press in order to build the chest. You might be surprised that the newbies who really don’t understand this.

By the way, companies that sell Benches do not promote the Push-up for obvious reasons. That does not make them “bad.” Simply makes them smart!
[/quote]

You’re right I would not use the bench press to build the chest. This takes me back to my statement of any exercise is an effective exercise when done correctly and has a PURPOSE. In order to optimally recruit the chest in the bench you need to abduct and adduct the shoulder joint. In other words flair your elbows and bench higher above the nipples. And this spells trouble for the shoulders.

[quote]hfrogs00 wrote:
The lats do not act as a spinal flexor. The main reason being they originate on the posterior crest of the ilium, back of the sacrum, and spinous processes of the lumbar and lower 6 thoracic vertebrae and inserts on medial lip of the intertubercular groove of the humerus. It cannot flex the spine. In case you were thinking extension but wrote flexion, it does not extend the spine either. It is not proven to be a scapular retractor either. There is not an attachment on the scapula.

The actions of the lats are adduction, extension, internal rotation, and horizontal abduction of the glenohumeral joint. [/quote]

4 things

  1. Although the lats don’t attach to the scapula, but they do a couple of things in the bench that aren’t covered in kinesiology textbooks typically. 1 is that they act through the humerus to supress the entire shoulder girdle through a chain of joints. This is analogous for example to the pecs supressing the scapula by pulling down the clavicles which apply pressure through a joint to the scapula. Imagine getting into an arm extended dip positions and then raising and lowering yourself by shrugging the shoulder girle? The pecs and lats pull down on the clavicle and humerus which force the scaplae down through a chain of joints.

  2. The lats extend the humerus not through their line of force origin to insertion, but by direct pressure. Remember that absolute voluntary ROM is inhibited by the presence of contracted muscle, even if the line of force of the muscle is pulling in the direction of the ROM. The lats produce pressure on the humerii forcing extension.

  3. Why is it recommended to arch the back to fully engage the lats?

  4. The worlds best benchers say that they get sore lats when benching raw.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
hfrogs00 wrote:
The lats do not act as a spinal flexor. The main reason being they originate on the posterior crest of the ilium, back of the sacrum, and spinous processes of the lumbar and lower 6 thoracic vertebrae and inserts on medial lip of the intertubercular groove of the humerus. It cannot flex the spine. In case you were thinking extension but wrote flexion, it does not extend the spine either. It is not proven to be a scapular retractor either. There is not an attachment on the scapula.

The actions of the lats are adduction, extension, internal rotation, and horizontal abduction of the glenohumeral joint.

4 things

  1. Although the lats don’t attach to the scapula, but they do a couple of things in the bench that aren’t covered in kinesiology textbooks typically. 1 is that they act through the humerus to supress the entire shoulder girdle through a chain of joints. This is analogous for example to the pecs supressing the scapula by pulling down the clavicles which apply pressure through a joint to the scapula. Imagine getting into an arm extended dip positions and then raising and lowering yourself by shrugging the shoulder girle? The pecs and lats pull down on the clavicle and humerus which force the scaplae down through a chain of joints.

  2. The lats extend the humerus not through their line of force origin to insertion, but by direct pressure. Remember that absolute voluntary ROM is inhibited by the presence of contracted muscle, even if the line of force of the muscle is pulling in the direction of the ROM. The lats produce pressure on the humerii forcing extension.

  3. Why is it recommended to arch the back to fully engage the lats?

  4. The worlds best benchers say that they get sore lats when benching raw.

[/quote]

1&2. I would like to know where you got this info.

3&4. I never said the lats were not involved in the bench press or push up. You arch the back to decrease the ROM, not to engage the lats. Use your Rhomboids and middle traps to slightly retract the scapula and to keep your back tight and then flare your lats. Keith Wassung wrote a tip on this a few months ago. They will help move the bar the first few inches off your chest. Then they stabilize the glenohumeral joint to keep the bar in the right path. So yes the best benchers in the world that are lifting 700+ pounds would probably get sore lats.