T Nation

Women Lifters and Lats

This is something I noticed while reading the interview with Gina, but I didn’t want to dirty up that thread with my observations, so I created this one.

It seems like a very large number of female lifters have extremely small lats. It’s particularly noticeable once they hit competition bf%, and you can actually see their ribs through their lats. This is something I’ve noticed on Gina, Christiane Lamy, and T-Nation members who compete.

Is this intentional (wide lats considered unfeminine by the judges?), something unique to women (they just naturally have much less musculature there), or am I just smoking the crack pipe? Admittedly, I don’t follow female fitness or bodybuilding shows, so I could be way off on this…

Well women in general have less musculature on there upper frame around the shoulders, chest, upper back etc.

All the women you stated IMO have done a damn fine job of packing on some serious muscle.

Other than that couldnt tell you on the judges etc. may not be a nice look to have a Hot woman walking about with her arms stuck out to the side due to HUGE friggin lats though I still think it would be very commendable if they accheived it due to what I stated above.

My 2cc,
Phill

I agree with this 100%

not sure what the deal is because I’ve seen some collegiate swimmers with fairly well developed lats. Though it is difficult to compare through photos.

[quote]JNeves wrote:
I agree with this 100%

not sure what the deal is because I’ve seen some collegiate swimmers with fairly well developed lats. Though it is difficult to compare through photos.[/quote]

Those swimmer are likely not at as low a BF though as these women when they are on stage and at a photo shoot so the fat even if small amount would aid in hiding the fatc and making them thicker.

This is so funny because I’m currently busting my ass to grow lats! I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but it hasn’t been for me. I have just tended to build traps and upper back muscle easily, and then those muscles seem to do a lot of the work my lats should be doing.

I’m currently on a program designed to help me grow lats and delts but also de-activate the overactive traps that seem to have interfered with some of my lat/delt development.

I’m hoping adding size to lats and glutes will actually improve make me look more feminine when I’m lean, by creating curviness. When I diet down I turn into a straight line.

[quote]Jinx Me wrote:
This is so funny because I’m currently busting my ass to grow lats! I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but it hasn’t been for me. I have just tended to build traps and upper back muscle easily, and then those muscles seem to do a lot of the work my lats should be doing.

I’m currently on a program designed to help me grow lats and delts but also de-activate the overactive traps that seem to have interfered with some of my lat/delt development.

I’m hoping adding size to lats and glutes will actually improve make me look more feminine when I’m lean, by creating curviness. When I diet down I turn into a straight line. [/quote]

Are you able to give a bit of that program out Jinx? I have the same problem, my traps take over as well.

Isn’t it great that we can develop the shape we want. Cardio bunnies can’t do that!

[quote]Bittabit wrote:
Jinx Me wrote:
This is so funny because I’m currently busting my ass to grow lats! I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but it hasn’t been for me. I have just tended to build traps and upper back muscle easily, and then those muscles seem to do a lot of the work my lats should be doing.

I’m currently on a program designed to help me grow lats and delts but also de-activate the overactive traps that seem to have interfered with some of my lat/delt development.

I’m hoping adding size to lats and glutes will actually improve make me look more feminine when I’m lean, by creating curviness. When I diet down I turn into a straight line.

Are you able to give a bit of that program out Jinx? I have the same problem, my traps take over as well.

Isn’t it great that we can develop the shape we want. Cardio bunnies can’t do that!

[/quote]

Yep, I detail the whole program in my log in the T-vixen Sorority! Kmanley designed it for me and it’s been working really well to bring up my lats and deactivate traps, while generally helping me address the postural issues that come from a desk job.

[quote]Bittabit wrote:
Are you able to give a bit of that program out Jinx? I have the same problem, my traps take over as well.
[/quote]

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.

Thank you both very much. I will catch up on Jinx’s thread.

Michelle