How to Stretch Your Lats (BEST STRETCH EVER!)

How to Stretch Your Lats (BEST STRETCH EVER!)

What’s up guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. If you get Shoulder pain or discomfort when
you’re lifting weights you might be dealing with a tight Posterior capsule. Today I’m going to show you, first of all
what the Posterior Capsule is, secondly a way for you to test on your very
own self without needing anybody to determine whether or not yours is tight and thirdly if it is, I’m going to give you a
stretch that you can do to help fix that. Now as far as the Posterior Capsule, it is
a capsule structure that will contribute and tighten over time to lead to this forward
or rounded Shoulder posture. The way it does that is usually because of
what’s going on with the muscles behind your Shoulder. So we know the Rotator Cuff muscles here,
the Supraspinatus, the Infraspinatus and teres minor, they all come around here, they wrap around and attach to the side of
your upper arm here and they control it’s movement. Now we know that, the rotation of it, we know
that if these muscles get tight they kind of will do this, they’ll sort of stay down, tight and together,
taper down and almost push this forward. Well over time that leads to this kind of
chronic tightening and shortening of that Posterior Capsule, it’s a little bit deeper right inside here,
that again holds the upper arm in place. That’s a bad story though, that’s a bad situation. Because as I said, any time you’re in this
position and you go to start lifting weights up over head or even Bench Pressing, you’re causing a greater opportunity to start
pinching some structures in here. Because you just don’t have the room anymore
to lift your arm up. Again, I’ve asked you to do this a lot of
times, try to roll your arm in and then lift your arm as high as you can. you’ll actually
get a block. So I want to show you now how to determine
whether or not your Posterior Capsule is even tight in the first place, which a lot of you will find that it is, and
then we can figure out a way to fix that. Ok, so to figure out whether your Posterior
Capsule is tight, you’re going to want to do this stretch. Get on the ground here and you want to Internally
Rotate your arm as far as you can. Right, not just turn your wrist here or pronate
your forearm but literally Internally Rotate your arm as far as you can. Now put it up here at 90 degrees, take your
other hand and hold your Lat in place. In other words try to keep your Shoulder Blade
flat to the ground, ok, because you’ll see why in one second. As I push down and I have my arm internally
rotated as far as I can, now I’m just going to try to reach across my body as much as
I can. And I’ll see that, can I get this outside
portion of my elbow to cross my chest, the midline of my chest. So if I’m looking right here, this is my target. Again I keep my hand in here in place, all
the way internally rotated and I’m trying to move across. Now for me, I can automatically feel a lot
of tightness right through the back portion here of my shoulder, right here the back of
my shoulder. So what I want to do is again, try to do that. You see if I allowed my Scapula to come up
off the ground here, then I could go way over. That’s not testing your Posterior Capsule
guys, because we know that the your Shoulder Blade is attached to your Shoulder, so we want to make sure that we don’t just
let that happen. We’re looking for the isolated flexibility
of the Posterior Capsule. So if you could do this and you can’t get
it across the midline of your body, then you’re going to want to try to do the stretch I’m
going to show you now. If you can, you don’t necessarily have to
do this. What you might want to check is the tightness
of your Lats. Because we know that the Lats are going to
affect how high and how freely you can raise your arm up over your head. So you might want to check Lat tightness. I often find that Lats are really commonly
tight and it may not be necessarily your Posterior Capsule. So check that out if that’s something that
you’re dealing with. But for the rest of you, let’s go on to the
third part of this and I’m actually going to show you the stretch. Ok so the name of the stretch is called the
Sleeper Stretch. It’s actually pretty easy to perform on yourself. There’s a few things you want to do to get
yourself set up right. First you want to get 90 degree bend here
at your elbow. Then you want to get your arm below 90 degrees,
just a little bit, about 70 degrees abducted so away from your side. This will be 90 degrees away from my side,
I’m going to go about 70 degrees. Now really important, you want to lay here,
you can put something under your head to support your head here, I just didn’t bring something
with me at the moment. But what you want to do is allow your body
to pull your Shoulder Blade back, ok, so intra retraction, I’ll show you in a second here. This is what it looks like here as you can
see my back now doing that. So I can actually pin the side of my Shoulder
Blade, the outside border of my Shoulder Blade down into the floor. For the same reason, like I said in testing
the stretch, you don’t want to have that become part of the equation here. If you’re going to isolate the Posterior Capsule,
you want to make sure you’re not allowing the Shoulder Blade to move. So the Shoulder Blade stays pinned here into
the floor, then we take our hand, the opposite hand, we actually hold underneath our elbow
here, to make sure it stays in position. Get them
leaned into the floor here so that my Shoulder Blade can’t move, and now all I do is I push down here through
my elbow. So I’m causing internal rotation here of my
left Shoulder. Now I don’t crank on it really hard, I don’t
try to lift myself up because again now we’re allowing the Shoulder Blade to move. I literally just kind of let my elbow gently
push down into my forearm and I can feel that again, right in here through the back of my
Posterior Capsule. Ok, now what we want to do is ultimately see
if we can get to the point where we can touch the floor. Because you should have about 70 degrees of
internal rotation. But I’m far from it, I mean I can reach my
fingers down as far as I can, I can’t get it there. But it just means, I have to work on my Shoulder
Capsule flexibility a little bit and mobility. Ok, so that’s all you do. You try to hold
onto this stretch for about 30 seconds maybe 3 times, do it a few times a week, and you’ll gradually start to see that your
internal rotation will improve via the capsular mobility being improved, not just stretching out the Rotator Cuff but
actually working on the adaptations that have been caused by the fact that your Rotator
Cuff has been too tight all along. Guys remember, when you’re trying to train
like an Athlete here, you’ve got to cover all the issues. It’s not just about flexibility, it could
be your mobility. It’s not just about your mobility, it could
be about your strength. It could be about tightness in areas that
you’re not even considering. So you want to make sure you have all your
bases covered. I try to help you guys do that here on this
channel. And of course, I try to walk you through it
all in our ATHLEANX Training Program. If you haven’t already joined Team ATHLEAN,
and you want to get a step by step program to start training like an Athlete, then head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and get
our ATHLEANX Training System. If you found this helpful make sure you leave
your comments and thumbs up below and whatever else you want to see guys let me know I will be sure and happy to help you in our
upcoming videos. Alright, I’ll see you guys again soon. Bye!

100 comments on “How to Stretch Your Lats (BEST STRETCH EVER!)

  1. Ariez Post author

    Thanks again Jeff. Don’t think I ever stretched my lats. Now I have sensations in them I haven’t felt before. Lucky me I haven’t been extremely active.

  2. Thomas R Post author

    I really enjoy watching these videos and educating myself. I tend to not trust any other fitness channel with exercises because I feel that Athlean-X is one of the only channels that puts logic and reason into doing each exercise. Thank you for making this video, Jeff! It has helped my muscle soreness go away

  3. shawn bray Post author

    I stretch every muscle in every way I know how, every night, right before bed. until I stop feeling each stretch

  4. JungJin Kim Post author

    Idea: create maximum stretch for lats
    Implementation: Arm up, hips down, rotate spine away, side bend

  5. Dryvlyne Post author

    Damn, I can't believe I haven't seen this video yet. I've been dealing with a right lat problem for a long time now and just mimicking the motions without holding onto anything I can tell this is really going to help me. Thanks so much for all the great videos you provide. A lot of the stuff you cover should be taught in phys ed classes at schools.

  6. LarrieAnn Mayfield Post author

    I have been in pain in this very same spot for 2 days?just tried this stretch for 60 seconds and I feel better already. You are always my go to Man for relieving pain and using proper body mechanics??

  7. bogginblazer Post author

    Thanks for the video man I needed this got some random mid back pain and this stretch help out a great deal 10mins after I stretched both Lats

  8. Lunatrix Clan Post author

    Thanks!! Great explanation and simple enough for someone like me who's bad at coordinating too lol

  9. Michael Paul Post author

    BRA-VO! This felt great on a TRX. The only missing piece here is how long to hold the stretch. 30 seconds is a good number. Also a caution: the twisting no longer keeps the cervical spine neutral. I'm not in a position to say what that means one way or the other, just pointing it out.

    I have incredibly tight lats lately. Just foam rolled them and did this stretch (in that order! Important) using the TRX in single-hand mode. As I went through each progression, I could absolutely feel the increased stretch. Thank you for taking the time to draw that muscle out on your back and explain this progression step-by-step. Absolutely fantastic. Subscribed and Liked. Thanks again, man. You're helping me recover from years of deconditioning. For me, the cervical spine gave me no complaints during rotation, so I kept it up. If it gave me complaints, I'd have regressed back to a neutral cervical spine position.

  10. ProTaMaka Post author

    This is epic, I cant belive it felt so streatchy xD I wish I could feel stretch like that in my shoulders ;(

  11. Forever Happy Post author

    5th step posterior rotate pelvis and 6th use oposite myscle tension to stretch lats even more?

  12. HydeNSeeka1 Post author

    Dude, this stretch is sick! Felt a pull in oblique / lat area on a baseball swing a few days ago and mid-back/ lats have been killing since. Did about 20 of these this morning and definitely feel it loosening up a bit already. Thanks Jeff!

  13. Nick L Post author

    glad I found your channel , I'm learning a lot of new stuff, and I've been doing this a while.

  14. Philip Vana Post author

    Excellent stretch for lats! I didn't realize how tight mine were or how much distance the lats covered until now. Thanks!

  15. Andy Catts Post author

    Great stretch. My lats were tight after working out this morning and this worked great.

  16. Yvonne Hill Post author

    Ty for making this video! I get knots after jiu jitsu on my lats which makes it hard to get motion in my arm. I didnt realise I need to stretch my lats along with my back. Ty again!! I'm trying this right now!?

  17. Luca Avellano Post author

    Hi Jeff.

    I’ve had back problems for about a year now which is situated on the lower back. I’ve had sports massage therapy and I’ve seen a chiropractor who’s identified my problem as muscular which originates from the latimus dorsi. The pain is quite tender on the bottom of both sides.

    Would this stretch help me if I did it on a regular basis to eventually solve the problem?

  18. Kevin Clement Post author

    Fantastic clip on the lats, I've always been doing it wrong, and lately my entire posture has suffered a lot. I did this stretch like explained, and just after 2 rounds I felt much lighter! I'm curious what will happen after a few weeks!! Thanks soooo much!!

  19. Gulzar Ahmed Post author

    good evening. please show the lower half of the body too. i can't under what your legs are doing. Thank you. 🙂

  20. Kyle Agostini Post author

    Thank you I've been wanting to find a way to stretch that part of my body for the longest while

  21. K.Y. Hsiao Post author

    Thank you! Your videos really target some of my chronic shoulder and back pains. I did as instructed in the clips. It was painful and uncomfortable in the beginning, but once I get the muscles stretched, the world is a better place. Those of you who suffer from shoulder/back pains which in turn cause headaches and a whole bunch of other aches in the body know what I mean. Thank you Jeff.

  22. Jennings Gardner Post author

    I’m not sure if you’ve done this already but i couldn’t find one. Please do a trap stretch tutorial!!!

  23. HaroldSeaman Post author

    What causes the tightness, is it overuse of the antagonist muscles, or of the lattisimus itself? What will stop the lattisimus becoming tight?

  24. Max Kohl Post author

    My back has been messed up for years following a low back sports injury and then an upper thoracotomy several years later, and this is the first stretch that has ever "unwound" my spine. Thank you Jeff, your work is incredible.

  25. Biswaranjan Padhy Post author

    I never knew the lats stretched right up until the armpit. Had pain in that area after my back workout and on some research led me straight to this video ❤️

  26. Ray gunner Post author

    Don't be like me and have shoulder and armpit pain. It took me way to long to figure out this was causing me a lot of pain. Stretch this muscle every single day or beware the consequences.

  27. Christian Lancaster Post author

    This stretch… just unbelievable. Seriously no PE teacher chiropractor fitness enthusiast taught me this stretch and it was seriously my only problem. I use to spend hours a day stretching. I could full splits and just felt like life robbed me and there was no hope. Thankfully this video helped me so much and it seriously saved me. I mean I would be in so much pain and couldn’t even walk without shoulders, arms, back, and neck hurting. Thank you so much!

  28. mona baumgartel Post author

    I am no muscle builder, just trying to keep as functional as possible. I look at how muscles run and are attached and try to invent stretches, so this was a fabulous explanation for me!

  29. Honey Badger Post author

    Thanks for this one. I have a herniated disc in the upper chest and pain in the lower due to some issues with the nerve canal. I tried different stretches but without bending the spine too heavy, hitting the lower fibers seems pretty hard. Not so with this technique. At some point I felt a short sting in my lower spine, something I don't knew if it is really bad or maybe good, but my backpain is released for now. I recommend not to push it to the limits if someone has backproblems.

  30. ltlocus Post author

    Always a life saver in a pinch as usual jeff. Was having some severe tightness in my upper lat and this cured it like magic.

  31. skierjmps Post author

    1) grab solid object up and away (45 degree-ish) from body
    2) drop hips back and down as far as possible
    3) rotate hips open
    4) side bend outward

    Up high
    Sink back
    Twist away
    Shoot hips out

  32. GolfingJamieinCA Post author

    Your videos are great! I have been struggling with pain and tightness in my left shoulder region for quite a while. I play a lot of golf and am a delivery driver lifting all day. I started doing some of your stretches, and it's making a difference. Just curious, any idea why it only seems to be my left side? Thanks for doing what you do!

  33. Mariel S Post author

    We all can be "amazing" it takes commitment, discipline, healthy nutrition but you first have to fit your brain the body adapt to change not the brain we have to rewire the brain by learning new things, challenge yourself in that way you strengthen your mind. Btw thanks for the video it takes time to make them.

  34. Cheree Dohmann Post author

    I fucking LOVE you!!! Thanks a million over a million!! You are the best! Love love your videos!!! Such awesome pain relief!! Thank you thank you!! Wishing you all the best!!

  35. Alto's Music Lab Post author

    so distracted trying to guess what the final one looks like, when I was teaching you'd show the stretch first, then talk about it… Jeff's worried you'll click off once you got the answer.

  36. Robert Villarreal Post author

    All this time invent thinking this pain on my lower back ,traps or neck. All these years it's been my damn lats!!!

  37. Gooozooo Giizii Post author

    How can I deactivate lat Doris while extending arm or arm?
    Thank you so much for the video

  38. Philip Ganchev Post author

    How about hanging vertically from a bar – does that stretch similar muscles?

  39. Christopher Brenner Post author

    I have been having lower lat pain for 3 months and nothing was helping. THIS DID!!!!!

  40. tyler acevedo Post author

    This video just cured 3 years of back pain, multiple massage therapy visits and multiple chiropractic visits nobody told me my last might be tense, I got curious today and pulled up a muscle diagram to look up much more targeted stretches than just "upper/lower back stretches" and the pain is gone .

  41. myprettypsych Post author

    Thank you for this! I've been having shoulder pain for almost a year and, though I knew where it originated because I could feel it during foam rolling, I was never able to get rid of it. Chiropractic and massage worked temporarily, but it kept coming back within 12 hours of treatment. From the first day I tried this I felt 75% better. After a couple of days most of the pain is gone. Thank you!!


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