Back It Up with Strong Traps!

I’m at my kitchen table trying to sit up straight while I write this post. I’m only doing it because I am writing about posture, and how it affects the back–in ways painful and otherwise.

Otherwise, I’m the worst. I hunch, lean over, squint at the screen–all the things I’m going to tell you not to do in order to not only avoid back and shoulder pain but also to maintain functional strength, better manage stress and avoid injury. And those actions cause tightness and imbalances, all bad.

Maintaining great posture at your work station is one of the keys to achieving these ideals. Another is building and strengthening your trapezius muscles, or traps.

They’re among the largest muscles in your back, and an important one (as are most back muscles). It from your shoulders to the middle of your back, laterally to the spine at the scapula (shoulder-blade). The trap has many functions. It holds and supports the arm, and also support the scapula, which we use for handling just about anything and everything.

When it’s neglected, becoming weak and imbalanced, nothing good happens.

According to the Back Exercise Doctor, studies have shown that excessive muscle tone and tightness in the upper trapezius tightness have been associated with increased stress on the cervical spine and can cause increased cervical lordosis (inward curvature.)

Unfortunately, we tend to neglect the traps–primarily because they won’t get you picked up at the bar! The opposite sex will notice your strong, and toned arms, chest and even shoulders. But your ripped back? It won’t get you very far.

Nonetheless, it pays to work trap moves into your workout. And there are numerous exercises, including shoulder shrugs, lateral raises and upright rows, that can be used. And should be!

Challenge yourself!

 

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