Are you able to give a bit of that program out Jinx? I have the same problem, my traps take over as well.
Jinx asked me to chime in here with what I did with her program for lat devlopment. I apologize for any hijacking.
I’ll try to be as thorough as possible, mainly because someone might be able to correct certain steps I took. I am far from an expert when it comes to anatomy or kinesiology and would love to hear some discussion on my approach.
When you look at Jinx’s back pic from her last cut: [photo]994[/photo] you can see a very developed teres major (http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/TeresMajor.html)
and not much lat development (although part of that is the posing). Teres Major should act as a helper muscle to the lats in adduction of the humerus (e.g. pulldowns), although its development here indicated that it was taking on the majority of the load. So the challenge was to get Jinx’s lats firing on pulldowns/chins.
Her body was already accustomed to using other muscles for pulldowns so it wasn’t a matter of just having her ‘think lats’ while doing exercises. Now I couldn’t think of any way to deactivate the teres major through stretching without hitting the lats as well, so it was more about figuring out why the lats weren’t firing in the first place. In my experience the usual culprit for a weak agonist is a tight antagonist, and I had heard that tight traps fight lats over the battlefield of scapular elevation (traps)/ depression (lats). So its not that the traps were doing the pulldowns for her (they don’t act on the humerus)its more that they were firing during pulldowns, elevating her scapula and inhibiting the lats- forcing the teres major to do the work.
So taking a page from Greg Roskopf (MAT founder, never took the course but I’ve heard his theories behind it) it was then a matter of stretching the traps and strengthening the lats.
So we had her stretch the traps whenever she could (pulling head/leaning to one side and hanging off opposite arm is a fave) and do pulldown-style exercises with a light enough weight so the lats could handle it. One exercise I really like for that is one arm stiff cable pulldowns, with the cable column beside the shoulder instead of in front. It takes the biceps out of humerus adduction so its easier to focus on lats. In addition to this we worked on further inhibiting the traps by throwing in tons of scapular retraction/ depression work like lower trap raises and pullovers.
Past that its just been a very determined effort on Jinx’s part to keep proper posture at all times. We’ve also thrown in some trigger point work for the traps, and I’m wondering if doing the same for the teres major would be advisable. I can give more specific program examples if anyone wants, but maybe by PM or in Jinx’s thread- I fear I’ve hijacked enough forthis thread.