One of the Best Overhead Mobility Exercises You’ve Never Thought of

By djpope

June 12, 2016

flexibility, Lat, Lats, mobility, pull-up, pullup, range of motion, Stretching

So ya, I’ve been a little bit into the lats recently.  Some would say I’ve gone a little bit crazy with the lats.  Fair enough.  I can’t argue with you there.  If you missed it, I just wrote an article on how tight lats might be causing shoulder pain during kipping movements.

However, I want to share with you one of my favorite exercises to promote overhead mobility, specifically with regards to tight lats.  It’s the supinated, close grip pull-up performed in a hollow position.  Check out the description below in the video for why it’s so good.

One of the best lat mobility exercises you've never thought of: The close grip, supinated chin-up in a hollow position. Eccentric (lowering phase of a lift – muscles lengthening under tension) exercises have been shown to increase length in muscles. I've taken this concept and applied it to the Lats given I've been on a lat kick lately. Several points here: 1) The underhand close grip forces the lat into a deeper stretch at the bottom of the chin-up. The Lats extend and internally rotate the shoulder and we're making them do the opposite 2) Hollow position – The hollow position carries over to gymnastics movements but also flexes the spine some creating a bigger stretch at the bottom of the pull-up 3) Slow eccentric and full range at bottom – The eccentric portion of this exercise is where the money is made given that eccentric exercises help create more range of motion in a muscle. I like to exhale at the bottom of the lift and push myself towards the floor to maximally stretch the Lats. **Closing thoughts: I've always liked eccentrics because they simultaneously build length but also strength and control especially at the end of your range of motion. I'd put this into your program a few times per week for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. If you know someone who could benefit from this then please share! @powermonkeyfitness @shift_movementscience @davedurante @rupert.egan @vanvleetd @bimflip @drmelzar @colinpgeraghty @jasonleydon #pullups #mobility #lats

A video posted by Daniel Pope (@fitnesspainfree) on

Want to learn more about how to assess overhead motion and find the best exercises to correct it?  Check out Dr. Dave Tilley and my product:

Monkey Method – Movement Essentials


The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts

Will this be the last lat article?

Daniel Pope DPT, CSCS