Weakness of the Lower Trapezius (and indeed the entire trapezius) is a common finding in people with back, neck and shoulder pain. Due to the nature of today’s technological society, we often find ourselves in forward flexion postures, without much posterior movements. This can then cause many of our back muscles, such as our lower traps, to be weak and underactive. The Low Rows exercise is a really nice way to target the lower traps. The same exercise can be done at home using a theraband tied around a pole.
To perform the low rows exercise, set up at a cable row machine. Using two stirrup/cable handles, or a tricep rope, sit on the seat with an upright posture. Hold the handles in your hands so that your palms are facing up, and slightly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Relax your arms and let the cables straighten them so you’re reaching for the machine. The handles and your hands should be at around the level of your belly button. From this position, pull the handles straight back so that you feel your shoulder blades being pulled towards each other. Make sure you do not rotate your arms at all, it should be a straight back motion, with your elbows staying close to your body. You should feel the tension and pull centred in your back between and at the lower part of your shoulder blades. Slowly, and with control, return back to the starting position and repeat as many times as prescribed.
For more exercises on how you can strengthen postural muscles, check out our exercise library. Otherwise, for more information about how a Melbourne Chiropractor can help you, check out the rest of our website.