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Unlocking Your Shoulder's Secret Weapon: The Mighty Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi, often called the "lats," is a big deal when it comes to moving your shoulders. I'm your friendly sports massage therapist, and I'm here to spill the beans on how this muscle gang affects your shoulder game. The latissimus dorsi is a large, flat muscle that starts in your lower and middle back, wraps around your sides, and hooks up with your upper arm bone (humerus). Now, these lats might sound like bodybuilders, but they're key players in your shoulder's performance.

  1. Shoulder Adduction: The latissimus dorsi gets in on the action by helping pull your upper arm down and towards your body's middle. This move is all about bringing your arm closer to your torso, which you'll spot in activities like swimming or rowing.

  2. Shoulder Extension: The lats are the MVPs when it comes to extending your shoulder joint. This is the move you need for exercises like pull-ups, where you're hauling yourself up by stretching out your shoulder.

  3. Internal Rotation: The latissimus dorsi lends a hand in rotating your arm inward. You'll thank them when you're throwing a ball or swinging a racket.

  4. Stabilisation: Apart from these star moves, the lats also play their part in keeping your shoulder joint steady. They team up with other muscles to keep your shoulder girdle rock-solid during upper body shenanigans.

  5. Posture: The latissimus dorsi chips in to keep your posture in check. If your lats are balanced and limber, they'll help you keep your shoulders in tip-top shape and reduce the risk of muscle problems.

As a sports massage therapist, I understand how vital it is to keep the latissimus dorsi healthy and flexible, especially for active folks and athletes. The right massage and manual therapy tricks can keep those lats in tip-top condition, prevent muscle imbalances, ease tension, and make sure your shoulders are on point for all the moves we just talked about.


If you've got any niggles about your shoulders or lats, don't be shy to contact me and we'll get you sorted and level up your shoulder game!


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