Upper Lats Stretches

Today, I wanted to go through Lats Stretching, with a little bit of a tweak on Lats Stretching and a way of incorporating the lats stretching into your day to day life.

When it comes to lats, they play an important role when it comes to the shoulder and when it comes to the back. They also play a role when causing shoulder injuries, back injuries, helping when it comes to overcoming a shoulder injury or back injury.

Sometimes what you will end up having to do is stretch out the lats, and a lot of times the stretching that people would end up focusing in on is stretching for the lats that focuses in on the origin, which is towards the back or towards the pelvis area.

What I like to do is focus more on the insertion, which is where the lats ends up connecting up into the shoulder. I end up going through 3 different exercises and the exercises tend to be progressive in nature. So Level 1 ends up being where I start people off. Level 2 is where I progress people to. And then Level 3 is the more advanced or the stronger stretch.

Level #1 – Lats Stretch

When it comes to Level 1, what I will get people to do is sit nice and ideally.

They are sitting on their sit bones and they’ve ideal posture. I am going to get them to cross their arms and I am going to get them to side bend.

When it comes to side bending, I am looking at the movement happening in the thoracic spine and the mid back as oppose to the low back.

Make sure to tighten the abdominal area, be nice and upright and in good alignment, cross the arms and bend to the side. I am looking at getting a light stretch in the lats area.

What About Reps and Sets?

Now when it comes to reps and sets and length of hold I get people to hold for 5 to 10 seconds. If they have no stress or strain on the back they can progress to 20 seconds. I end up getting them to do 2 repetitions and they can progress to 3 repetitions and just one set.

Level #2 – Lats Stretch

If they don’t get much benefit from Level 1, I progress them on to Level 2 which is arms overhead, grabbing the elbows and then side bending.

I am really focusing on the side bending that is happening in the thoracic spine and I am really trying to open things up in this thoracic spine area and looking at getting more of a stretch in the upper part of the lats as opposed to the lower part of the lats.

Level #3 – Lats Stretch

The Level 3 that I will end up progressing people to is getting them to bring their arm overhead and I get them to rotate.

If I am working on that right side lat I will get them to rotate clockwise through the trunk bringing the arm overhead with thoracic rotation.

Bringing the arm overhead, focusing on that movement happening in the thoracic spine, and then bending and really trying to open up through here and trying to feel that stretch more in the upper part of the lats. And looking at that one set with two repetitions, you can progress to three. Starting off with 5 to 10 seconds hold and then progressing to a 20 second hold.

So give those a go. Those are stretches that I end up doing especially if I end up feeling tension or tightness in my back. I find those help relieve things. Also if you are looking at getting a different kind of stretch when it comes to your lats, give those 3 stretches a go. Find out the level that ends up working best for you.

Take care and bye bye.

Rick Kaselj, MS