The Latissimus dorsi – an anatomy lesson

A tight latissimus dorsi not only restricts the range of movement of the arm and upper back in the golf swing but also causes compensation to take place in the lower back.  Stretching this muscles loosens and frees the joints in the both the shoulders and lumbar/sacral areas.



To test for tightness:


Lie on your stomach with the legs slightly parted and relaxed.  Extend the arms overhead.  Without taking strain in the lower back and legs try to lift one arm of the floor.  Difficulty in doing this could indicate that the latissumus dorsi is tight.

Alternatively – stand with the feet hip distance. Bend forward at the hips and lean forward with the arms resting on a horizontal surface about hip height.  Try to lift one arm at a time.  Make sure you do not compensate by twisting the upper body or taking strain in the lower back.



To stretch the muscle.


Stand with a broom handle or golf club.  Hinge forward from the hips while holding onto the top of the golf club.  Hold this for at least 30 seconds.  You can add a little twist to each side – holding each stretch for 30 seconds.  Be sure to keep the back neutral – no overarching of the lumbar spine.



It is always best to consult and exercise professional for a more accurate and safe assessment of your body and its strengths and weaknesses.  In this way you can be sure that exercises are correctly executed and programmes are designed specifically for you.



Brigitte Aubery
Exercise Coach