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6 Simple Lat Activation Drills to Add to Your Warm-Up!

Posted by: Emily Beers

There's nothing more frustrating for a coach than watching an athlete skip warm-up and head straight to the bars and start busting out butterfly chest-to-bars or muscle-ups.

Remember, even the best of the best take the time to properly prep their body before big swinging moves like ring muscle ups. I watched Lucas Parker, a six-time CrossFit Games competitor, train a couple times, and he spends more time warming up than working out.

Why? Because it's as, or more important, than the "workout" itself! 

Why? Because it helps your muscles and joints move more effectively, and keeps you safer and less injury-prone.  

One of the most important muscles to prep before hitting the bars or the gymnastics rings for pulling action are the lats!  Here are 6 simple drills you can do to warm-up.

6 Simple Lat Activation Drills to Add to Your Warm-up

1. 20 Prisoner Rotations 

If you don't feel your lats burning after 10, then you're probably doing these too fast. Focus on a slow, even tempo, squeezing your lats and shoulder blades together, and keeping your arms as straight as possible.

2. 20-30 Voodoo Banded Pull-Aparts and Press-Aparts

Again, if you don't feel burning in your delts and your lats, then you're moving too fast. Or your hands are too far apart on the band; put them closer together to increase the tension and difficulty.

3. 20-25 Voodoo Banded Lat Pulldowns Version 1 and Version 2

Version 1 are old-school lat pulldowns—pulling straight down on the band, keeping your arms straight. Version 2 should be done AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE, driving your elbows out to the sides (avoiding the temptation to bring them in front of your body). 

By the end of this warm-up, you should feel your lats screaming!  Now you'll be in great shape to attack the bars or rings for your workout.

If you ever rip your hands while doing your bar or ring workouts, you can check out our CrossFit hand care line here to get those fixed fast.

Posted by Emily Beers on

Emily Beers, hailing from Vancouver, crosses bridges by being not only a CrossFit athlete, but also a journalist. She has been a regular contributor to the CrossFit Journal since 2011. She qualified and competed at her first CrossFit Games as an individual athlete in 2014.

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