The widest muscle in the human body is the Latissimus Dorsi, or your lats. Some of boxing’s best knockout artists owe their KO percentages to their large wingspan. Sandy Saddler, Thomas Hearnes, and Felix Trinidad were are relatively slim fighters. But because of the wide, well-developed lat muscles they were capable of delivering every punch with (to quote Mike Tyson) “Bad Intentions.”
The lats attach at the spine, run the length of the vertebrae and connect to the upper arm. The lats are responsible for connecting a punch from the rotation of the core, turning the punch over and generating additional power. This is because your lats work together with the Gluteus Maximus, the largest muscle grouping in your body. These large muscles contribute to driving a punch from the ground-up, and is pivotal in the rotation that occurs when turning your punch.
The figure above shows the lats on the left side of the image. You can see how the lats run all the way down to the top of the pelvic bowl, where they connect to the glutes (not shown). The lats are superficial muscles, sitting closer to the skin. The deeper layer of muscles are shown on the right side of the image. You can see that the Quadratus Lumborum runs right underneath the lowest reach of the lats.
The quadratus is the deepest running muscle of the posterior abdominal wall. This muscle also is responsible for trunk rotation when throwing your punches.
If you’ve been in Cappy’s gym recently, you may have heard the coaches talking about inner and outer body shapes working together. This is one example of that concept– getting the superficial and deep layer muscles to work in concert. When a boxer can master this, they discover how to transfer the momentum of their punch with the greatest of ease and efficiency, unlocking a new level of punching power!
Want to learn more about how to put your back into your punches? Schedule a personal coaching session with Coach Casey by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org