Discussing the use of the Latissimus-Gluteus Maximus myofascial sling during bench press
In this clip taken at a recent F.A.P. ‘Spine’ seminar in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Spina discusses the concept of ‘bending the bar’ during the execution of the bench press. The benefits of this action lie in the activation of the Latissimus Dorsi-Gluteus Maximus myofascial sling in order to:
1. Reduce the angle of Glenohumeral joint abduction – as is noted, excessive abduction (to 90 degrees which is commonly seen) places unnecessary stress on the long head of the biceps leading to debilitating injuries such as bicipital tenosynovitis.
2. Engage the sling in order to stabilize the core during the lift – this helps to lock in the lumbar lordosis needed during the bench press – see figure. This sling was described by Andry Vleeming et. Connection between the Latissimus Dorsi and the contralateral gluteus maximus is most pronounced between eh L4-S2 segments by way of the thoracolumbar fascial
3. Engage the lower body musculature in order to hold the lumbar lordosis – this helps the athlete to better utilize the principal of irradiation which states that muscular contraction can be amplified by engaging surrounding musculature. Which experienced powerlifters, their entire body is in tension during a lift such that every muscle in their body is engaged.
Not discussed in the video, but worth mentioning for completion sake, is the importance of holding an increased inter abdominal pressure (IAP) during any lift. This helps to both increase strength generation, and to solidify the spine in order to prevent injury.