Tight Traps or Rounded Shoulders How to Make Them Better Post 3

As it becomes difficult to reach any higher, step sideways closer to the mirror. When you can step no closer or go no higher, stop. Face a mirror with your right hand on a wall and repeat. Do three to five times with each arm.

The judicious application of weight training can help counteract the long-term effects of this kind of posture. Be sure that your workout program works the back of the torso as much as the more visible muscles in the front of the torso. If you already have developed an imbalance, it may be beneficial to exercise the muscles at the back of the torso harder than the muscles at the front of the torso. Before starting any exercise program, consult with your physician, and if you receive the doctor’s approval to exercise, seek the advice of a certified personal trainer to develop the right kind of program for you.

Initially, avoid exercises that encourage the shoulders to shrug up until the trapezius muscles are more relaxed. Observing people doing upper body exercises will reveal that some are shrugging the shoulders up, when the exercise doesn’t require shrugging. Sometimes these people will feel the exertion of the exercise in the trapezius muscles. Sometimes they will even feel pain or spasm in those muscles. If you feel pain in this area, avoid the exercise until it can be performed without pain.

Exercises involving pressing weight overhead are the most likely to produce shrugging, because the last portion of pressing overhead involves contraction of the trapezius to complete. If the Gleno-humeral joint (where the upper arm bone attaches to the shoulder girdle) is also tight, the traps may activate to compensate for the lack of flexibility. Other exercises that may be subject to this restriction include barbell or dumbbell shrugs, upright rows, chest presses with machines or free-weights, rowing exercises for the Latissimus Dorsi and other upper back muscles, and biceps curls of all descriptions. The key to changing the exercise is to observe the area when the exercises are performed, especially when the exercise is becoming difficult due to muscular fatigue.

Overhead pressing exercises can be left until later and can be temporarily replaced by lateral raise movements that are limited to the range of motion before the trapezius contract. The range of motion can be observed if the exercise is watched in a mirror or can be felt by someone touching the upper trapezius as the exercise is performed.

Lateral raises involve starting in a seated or standing position with the hands at rest against the sides of the thighs, with dumbbells in the hands. Raise the arms in an arc that is in line with the torso. Keep both the front and back of the dumbbells at the same height. Consciously relax the upper trapezius, when they start to contract, return the dumbbells to the starting position. Imagine you are trying to push the elbows out from the body rather than pulling them vertically.

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