There are very few exercises which can effectively target the lower traps. Performing regular lower trapezius exercises will give one a well built back and reduce the risk of back injuries.
Trapezius is a major muscle of the back region. It is a diamond shaped muscle, which serves many functions. It helps to move the shoulder blade up and down and towards the spine. It also helps to rotate and bend the neck sideways. Also, one important role of trapezius is that it helps in breathing. A well build trapezius is always seen in bodybuilders and football players. This gives them the 'no-neck' appearance. However, very few people going to the gym or working out understand the importance of developing trapezius muscle. Generally, with shoulder exercises like barbell shrugs the upper traps get worked on. But, the lower traps are mostly ignored. Also, there are very few selected exercises which can help to target the lower traps. Here are three exercises and two stretching exercises that you can add to your workout routine. These exercises will help you to lower trapezius muscle strain by strengthening it.
Before starting any strengthening exercises, it is important to do a warm up for 7-10 minutes, to prevent any injuries. Do mild jogging or any full body cardio for 10 minutes or more and then perform strengthening exercises. Also, for each strengthening exercise, perform 2 sets, and take a minute's break between each set. In every set, perform 20 reps.
Hyper Extension Exercise
- You can perform hyper extensions on the bench, Roman chair or on the floor.
- So, position yourself on the bench, floor or Roman chair.
- Then, lace your hands behind your head, and keep your posture straight.
- Keep your full body in a straight line.
- Then, raise your upper back as much as you can.
- Come back slowly down, this was one rep.
This is variation of the normal shrug. To do leaning/silverback shrug, you need to keep in mind that the more you lean over when performing this shrug, the more you will target your lower traps.
Reverse Dumbbell Fly
- So, hold a barbell and stand straight.
- Then, shrug your shoulder, and take them up as much as possible.
- You can use a Smith machine, to make the workout easier.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells in your hand and keep the hands at your sides.
- Slightly bend your knees and back, but keep your spine flat.
- Then with a bend in your elbow, lift the dumbbells in an arch like path, till the arms are parallel to the floor.
- Slowly, bring the hands to the sides.
- This was one rep.
These two stretching exercises should be done after strengthening workout session. Hold each stretch for a reverse count of 10 seconds and perform each stretch three times.
The Cobra Stretch
The Cat & Camel Stretch
- Lie on a mat on your stomach, and lift your upper body using both your hands.
- Keep your palms flat on the mat and pointing straight.
- Arch your back as much as you can and keep your arms straight.
- Look at the ceiling and hold the stretch.
- Keep breathing slowly, while stretching.
- To do this stretch, simply balance yourself on a mat on your palms and knees.
- Now, slowly raise your middle back up and let the head go down slowly and hold.
- After this, arch your back and keep your head up and look straight ahead and hold.
So, include them in your back workout day or dedicate a special day for them at least once a week. Soon, you will see that your back has become stronger and well-built.