Foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles

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Foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles

This article will show you several ways to foam roll your latissimus dorsi muscles. These big and strong upper body muscles can get really tight and sore especially after lots of pull-ups, rowing exercises or swimming. The foam roller lat roll is a great exercise for releasing tension and tightness in your latissimus dorsi muscles. Since this area of the body is hard to reach and stretch using basic stretching exercises, foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles is therefore even more significant.

Brief review of the anatomy of the latissimus dorsi muscle

The latissimus dorsi muscles (“lats” for short) cover the majority of the back. They are the widest and for sure the most powerful muscles of the back. They are not neces­sarily thick, like the gluteus maximus, but they are wide. Latissimus dorsi muscle begins on the back of the pelvis and runs upward, attaching to the lower back, the bottom few ribs, a small piece of the shoulder blade, and (at its end) the front of the upper arm bone. They create the sought-after V-shape in a well- conditioned person’s upper back and torso. That is something we all are looking from. For many of us this is the main reason for enrolling the gym.

How to foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles?

Follow these instructions in order to complete the exercise safely and effectively.

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): To begin with foam rolling exercise first lie on your right side on a flat, comfortable surface. Place foam roller under your right armpit. To be precise, under the latissimus dorsi, which is about midway up the rib cage, while still sharing some pressure with the shoulder blade. Extend your right arm along the floor. Stack the legs, and add a slight bend so the hips and knees are relaxed.

lat muscle foam rolling exercise instructions

MOVEMENT (ACTION): Slowly roll toward your waist, pushing with your left arm and leg. Stop rolling just before you get to the bottom of your rib cage. Rotate your body slightly to the left to access the lats from a slightly different angle. Be free to play around with the different angles. Keep your left hand on the floor if this is feeling intense enough. If you need more pressure, remove your left hand from the floor. Continue to roll the length of your right lat for 20 to 30 seconds. Now switch the foam roller to your left side (under your left armpit) and repeat the exercise.

To alleviate tension in and around your shoulders, the Lats release elongates the muscles and restores overhead function. If you lift overhead or hold your arms at your side for extended periods, you’ll benefit from massaging this area of your back.

Standing foam roller lat roll

To make it easier, extend your arm along a wall, pin the roller to the wall with your side, and bend your knees to move the roller.

standing foam roll latissimus dorsi

Additional tips & tricks

Here are some useful hints for foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles:

  • play around with the different angles by slightly rotating your body;
  • to follow the lat muscle, which wraps around your back and side, rotate your ribcage forwards and backwards as you roll;
  • if you feel that this motion is too intense you can drop the hip down;
  • have an exploration to see what feels tender;
  • we typically recommend rotating the shoulder so the palm is facing upward, as this is often more comfortable;
  • if there is any pain in the shoulder joint while sweeping, then you don’t have to go all the way;
  • only move the shoulder as far as is comfortable, realizing there may naturally be some discomfort from the foam roller;

Best time to perform foam roller lat roll exercise

Foam rolling your lats may be especially beneficial after training them with exercises such as pull-ups, wide grip cable pull-downs, or dumbbell rows.

Targeted muscles

This foam rolling exercise targets the latissimus dorsi (lat), the broadest muscle in the back. It controls the shoulders and pulling movements.

Closing thoughts: Foam rolling latissimus dorsi muscles

These big and strong muscles do a lot of work for your upper body, and chances are good that they could use some myofascial release. Keep in mind that any muscle covering this much surface area and crossing this many joints is likely to experience some problems over time. The latissimus dorsi often contributes not only to shoulder problem, but also low back problems.

Foam roller lat roll is a great exercise for releasing tension and tightness in your latissimus dorsi. Since this exercise comes in several different variations you can choose the one that suits your needs the best.

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