The lats, which are otherwise known as the latissimus dorsi muscles, are the big “V” shaped muscles that directly connect your arms to your vertebral column.
Not only do they help to give your shoulder and back strength, but they also help to protect and stabilize your spine area, too.
Along with this, your lats can also help assist with your arm and shoulder movement, all while being able to support and encourage good posture.
In other words, the lats are a vital part of the body, which is why it’s important to make sure that you are strengthening and taking care of them.
If you’re struggling with lat pain or tightness, then one of the best ways to relieve any pain that you feel in this area is to stretch it out.
The only question is, how do you stretch lats, exactly? In this article, we are going to be showing you how to do it from the comfort of your own home.
When Should You Stretch Lats?
Before we get into the stretches, we first think that it would be a good idea to outline when you should be stretching out your lats.
Generally speaking, in order to make sure that you are able to enjoy the optimum benefits of stretching while also ensuring that you do not become injured, you should make sure that you are stretching after you have spent a few moments warming up.
We recommend doing these stretches after you have spent some time loosening up, either via a workout or a short warmup exercise.
Even though it is important to make sure that you are loose and warmed up before attempting these stretches, the good news is that you can repeat these as often as you need to throughout the day for relief.
How To Stretch Lats
1. Floor Stretch
The first stretch that we have to share with you is the floor stretch! This stretch is suitable for all fitness levels and will provide deep relief to the lat area.
Check out the following steps to carry it out safely:
- Go into a kneeling position and gently sink your hips backwards while placing your right forearm on the floor.
- Sink your weight into your right arm and stretch your left arm, making sure to reach through the fingertips for a deep stretch.
- Hold for a few moments and repeat on the other side. Repeat as often as you like.
2. Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is another fantastic way to stretch your lats without putting too much pressure on yourself. To do this, you will need to make sure that you have a foam roller.
Follow the steps below for deep relief in the lats area:
- Lie on your side and place a foam roller under your lat. Make sure that your spine is relaxed.
- Keep your leg on the floor straight and gently bend your other knee, making sure to listen to your body to prevent pushing yourself too hard.
- Begin rolling the foam roller back and forth your lower back to your underarm.
- Repeat for 1 minute, then swap sides. Continue doing this for as long as you like.
While you are foam rolling, make sure that you are placing particular emphasis on the areas that seem to hurt the most.
This will ensure you are able to provide the best relief to your last area.
3. Wall Press
If you want a great stretch that is going to relieve your lats without any equipment, this wall press is a great option to try. Check out the following steps below:
- Stand 2 feet away from a wall, ensuring you face the wall.
- Dip your hips inward and gently begin to bend forward.
- Place your palms on the wall at around hip-shoulder height, depending on what feels comfortable to you.
- Gently lean your weight into the wall/arms. Hold for one minute before taking a break. Repeat as many times as you would like.
This particular stretch is great for both stretching out your lats while also helping to strengthen them, too.
4. Exercise Ball Stretch
Last but not least, the final stretch that we have to share with you is this stretch that incorporates an exercise ball.
Check out the steps below for deep relief in the lat area:
- Move into all four and place the ball in front of you.
- Place your arms on the ball and take a deep breath.
- When ready, sink your head, neck and shoulders down to the floor for a deep stretch in the lat area.
The Bottom Line
There we have it!
The lats are a vital part of your body and are integral to contributing to a variety of functions – including protecting and stabilizing your spine, providing your upper body area with strength and power, while also helping to assist with hearty shoulder/arm movement.
Besides all of this, your lats even help to encourage you to maintain a good posture for your spine’s health, so it’s important to make sure that you are taking care of them.
Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we are hoping that you are now feeling a lot more confident and comfortable with going ahead and stretching out your lats at home.
Remember, it is important to carry out these stretches only after you have spent time loosening up (we recommend a short warmup) as well as making sure that you are listening to your body at all times and not pushing yourself too hard.
Of course, if you have underlying health issues or concerns, then you should be sure to speak to your doctor before going ahead with any of these stretches that we have listed above.
Thank you for reading. We hope that this article has been helpful to you!