Why Are My Lats Sore After Chest Workout?
The lats are the largest and most desirable muscles when it comes to the back. Because they make up the back one would usually not pay much attention to them other than when training back of course but despite this, it is actually not uncommon for the lats to become sore after chest day.
So why do your lats get sore after chest day? They are on the other side of your body after all so why do exercises like the bench press make your lats sore? This happens for a few reasonable reasons and we will look at all 5 of them here.
The most straightforward reason why your lats may be sore after chest day is because your lats did work. Just like other muscles in your body primarily your chest your lats went through physical stress and are feeling the effects.
This is because your lats are secondary muscles involved in multiple compound lifts that are usually performed during a chest workout such as a bench press, incline press or push-up.
They may not have been doing nearly as much work as your chest or even your triceps but nonetheless, these are compound lifts and your lats are involved and they can only take so much pain-free stress.
Weak Back Muscles
Another reason you may be feeling soreness in your lats is because your back just isn’t as strong enough as it should be.
When doing compound lifts it does not matter how many muscles are involved the weakest link is always gonna take the biggest hit.
If for you the weakest link is your lats then this means you are likely to feel the brunt of the workout in your lats even if it only involved them a little and focused mostly on other muscles.
This is the human body recognizing its own weaknesses and trying to better adapt to overcome them.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, your back may not be weak but your chest is just that much stronger, it is overpowering your back.
Although your back is not weak in reality your chest is so strong that it is weak in comparison.
This is just pure muscle imbalance which can have the same effects as having a weak link could have on your body. Leading to an overly worked very sore muscle in this case lats.
Lat Activation For Stability
The lats are the antagonist muscles to your chest meaning in simple terms they are the muscles opposite or on the counter side of your chest muscles.
Being an antagonist muscle means taking on the responsibility of providing stability for any movement involving the main muscle group in question in this case being the chest or pecs.
This is a bit different from a normal muscle contraction as well because rather than flexing and relaxing the lats need to stay activated or flexed to a certain extent throughout the entire movement.
After all you need stability throughout the entire movement so you will need some level of lat activation through the entire movement as well. With the lats being activated for such an extended period of time it is no wonder they become fatigued and later on sore.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
The final reason lat soreness may occur after chest day is one many people may not think about or realize and this is due to normal delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
This means you are simply feeling the effects and sore lats after your chest workout now due to the back workout you may have done yesterday or even two days ago.
This is because as the name suggests the feeling of sore muscles felt from your taxing workout is delayed and not felt right away but instead day or days after.
Recovery For Sore Lats After Chest Day
If your lats are sore after chest day the best course of action would be to do some lat stretches immediately following your workout.
You can also use foam rolling techniques to roll out your lats as a form of recovery in addition to or in place of stretches (see 9 Foam Roller Substitutes You Can Find Laying Around Your House ).
You can also consider going to a professional for a massage either a Swedish or hot stone massage is generally the most effective.
Besides these techniques, it is important to maintain a high-protein diet so your body has the nutrients necessary to properly recover and relieve you of your muscle soreness sooner.
Along with the proper diet the right amount of sleep is also required for the most optimal muscle recovery and to fix your sore lats after chest day.
Exactly how much sleep that is required for the proper amount of muscle recovery is constantly debated but you can not go wrong with getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night.
This puts you in a position to wake up at the end of your sleep cycle which makes a big difference in the way someone feels when they first wake up.
Should Your Back Muscles Be Sore After Bench Press?
It is not uncommon for individuals to experience soreness in their back after a benching session. This may seem perplexing since benching primarily targets the chest muscles.
However, it is important to note that bench press is a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups including the chest, triceps, and back muscles.
The back muscles come into play during the movement as they help stabilize the body and assist in maintaining proper form throughout the range of motion.
While the main focus of the exercise is to strengthen the chest and triceps, it is not unusual for the back muscles to experience some level of soreness due to their involvement in supporting the movement.
Therefore, if your back feels sore after benching, it could be an indication that you are engaging and activating the necessary muscle groups properly.
Nonetheless, if the soreness is excessive or persistent, it may be beneficial to consult with a fitness professional to ensure proper form and technique during chest exercises.
Why Are Your Lats Sore After Push-Ups?
After doing a set of push-ups, you may experience soreness in your lats, or latissimus dorsi muscles. This is also pretty normal as the latissimus dorsi muscles are large, triangular muscles located on either side of your back and are secondary muscles involved in performing push-ups just like with the bench press.
When you perform a push-up, your lats are responsible for extending and adducting your arms, helping to stabilize and control the movement. This constant engagement and contraction of the lats during push-ups can lead to soreness in this muscle group.
Additionally, the serratus anterior muscles, located on the sides of your chest, are also involved in the movement of the arms during push-ups. These muscles help to protract and stabilize the shoulder blades, which then further increases the involvement of the lats.
Therefore, when you perform a high-volume or intense push-up workout, you may experience soreness in your lats due to the overuse and strain placed on these muscles.
Is It Bad That The Lats Get Sore After Push-Ups?
When the lats get sore after doing push-ups, it is not necessarily a bad thing. As previously mentioned push-ups primarily target the chest, triceps, upper arm, and shoulders, but they also engage the latissimus dorsi muscles known as the lats.
The lats are essential muscles located in the back that help stabilize the shoulder joint. As such, it is normal for the lats to experience some soreness after performing push-ups, especially if they are not regularly trained.
Soreness indicates that the muscles are being worked and are adapting to the exercise. So when considering this lats becoming sore after pushups can actually be seen as a good thing as it is a sign of work and the body adapting like it is supposed to and being trained to.
It is important to keep in mind that push-ups are not solely focused on the lats, but rather engage multiple muscle groups. Therefore, if the lats are getting sore, it could be a sign that the exercise is effectively targeting these muscles and contributing to overall strength development.
It is worth noting that in powerlifting powerlifters, who heavily rely on their back muscles for strength and stability, often prioritize training the lats to enhance overall performance in their sport and attain a big bench press.
Do Push-Ups Work Lats?
Yes, technically push-ups are a compound exercise and although they are usually not performed specifically for back or lat training they do involve the lats as one of the many many muscles that are involved in the movement.
With this being said though if you were to ask someone including a fitness professional which muscles the push-up works one of their first answers would not be the lats.
There are many muscles that get worked a lot harder than the lats during a push up such as the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, abs, and serratus anterior.
The push-up would not be a recommended exercise to perform during back day as pull exercises would be much more optimal (see Best Pull Exercises For Upper Body).
Can I Do Back and Biceps After I Train Chest?
Yes, it is possible to do back and biceps exercises after a chest day. Chest exercises primarily target the pectoral muscles, while back and biceps exercises focus on the muscles of the back and arms.
By splitting up these muscle groups and working them on different days, you can allow for proper recovery of each muscle group and prevent overexertion.
Additionally, working your back and biceps after chest day can help to maintain a balanced physique and prevent muscle imbalances.
It is important to note that proper technique and form should always be prioritized during workouts to avoid injury.
However, if you are experiencing excessive fatigue or soreness in your lat muscles after a challenging chest day, it may be wise to allow for an extra day of rest before targeting your back and biceps.
Ultimately, the individual preferences and personal fitness goals as a lifter should also factor into your decision-making when it comes to organizing your workout routine.