Lower Trap stretch exercises are one of the least talked about exercises in fitness circle. It is mostly overlooked as something which a professional bodybuilder will flex for clout and fitness enthusiasts mostly overlook its relevance. This is a legit fitness faux pas because this muscle band contributes a lot to your overall fitness.
Lower trap workouts play an important role in maintaining mobility and stability of the shoulder blades (aka scapula ). Lower Trap also aids the upper trap by providing a firm foundation and helps in the overall mobility of the shoulder and neck area.
It’s thoughtful that our primary focus is always saved for upper traps as working up the upper traps is believed to be synonymous with bigger and a better looking back. While it’s okay to exercise your upper traps for that Jamie Dornan look but it’s not okay to ignore your lower traps while doing that.
Because a weaker lower trap muscle would mean that your trapezius muscle fibres are not getting worked up in sync and hence the imbalance will certainly increase the risk of getting injuries during other exercises. Fit, functional low trapezoids make you go a long way in your fitness journey and we will explain you how. Read on the entire thing, we very enthusiastically created for you, so that you could become a pro at Low Trap Exercises yourself.
What Is A Lower Trap stretch ?
Low Trap or more aptly, low trapezoid is a part of large trapezoid shaped muscle, which is also called – “The Trapezius”. The trapezius is a large muscle which extends from the nape of your neck to your waist, on either sides of your spine. The Trapezius has three functional parts – Upper Trapezius, Middle Trapezius and Lower Trapezius.
So, the muscle we have very dearly nicknamed as ‘Lower Trap stretch’ is actually called – Lower Trapezius and spans from lower thoracic spine to upper shoulder blade.
What is the function of Lower Trap stretch?
Lower trap muscles rotate the shoulder blade downwards. It helps retract and depress the shoulder blade and aids the upper trap muscle to maintain the overall movement and stabilization of your neck and shoulder area.
Why To Do Lower Trap stretch Exercises?
1. To Relieve That Stress On Your Upper Back
Have you ever felt nodes and stress in your upper back? Yes, you have. That is your over worked upper trap muscles. Upper Trapezius is a muscle that helps elevate and upwardly rotate the scapula.
Thing of concern is that when you don’t use your Lower Trap stretch muscles much, the upper trap muscles take the charge of all the mobility that’s happening in your shoulder and neck area. This puts a lot of stress on your upper trapezius (which is that feeling of nod in your upper back) Prolonged use of only upper trapezius can lead to muscle injury.
Strengthening your lower traps will take off the extra load from the upper trap muscles and hence relieve the stress
2. To bring the shoulder and back to its full potential
You should be able to depress and retract your scapula for maximum back and shoulder performance. This just can’t happen if you have weak lower traps. Moreover, there should be a balance between all your trapezius muscles – lower, upper and middle for the maximum flexibility.
For all these reasons, you need to work up your lower trap muscles and read on to know how.
Exercises For Strengthening Your Lower Trap stretch
45 Degree Y Raises
1. Elevate a surface at 45 degrees and lay belly down on that surface.
2. Straighten your arms and raise them above your head, while pointing your thumb towards the ceiling
3. Gradually add weights to gain more benefits
Note – Laying on flat surface and then doing this exercise would be very difficult for a beginner, so you need to start with a tilted surface
Reps : 10 -15
Sets – 3-4
2. Reverse cable Y cross overs
For this exercise, you will need a cable machine with handle attachment.
1. Stand with your feet at shoulders width apart
2. Set the pulley position to height just above your head
3. Grab the left handle with your right hand and right handle with your left hand
4. Stand at centre and little backwards from cable machine
5. With a tight core, contract your posterior delts to bring your arms backwards
6. Bring your arms back to starting position slowly
Reps – 10-12
Sets – 3-4
3. Over head Farmer’s walk
This is quite a simple exercise and works up a broad band of muscles in your body. For this exercise, you need dumbbells or kettleballs and an open space to walk at least 10 -15 steps straight.
1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and arms resting on sides.
2. Hold a dumbbell or kettle ball with one hand and raise this hand straight up above your head
3. Place your other hand on your ribcage to remind yourself to engage your core and to keep your posture straight
4. Walk for 100 feet. Relax. Switch arms
4. Chin Up
This is a strength training exercise and in addition of strengthening muscles, it also helps in improving posture and aesthetic of your body. For this exercise, you need have a pull up bar.
1. Face the pull up bar and now grasp it with your palms
2. Keep your palms slightly closer than shoulder width apart
3. Bent your knees at 90 degree angle and cross your feet behind you
4. Keep your torso straight
5. Now pull yourself up till your head is above the bar and try to use the strength of your upper muscles and biceps to hold this position
6. Hold for 2 seconds
7. Move back to your starting position with your hands extended
Reps – 5
Sets – 3
Some Easier Ways To Work Up Your Lower Trap stretch
Modified Chin Up For Beginners –
If you are a beginner, you can use resistance bands for assisted chin ups. You can wrap this band around the pull up bar and can stick one foot in the bottom loop for assistance.
Resistance bands will give you the most assistance at your weaker spots ie your lower body and help you gain the maximum benefit from the exercise without the risk of getting injured.
5. Standing Y Raise
This exercise along with aiding lower trap muscles, really fire up your shoulders and works like a magic on poor posture. You need dumbbells or cable pulley machine for this exercise.
1. Stand with your feet shoulders width apart
2. With dumbbells in each hand, raise your hands above your shoulders with palms facing each other
3. Form a “Y” shape with your body
4. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.
Reps – 12-15
6. Rear Delt Cable Raise
You will need cable pulley machine for this exercise.
1. Setup 2 low cable pulleys and stand between them
2. Grab the left cable with right hand and right cable with left hand
3. Lower your hips and knees. Keep your torso parallel to floor
4. Raise the cables up, crossing cables over each other
5. Keep your palms facing the ground and arms parallel to the ground
Reps – 12
Sets – 3
We reached out to the experts to bring some much easier exercises for the people who are just beginning out and cannot perform the tedious work outs. And they told us some easier ways of Lower Trap stretch exercise.
We all know how to shrug, right? So why not include that in your fitness regime? It is one of the easiest and best exercise to work up your trapezius muscles.
How To –
1. Stand relaxed
2. Now raise your shoulders as high as you can. You can raise them to your ears.
3. Hold that posture for 2 seconds
4. Slowly bring the shoulders back to your starting position.
5. Repeat 10 times
2. Push up
Push ups build your core strength and upper body strength. There are many versions to do push up. Start with what’s easy for you.
How To –
1. Put your hands flat on floor
2. Get on all fours, in face down position
3. Slowly lower down your body towards your hands.
4, Keep your back straight
5. Do not bend your head and keep your neck parallel to your spine
6. Lower your body as close to the floor as you can get
7. Get back to the starting position
Innstar Expert Tip –
To really fire up your trapezius muscles you would need to follow the equipment assisted exercises mentioned above as they will work up your trapezius and would increase the overall function of your back and shoulder muscles. The easier exercises are good option for beginners and they can slowly work their way up to real and beneficial exercises.
A healthy trapezius is just not about a bodybuilder’s flexing theatrics. It performs very crucial function in your health and helps you perform tasks smoothly. Lower Trap stretch Trapezius muscles help you in doing mundane things like bending and lifting things up. It also helps in maintaining flexibility of your shoulder and neck.
So stronger lower trapezius muscle means that you are supporting your back and giving each and every muscle to perform its function and also allowing your entire back muscles to have a proper balance.
How Do I slim down my Trapezius?
In order to slim down your trapezius, you need to stop over working your upper trap. This can be done by engaging lower trap more. One simple exercise is keeping your shoulder blades down and elbows tugged in your chest held high. Keep the shoulder blades squeezed together. This will engage your lower trap muscles and can help in slimming down your upper trap muscles.
What Action Does The Lower Trap Perform
How Do You Relax A Trapezius Muscles Spasm
– Bibasal Breathing
– Trigger Point release
How Do You Massage The Trapezius Trigger Point?
Massages often help with active trigger points by applying firm pressure on the affected area. The two types of popular massage techniques used to release pressure off from Trapezius Trigger Points are –
1) Manual Pressure release – A mild pressure is applied manually ie mainly by a thumb or a finger onto the trigger point. It is believed that b applying a mild but firm pressure can help lengthen the muscle and hence can relax the knots or trigger points.
2) Ischemic Compression – This is generally performed by a professional. In this massage technique, the pressure is applied via small instrument made of plastic, wood or rubber. The gentle pressure helps relieve the muscle pain.