Happy Fall and welcome to the final week of September! This week I am providing a self massage technique for the lats.
You will need a foam roller for this stretch. You can purchase one for relatively cheap on Amazon! You have to be able to lay on the floor for this one as well, so the only contraindication would be if you are unable to get down and up from the floor. You could always try to use a wall instead.
1. Lay on the foam roller on your right side as shown in the photos below. Extend both arms overhead. Start with the roller under your armpit area. I like to place my top foot,(in this case my right foot) behind the bottom legs knee for leverage. Push your right foot into the floor slightly to roll your body along the lat until you get down by the low ribs. You can straighten the left leg here.
2. And that’s it! Simply roll up and down your side to massage the lat and other muscles that make up the side body. You have the ability to apply as much pressure as you want by leaning into the roller more, or less. You can always lean slightly back or forward to get into the muscles from a different angle. You can also just stretch over the foam roller like I am doing in the bottom photo. This will open the opposite side body and muscles between the ribs tremendously.
Tip: If it is difficult for you to get to the floor then use the wall. Stand with your right side facing the wall. Squat down slightly, placing the foam roller at armpit height between yourself and the wall. Lean into the roller, then straighten your legs, standing up. Repeat going up and down. So in this version you’ll get a little leg workout too 🙂
3. Continue for 5 minutes, then switch sides.