How To Do Foam Roller Lat Roll

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating Foam Roller Lat Roll in a red tank top on a blue foam roller

Foam Roller Lat Roll is a great exercise for releasing tension and tightness in your latissimus dorsi (“lats”) are the larger muscles of the upper back that wrap over and around your shoulder blades. This is a hard area to reach and stretch. Much like a deep tissue massage, the Foam Roller Lat Roll allows the lat muscles to be kneaded and pressed into the roller helping to release small knots and tight areas.

If you learn how to do Foam Roller Lat Roll, it is like learning how to do your own deep tissue massage. This kind of massage is certainly beneficial and enjoyable, but of course it can get expensive and time consuming. The foam roller moves mimic this type of massage but doesn’t cost you anything and takes just a few minutes. Myofascial release is a technical term to describe what the foam roller does. Basically, by applying pressure to specific points on your body, you are able to aid in the recovery of your muscles. Stretching is great, but sometimes it is not enough. The lats are difficult to reach so the foam roller is a great solution.

The Foam Roller is light and portable, but it is made of a stiff foam that does the trick when it comes to releasing muscles. The foam roller looks innocent enough, but you will feel discomfort and perhaps a little pain as you go through the motion of this move. Be patient. Move slowly and make sure to keep breathing. Stopping at the trigger points on your muscle is uncomfortable, but holding that place and breathing so that you can relax through the discomfort is exactly what is needed to heal your muscles.

Try the Foam Roller Lat Roll any time, before or after a workout. Use it as a stand-alone, or go through our program 6 Foam Roller Moves to Loosen Tight Muscles.

Here are the steps to performing Foam Roller Lat Roll:

1) Lay on your back with the foam roller at armpit level, knees bent with feet on the floor and hands behind the back of your head.

2) Twisting slightly to the right, push slowly into your feet so your body begins to move back and the roller glides down along your lats on the right. Return slowly to start.

2) Repeat for 30-60 seconds concentrating on any tight areas.

4) Switch sides.

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