Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening Exercises

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The following latissimus dorsi strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the latissimus dorsi muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Relevant Anatomy for Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening Exercises
Figure 1 – Relevant Anatomy for Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening Exercises

Begin with the basic latissimus dorsi strengthening exercises. Once these are too easy, progress to the advanced latissimus dorsi exercises.


Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening – Basic Exercises

The following basic latissimus dorsi exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your latissimus dorsi strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Resistance Band Pull Backs

Begin this exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 2). Slowly pull your arms backwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 2 seconds and return to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Lat Exercises - Resistance Band Pull Backs
Figure 2 – Resistance Band Pull Backs

Resistance Band Pull Downs

Begin this exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your back and elbows straight, slowly pull the resistance band to your hips. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Lat Exercises - Resistance Band Pulldowns
Figure 3 – Resistance Band Pull Downs

Resistance Band Adduction

Begin this exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 4). Keeping your back and elbows straight, slowly pull the resistance band to your hip as shown. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Lat Exercises - Resistance Band Adduction
Figure 4 – Resistance Band Adduction (right arm)


Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening – Advanced Exercises

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