Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

Latissimus Dorsi

The Latissimus Dorsi muscle is the main extensor muscle of the arm. It is heavily involved in exercises such as swimming freestyle (front crawl) and performing chin-ups. It is also referred to sometimes as the ‘hand-cuff’ muscle as this is the main action that the muscle performs in bringing the arms and hands behind the back.

Latissimus Dorsi StretchStretching

Option 1 ~ ‘Downward Dog’ yoga pose (upper fibres).




Latissimus Dorsi StretchOption 2 ~ Using a pole or anchor in front of you, position your body in a walking stance (one foot forward, the other behind), with opposite hand to the forward foot, grasp the anchor, bend forward at the waist and flex the spine into a curved position. Now, twist or rotate your torso to look underneath that arm that you have locked upon the anchor and lean your body weight towards your back foot. If you would like to increase the intensity of the stretch, just lean further rearward and twist further under the arm.


Origin ~

  • Spinous processes T7 – L5, the iliac crest, thoracolumbar fascia, posterior sacrum and ribs 9 – 12 (occasionally, the inferior angle of the scapula).

Insertion ~

  • Bicipital groove of the humerus on the medial lip.

Actions ~

  • Adduction, extension and medial rotation of the shoulder. Anterior pelvic tilt and elevation of the pelvis. Depression and downward rotation of the scapula (only when it has an origin at the inferior angle of scapula).