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Stretches of the Lower Trapezius Muscle

Overview

The lower trapezius muscle is part of an upper back muscle group called the traps. The lower portion runs from the upper thoracic spine to the base of the scapulae, or shoulder blades. Stretching the lower traps is done with exercises involving spinal rotation, separating the shoulder blades, and by stretching the entire back.

Lower Trapezius Muscle Stretch

The lower trapezius muscle stretch is similar to a seated spinal twist, but your body rotates toward the inside of your bent knee and not the outside. To perform this stretch, sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and cross your leg over your right to place your foot flat on the floor on the outside of your right knee. Grab your left ankle with your left arm, placing your left elbow on the inside of your left knee as you twist your shoulders to the right. Reach your right arm behind you and place your palm flat on the floor with the arm straight. Keep your spine straight and lean back without releasing your left ankle. Repeat on the other side.

Fixed-Bar Back Stretch

The fixed-bar back stretch targets all the muscles of the lower traps. A fixed bar simply refers to a vertical bar attached to a stationary object like a weight machine, though a bar attached to a wall or a jungle gym will work, too. Stand facing the bar to perform this stretch. Grab the bar with your right hand and incline forward slightly with your arm and wrist straight. Place your left hand at your side. Shift the weight of your hips back and bend your knees. Squeeze your abs and tuck your pelvis to flatten your back. Do not rotate your body. Reach your hips straight back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Repeat by holding the bar with your left arm.

Minute Stretch

The minute stretch is an easy exercise you can do nearly anywhere you have a place to sit. This stretch hits your middle and lower traps. To do this exercise, sit in a chair with armrests and place your feet flat on the edge. Cross your arms and grab a hold of the armrests, right hand on the left armrest and left hand on the right armrest. If you do not have armrests, grab the sides of the chair or stool. Lean forward slightly and round your upper back. Tilt your chin to your chest and let your shoulders come forward so your shoulder blades move away from each other. You may also twist your shoulders to each side to increase the stretch to your right and left traps.

Photo Credits:

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.