How To Foam Roll Your Lats

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Another important muscle to address when foam rolling is the Latissimus Dorsi (AKA the lats). 

The below image shows where the lats are situated on the back: 

foam_roll_lats

Foam Rolling Exercises for Your Lats

Here is a selection of our favorite foam rolling exercises for your lats. These show how to stretch and strengthen your Latissimus Dorsi using both a foam roller and a massage ball. 

Massaging your Lats with a foam Roller

The following video by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, shows how to target your Lat muscles with the grid foam roller.

How To Foam Roll Your Lats

  1. Laying in a side plank position, place the foam roller (on the lat) 3 inches below your armpit.
  2. Straighten your arm with your palm facing up. (use this arm to support then neck if needed)
  3. To roll the lats, gently lift the hip so the pressure is on the lat muscle. Slowly roll down until the foam roller reaches your armpit.
  4. Search for tender spots by rolling the torso forwards and backward on the roller.
  5. When you find a tender spot, stop and hold for 30 seconds.
  6. Breathe deeply throughout.

Foam Rolling Lat Massage and Stretching Exercises

Here is a great foam rolling and active stretch routine from the team over at Trigger Point. This is a good way to wake up the Lats before exercise.

How to Stretch and Strengthen Your Lats with a Foam Roller

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Place one hand on the foam roller and sit back on your heels.
  2. Reach forward with your arm, so you feel a stretch down the outside of your torso.
  3. Breathe out as you reach your arm forwards and breathe in as you bring the arm back towards your body.
  4. Keep a neutral spine throughout and try to bring your chest towards the ground as you reach your arm forward, not just your head.

Now to Strengthen:

  1. Lay face down with your arms stretch overhead (in a Y formation)
  2. Keeping the arms straight, lift them straight up from the ground, bringing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Do this for 10 reps
    Next bring your arms straight out to the side forming a T shape
  4. Perform the same motion, by bringing your arms straight up behind you for 10 reps

Lastly overhead press:

  1. Bend your arms at the elbow and push them straight up above your head for 10 reps.
  2. Remember to breathe throughout the exercises.

Foam Rolling Lat Exercises with a Massage Ball

If you prefer using a massage ball to target the Lat muscle directly here is a great exercise example by IMG Academy and Trigger Point.

How to Massage Ball Your Lats

  1. Laying on your side, place the Massage Ball in the middle of the Lat muscle (just beneath your armpit).
  2. Straighten your arm and place your palm up, this is your starting position.
  3. Slowly roll up, at a rate of an inch per second.
  4. Then roll back down, keeping the pressure on the Lat muscle throughout.
  5. If you reach a tight spot, stop and hold for 30 seconds.
  6. Then bring the massage ball back to the middle of the lat muscle.
  7. Next, you should sweep your arm forward in front of you, then back overhead.
  8. Do this 4 times.

Remember to breathe throughout this exercise.

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