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Fitness

5 Best Lat Stretches to Maximize Your Workout.

If you work out at the gym or at home, you’ve probably felt a strain in your back when working out. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Best lat stretches that are essential for proper performance and recovery. And we’ll also learn why it’s so important to spend enough time stretching your back muscles, specifically your lat muscles. 

Why is it Important to Stretch the Lats? 

Of course, strength training has a lot of benefits for our health and muscle recovery. (1), (2)

They include strengthening muscles, improving posture, normalizing metabolism, and hormonal processes. 

However, many people often need to pay more attention to the warm-up and stretching at the end of training. This can lead to hypertension and muscle spasms. 

The latissimus dorsi muscle (lat for short), is one of the largest muscles in the body. It is a semitendinosus triangular muscle. 

Typically, we do not engage the latissimus dorsi muscle in our daily life. However, this muscle plays an important role in many exercises. Professional bodybuilders, athletes, and swimmers often have developed the broadest muscles. In contrast, people who do not exercise have tighter lats. 

After upper body strength training, the lat muscles often shorten and become overstretched. This can cause shoulder pain, limited arm mobility, and soreness. 

That’s why it’s so important to perform lats stretching. This will avoid unpleasant consequences and help you recover faster between workouts. 


Top 5 Best Lat Stretches

Let’s take a look at the top 5 latissimus dorsi stretch exercises. 

We recommend doing them at least a few times a week to maximize the effect of lats stretching exercises.

You should perform all stretching exercises of the lats and other muscle groups only after warming up the muscles. ( or at the end of a workout)

Avoid discomfort and pain during the exercises. If you have injuries or other contraindications to stretching, consult your physical therapist before performing these exercises. 

1. Warm Up With Foam Rolling

For this stretching exercise, you will need a foam roller. Exercising with the roller will help reduce muscle tension and soreness and increase lat mobility. 

While rolling, focus on your soreness. Spend more time working on these painful areas. 

Lat stretches for pain reduction work very effectively and quickly. After one approach of a few minutes, you will feel the blood flow to tense muscles and a reduction in tension. 

How to perform?

Lie on your side. Place a foam roller under the lat muscles of your back. 

Roll slowly, slightly down and up from your lower back to your armpits. 

Then do the same on the other side of your back. 

You can see how to perform the lat release in the video:


2. Static Stretch With a Ball

There are many variations of lat stretches, and this is one of them. The advantage of static stretching is that all the movements are performed smoothly, and this has a relaxing effect on the muscles.

In addition to this, practicing static stretching reduces the risk of injury, reduces stress, and increases blood flow. Also reduces stiffness and pain in the muscles. 

Stretching lats muscles with a ball is excellent for lengthening and improving arm mobility. 

How to perform?

Stand on all fours, one hand on the ball. 

Slowly roll the ball forward while feeling the stretch in your lats muscles. Hold this position. 

Then, repeat the same movement on the other arm. 


3. Standing Lat Stretch at the Wall

This lat stretch exercise is good because it requires no additional equipment to perform. However, stretch at the wall is very effective and works not only lats, but also other back muscles. 

How to perform? 

1. Starting position — Stand up straight, facing the wall. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Lean forward, trying to keep your back straight. Place your palms on the wall. Your back should be parallel to the floor. 

3. Hold for a while to feel the muscles stretching. 


4. 90 Lat Stretch 

This exercise is a variation of the previous one. But here, the support can be not only a wall, but also a chair, table, and any other object of suitable height. 

The most important thing is to perform all lat mobility exercises at a calm pace, without hurrying. This will help to feel the stretching of the muscles more deeply and will have a more significant therapeutic effect. 

How to perform?

1. Stand up straight, facing the back of the chair, feet shoulder-width apart. 

2. Bend your whole body 90 degrees downward, with your hands on the back of the chair. Feel the lats of your back muscles stretch. 

3. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Then, repeat this exercise a few more times. 


5. Lat Stretch with Spinal Traction

Stretching for lats on the bar is very effective in stretching the entire lateral surface of the back and relieving excess tension. Your own body weight stretches the entire spine.  

How to do it? 

1. Grab the bar with both hands at a distance slightly wider than your shoulders. 

2. lift your feet off the ground and feel the back muscles stretch. 

3. Hold this position for a while. During the exercise, make sure that there is no discomfort or strain in the lower back. 

Please consult your physical therapist before performing any stretching exercises on the broadest back muscles. Your therapist can help you find safe exercises to stretch without risk of injury.  

The founder of Myfitbody.club, fitness blogger, passionate advocate of a wholesome lifestyle, and your personal compass in the captivating realm of nutrition and exercise.

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