Updated: Mar 22


The latissimus dorsi muscle, commonly called the ‘lats’ is a large muscle located on your back, and like other muscles (see previous blogs that have been released weeks prior to this) it can become strained and leave you in a lot of pain. This is why latissimus dorsi foam rolling is an important part to anyone’s recovery process because this muscle is involved in nearly every movement of the shoulder. The latissimus dorsi also assists with lower back movements.

Foam Roller Rules

  • Move foam roller slowly over the desired muscle

  • When you find a tender spot, work the area a bit longer

  • Try to move with your breath, the rhythm is relaxing

  • Don’t foam roll-over injuries or broken skin

  • If the pain is severe stop; foam rolling can hurt a little but should not hurt a lot

How to Foam Roll the Latissimus Dorsi

  1. Lay down on your side and place your foam roller underneath your armpit at the top of your lats.

  2. You can extend the arm that’s closest to the ground above your head so it’s in a straight line with your body.

  3. Both legs can be straight, or you can bend one at 90 degrees if this is more comfortable.

  4. Lift yourself up onto the roller and start rolling gently down the back.

  5. You can find pressure points and hold for 30-60 seconds.

  6. Leaning from side to side in a rocking motion can help with releasing tightness as well.

  7. Repeat on the other side.

When do I know that my Latissimus Dorsi needs foam rolling?

If pain is felt in the upper back foam rolling this area can reduce this. If you train a lot in the gym utilising overhead movements repeatedly, attention to the upper back is vital. Our upper back, as well as our shoulders, must work really hard when weight is overhead. Assisting the recovery with foam rolling would be advantageous.

So next time your lats begins to feel sore and tight why not complete this foam rolling routine to help ease your symptoms!

Take care and have a lovely weekend,


BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST

MSc Strength and Conditioning





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