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Got Lower Trap?

Ivy Rehab Got Lower Trap
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Added on April 28, 2017

Most people go to the gym to train the big sexy beach muscles, but you're doing yourself a disservice if you aren't training the lower trapezius muscle. I can guarantee that the biggest, strongest, and baddest looking guy at the gym will crumble if I were to test the strength of their lower trapezius muscle. The lower trap is not the sexiest muscle but it is an integral muscle for the function of the shoulder.

Let's first talk about where it is in the body. The lower trapezius is located just below the upper trapezius, that one muscle that is always tense and has knots galore. The lower trapezius is connected to the thoracic spine and the spine of the scapula. This forgotten muscle has three important jobs for the proper functioning of the scapula. It helps with upward rotation of the scapula which is necessary to reach for things above your head. It also helps to depress and adduct the scapula. Proper scapula motion is integral for shoulder mobility.

When forgetting to train the lower trap, it can lead to muscle imbalance problems. The muscle imbalance in the upper extremity usually entails short and tight pec minor muscle and long and weak lower trap muscle. Over time if you leave the muscle balance untreated, you may develop shoulder pain and poor posture.

However, there's still hope. You can fix the muscle imbalance and get back to optimal health with these simple exercises. The first thing we can all do is to be more aware of your posture. Secondly, we should work to stretch tight chest muscles. Lastly, we should work to strengthen our weak lower trap muscle.

Next time you're at the gym try these:

  1. Doorway Pec Stretch: Stand between a doorway with arms above the shoulders to stretch the pec muscle. Make sure to put the weight through the legs and not through the arms.
  2. Wall Angels: Stand with your back and arms against the wall with your arms and elbows at 90o like you are under arrest. Next slide your arms up and then back down the wall making sure to keep the back of your hands touching the wall.
  3. Prone Ys: Lie on your stomach and form a Y position with your arms and raise your arms up against gravity making sure to depress the scapula.

These are just a few initial exercises to get the ball rolling. Once you have established motor control of the lower trap muscle, you can work to begin strengthening the muscle. Working on your lower trap muscle will help you to prevent injury in the future as well as give you a more effective movement pattern in the shoulder. As a bonus you'll have the sexiest lower trap muscles this summer.

To learn more about back conditions, click here.

To request an appointment at Ivy Rehab, click here.

Stephen Hanano, SPT

Ivy Rehab, Hoboken, NJ




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