The Lat Stretch Exercise is great exercise for stretching your latissimus dorsi muscles (lats), increasing mobility along the side of your torso, helping you to make a better, fuller shoulder turn in the backswing, and a more powerful downswing.
The Lat Stretch Exercise forms part of the Golf Recovery & Regeneration series of innovative and dynamic exercises that will help to improve the health and quality of your muscle tissues and joints, helping you to perform better on and off the course.
Figure 1. Lat Stretch Exercise Video.
- Stand with your knees slightly bent, hinged forwards at the hip, holding a pole vertically against the ground 2 feet (60cm) in front of you.
- Grab the pole at about chest height with your left hand, keeping your left arm straight. Place your right hand on the pole, about 12 inches (30 cm) below the left, for support.
- Turn your body until your sternum (breastbone) is facing your left elbow.
- Push your chest to the left, feeling a pull against the ribs on your left side.
- Reach your straight left leg behind you and to your right, behind your right foot, forming a “U” shape with your left arm and leg.
- Hold for one deep breath, in and out.
- Return to the start position and repeat with your right side.
This is a great exercise to perform out on the golf course, to reduce any tightness in your lats coming down the stretch, by using a golf cart or a long golf club for support.
Perform the stretch 4 times on each side.
How Will It Benefit Your Golf Swing?
To make a full shoulder turn at the top of the backswing, you need good mobility in the connections along the lead side of your body (the left side for a right-handed golfer).
At the top of the swing, you will stretch out the muscles and connections (facia) all the way from your left shoulder rotator cuff, and down through your lats, side abdominals, lower back, and glutes.
The Lat Stretch Exercise will help to lengthen and mobilise the side of your body, making it easier to stretch out at the top for a fuller turn, and increasing your rotational power in the downswing.
This exercise mainly involves your latissimus dorsi, internal obliques, external obliques, and rotator cuff, and to a lesser extent your thoracolumbar fascia (lumbodorsal fascia), quadratus lumborum, and intercostals.
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