Trapezius commonly referred to as the traps, are really just hungry for some love. Most of us think of this muscle as the “Hulk”, or a small triangle that runs from the side of our neck to the shoulder. You probably know this muscle well; feel like your walking around with your shoulders hunched up to your ears? Ever tried rubbing your shoulder trying to get some relief?what about headaches? have trouble lifting your arms when your folding sheets? You definitely know the Angry side of traps.
The trapezius muscle is so much more! Shaped like a beautiful diamond that covers our heart in the back of the body; it is attached to the back of the skull, the ligaments and spine all the way to the last thoracic vertebrae at about the height of the last rib, it wraps it self up and over the shoulder and attaches at the lateral edge of the collar bone.
The action of the trapezius is to move the shoulder blade (scapula); up (elevation) down (depression) it brings the shoulder blades together(retraction) and helps to rotate the shoulder blade when we lift our arm. I found a great video that shows the amazing ways the traps work click here to watch . If I had all those jobs i would be tired too.
Take a minute to let all of that sink in. Touch your shoulder and feel it, try tracing the shape on a friend.
So what can we do…
- Activate and Elevate: Breath in and bring your shoulders up to your ears hold for 3 seconds and let them fall as you exhale. Repeat this 3 times. Can you feel a difference? ( I highly recommend doing this in front of the mirror)
- Sit and Draw: Seated in front of a desk place the palms of your hands under the desk and resist. Now picture a pencil on the end of your nose and draw a beautiful line to form an “i”.
- Sponge: It feels so good to squeeze the upper fibres of the trapezius muscle. Imagine a sponge that you are squeezing the water out of and then allow it to fill back up with water.
- Lastly from my good friend Eric Franklin a little spine polishing. This reminds me of a fun dance move if nothing else. Enjoy!