7 Effective Exercises For Your Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)

Exercises For Your Lats

Your lats or back muscles play a more crucial role in your body’s stability and even your shoulder and back strength, than you may realize. The Latissimus Dorsi, as they are called, benefit from stretches and simple exercises like chin-ups or cat-cow. The superman, the seated lat pulldown, and even some simple yoga-based stretches can go a long way in warding off shoulder and back pain and keeping your lats strong and loose.

Your lats or Latissimus Dorsi muscles are two flat and large muscles on your upper back that connect the upper extremities and arms to your spine, giving stability to the trunk of your body. These muscles also help protect your spine and aid arm movement. So, why is it important to exercise these muscles? Working your lats can help improve your upper body strength and range of motion as well as balance and stability. On the other hand, tightness in this muscle can lead to chronic shoulder pain, chronic back pain, or tendinitis, an inflammatory condition of the tendon. Reason enough to take a serious look at these exercises for your lats!


1. Seated Lat Pulldown

Before you begin

Now you are all set to start!


2. Seated Row

The seated row makes use of the resistance in a cable machine.


3. Chin-Ups

All you need is a pull-up bar or similar equipment that allows you to do chin-ups.


4. “Supermans” Or Trunk Lifts

This is an exercise for your lats that doesn’t need equipment. You will need to lie face down on your stomach on an exercise mat for this one. There are two phases to this exercise.

In the upward phase,


In the downward phase,

5. Cat-Cow Exercise

This stretching exercise for the latissimus dorsi muscles does not need any equipment.


Yoga also has exercises that loosen up your lats. The following stretches not only loosen your shoulders, they make other yoga poses like backbends easier. They are also useful to anyone looking at preventing tightness and strengthening this part of the body. Remember to learn these under the direction of a trained yoga practitioner.

6. Wall-Aided Stretch

This movement loosens your lats and helps strengthen them. It also gears your body up for asanas such as the upward bow pose or urdhva dhanurasana and the popular downward-facing dog pose or adho mukha svanasana.


7. Yoga Block Aided Stretch

Another method to loosen tight lats is by using a yoga prop like a block.

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