Latissimus Dorsi Stretches

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Flexibility (Muscles) > Latissimus Dorsi Stretches

(Main muscles involved: Latissimus Dorsi, Pectorals, Triceps, Obliques)

The following latissimus dorsi stretches are designed to improve flexibility in the latissimus dorsi muscle (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.

Generally, you should choose one or two latissimus dorsi stretches that feel comfortable for you and repeat them 3 times daily. As your flexibility improves, the exercises can be progressed by increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of the stretches provided they are pain-free.

Relevant Anatomy for Latissimus Dorsi Stretches

Figure 1 – Relevant Anatomy for Latissimus Dorsi Stretches (right side)


Latissimus Dorsi Stretches

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

Begin this latissimus dorsi stretch standing tall with your back straight and hands above your head. Gently lean to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in the side of your upper back and shoulder (figure 2). Hold for 5 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free. Then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

Figure 2 – Latissimus Dorsi Stretch (right side)


Latissimus Dorsi Self Massage Exercises

The following latissimus dorsi self massage exercises are designed to improve the flexibility of the latissimus dorsi muscles and are an excellent addition to the above stretches. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.

Foam Roller Latissimus Dorsi Release

Place the foam roller under the outer aspect of your back (Latissimus Dorsi) as demonstrated (figure 5). Using your legs, slowly move your body forwards and backwards allowing the roller to massage the side of your upper back. Breathe normally, keeping your upper body relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. This exercise can also be performed with your hands behind your head or your arms across your chest.

Foam Roller Exercises - Latissimus Dorsi Release

Figure 5 – Foam Roller Latissimus Dorsi Release


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