An integral part of shoulder health is balance between the upper and lower trapezius muscles. The traps are the meaty muscle that sits at the base of your neck and down into your shoulders. This muscle is actually shaped like a kite and attatches into your shoulders then down the middle of your back. If you want full back development and great posture these muscles play a critical role.

In the modern day and with most new clients who start at SOS we find a huge imbalance between upper nd lower trap dominance. Due to excessive office work, too much slouching and tight pectorals our upper traps are often over active. This upper trap dominance along with continued bad posture and tight pectorals leads to internally rotated shoulders and bad posture. This bad posture can make it impossible for clients to get into a safe overhead press position without compromising form somewhere else in the body.  Overtime this imbalance will lead to shoulder impingements, lower back pain and even an excessively tight posterior chain.

So we see it time and time again where upper traps are generally short and dominant and the lower traps (the bottom of the kite) are weak and long.

A great way to correct this imbalance is by spending time focused on the lower traps with strengthening exercises. The trap three raise is a perfect exercise to start.  Start with chest supported and bring the arms up at a 45 degree angle. Start witht he single arm version and progress to the bilateral version, as you progress.

The lower down to the ground you are the more advanced the exercise. So beginners can start on a 60 degree bench and as these muscles develop you can drop down to 15 degrees or even parallel. 

Want to hit you’re lower traps with some volume then try this cheeky superset:

A1) 15 degree trap 3 raise x 6-8 / 3010 tempo / 10 Rest
A2) 45 degree 1 1/4 trap 3 raise 6-8 / 3010 tempo / 90 Rest

By adding  in the 1/4 rep at the top of the A2) movement, this really stresses those tlower trapezius fibres helping strengthen these weak muscles

Why not give this superset a try



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