Latissimi Dorsi Stretches
You can easily assess the mobility of your latissimi dorsi muscles. (These muscles are the broadest in your back and attach each side, from the spine at the small of your back, reaching all the way up to the top and back of your arm). Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Check your pelvis is in neutral spine position and your lower lumbar area retains a small natural curve. (People with deep chests may prefer to put a cushion under their heads, for comfort). Take both arms and touch your fingertips together, placing your arms directly in the air above your chest. Slowly and gently move your arms (still with your fingertips touching) over your head and onto the floor, making sure your elbows stay straight and you don’t start over-arching your back. Ask a friend to see how close to the ground you can get your arms. If you have sufficient flexibility of your muscles you should be able to move your arms the full 180 degrees, where your arms are straight and fully on the ground. If this is not achievable there are some easy and quick stretches you can do to help the flexibility in your latissimi dorsi muscles.
|Stretch for very tight Latissimi Dorsi Muscles |
Stand straight and upright against a wall. Extend the arm closest to the wall fully upright and against the wall and lean your body towards the arm and wall. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Swap sides.
|Standing Stretch |
Stand up tall and straight with both feet together. Lift your arms above your head and hold the hands together, fingers pointed upwards. Gently and slowly bend towards the left - as far as you feel comfortable. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Swap sides.
|Child Pose |
Kneel on a mat with your feet tucked under your bottom, lean forward and reach your arms out in front of you. Allow your head to rest on the floor and let your hips sink back as far as you can without letting your hands move from their original position. To increase the stretch, keep your head low and in between your arms and then walk your arms to the left. Hold the stretch. Then walk your arms and head to the left, and again hold the stretch.