To test your flexibility, try this simple exercise: stand with your back against a wall, bend your knees, and extend your arms to the sides in a "touchdown" shape. Slide your hands up the wall without arching your back or allowing your hands to come forward. If you cannot slide your arms all the way up the wall while staying flat against the wall, chances are your lats are tight and limiting your range of motion.
The latissimus dorsi muscles are often neglected in stretching and mobility routines, yet they play a crucial role in shoulder and arm movement. Tightness in these muscles can lead to a host of issues, including limited overhead reach, shoulder pain, and even lower back pain.
If you're experiencing a limited range of motion, incorporating lat stretches into your exercise routine can be a game-changer. Try incorporating exercises such as foam rolling, doorway stretches, and lat pulldowns to help release tension and improve mobility in your lats.
But don't stop there. A licensed physical therapist can work with you to identify and address the root cause of your limited range of motion. Through targeted exercises and techniques, they can help you retrain your muscles to work correctly and improve your overall flexibility and mobility.
So if you're struggling with a limited range of motion, don't let tight lats hold you back. Try the wall test and consider seeking the guidance of a physical therapist to help you overcome this common issue and achieve your goals.