Continuing with the muscles of the upper back, the trapezius is the featured muscle of this week’s Muscle Monday! As a whole, the trapezius, or “traps”, begin on the occipital condyles or base of the skull all the way to the last vertebrae of your thoracic spine, and end on different parts of the scapulae. Due to the span of this muscle, the trapezius performs a number of jobs. The upper fibers allow lateral flexion, extension and rotation of the neck as well as elevation of the scapulae. The middle fibers sit on top of the rhomboids and perform adduction, elevation and upward rotation of the shoulder blades. The lower fibers follow suit by depressing the scapulae and allowing spinal extension. For maximum benefit, the trapezius should be trained in all angles to recruit the most amount of fibers. Additionally, depending on the lifestyle a person leads, the traps are often tight and cause stiff neck and potentially headaches. Proper stretching throughout the day will help to alleviate symptoms. Due to the location of the muscle, allow gravity to initiate the stretch, and do not forcefully pull on your head causing strain on the cervical spine. Follow up with the video posted below for demonstrations and explanations for training these muscles.
Muscle Mondays with Shane Piccolo: Trapezius Video
You can check out week one, when we shared more information about lats and teres major and week two, which was rhomboids.
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