T Nation

Sore Lats, Why?

My lats get extremely sore on my shoulder day when I do a lot of overhead pressing. I know arching my back during military press shifts part of the load to the lats, but i make a special effort to keep a straight back and still get extremely sore lats the next day. How can I isolate my deltoids more so as not to cheat myself out of the training effect. I-ve tried slumping forward slightly but this seems awkward. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Once upon a time all the lifters focused on squats, cleans and presses, deadlifts…because they were hard, and worked the whole body. Then came along Joe Weider. Joe decided that it was very important to seperately work each muscle, like the 3rd carpal digitalis extensor, for example. The problem was, in working the 3rd carpal digitalis extensor, you perhaps recruited the 12th anterior vertibal subscapular. This was bad because it meant you weren’t “focusing” and having a superior “mind-muscle” ESP connection. If you could just fully isolate the 3rd carpal digitalis extensor, it would blossum into “Big Time” cross-striated “Hugeness.” To solve this problem Arthur Jones created a whole line of machines, 5 of which specifically split up the whole carpal digitalis extensor and flexor group. These machines were the same size and cost as Buick station wagons, only you couldn’t have sex in the back seat. Soon everyone was in mind-muscle peak-contraction flush-principle Nirvana. Unfortunately the human mind is inherintly stupid, and makes the false assumption that such a scientifically neutered approach to weight training is complete bulls@$t. The government immediately formed an emergency task force which trained special agents (the ACE, NFPT, NSCA and AFAA elite divisions) to be positioned in all locations of suspected weightlifting activities, and discourage, in your case, any excercise that could possibly recruit more than one head of the deltoid at a time (much less activate the lats in order to stabilize one of those dangerous “free weight” thingies overhead).

GA, In closing I only have 11 words: Cybex variable loading iso-lateral medial deltoid V2 cable-stack cam system apparatus. I wish I could stay and type further recomendations concerning the anterior and posterior delt heads. Unfortunately I am concerned about overtraining my 3rd carpal digitalis (just trashed it and the radial sacral bursa infraspinatus in the gym today. I know, I know, I’m focussing to much on the “show” rotators).

The lats are not active movers during overhead presses – in fact, they perform the opposite action of pulling the upper arms downward – and so soreness in the lats is not indicative of robbing your deltoids of any work. The lats contribute no upward force in the lift but only stabilize.

But since they are tensed against a motion which is actually stretching them, this gives
them eccentric exercise, which can cause soreness.

Are you sure it’s the lats and not midback?
Same story though: either way, the back is
not contributing upwards force, except for
the traps at the top part of the motion,
at which point the deltoids are not contributing much anyway.

That’s because your lats are doing supportive work. If they’re sore the next day, they’re probably a bit of a weakpoint. So try training your lats for strength for a while.

You could try a different shoulder exercise like upright rows.

Occassionally, I’ll have sore lats after doing heavy standing overhead presses or jerks.

And if I hit the bench hard and heavy, I’ll notice that my lats are sore the next day (along with my shoulders and chest!).

It’s all good! There’s nothing wrong with hitting more than one muscle when working out!