Easy Exercises to Develop Your Lower Trapezius

What Is Lower Trap Exercise?

Lower trapezius muscle is located between your neck and shoulder blades. Its main function is to keep your head from falling forward when you are sitting or lying down. If it does not work properly, then you will experience back pain and headaches. You can develop upper trapezius muscles if you do some simple exercises.

How To Do Lower Trap Exercise?

The easiest way to develop your lower trapezius muscles is with the use of dumbbells. You can perform these exercises using any type of resistance such as barbell, kettle bell, medicine ball, or even just your own body weight. You can choose one exercise per day for two weeks and repeat it three times. After that you should increase the number of repetitions until you reach a level where you feel comfortable doing them without assistance.

You can also try some other exercises like the ones listed below:

1. Single Arm Dumbbell Raise – Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise up to shoulder height while keeping your elbows straight.

Try to keep your chest up throughout the whole movement. Perform 10 reps on each side. (Video)

2. Single Leg Deadlift – This exercise works the lower trapezius more than the other exercises.

It also involves the lower back and the muscles around it. You can perform this exercise standing or sitting on a bench. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and keep your arm straight down. Bend forward at the waist while keeping the rest of your body straight.

Go down as far as you can while keeping your knees straight and arms slightly bent. The dumbbell should be as close to the floor as possible. Hold for a second and raise up using your lower back and the muscles around it. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side. (Video)

3. Standing T-Bar Row – For this exercise you will need a T-Bar Row machine or a similar piece of strength training equipment.

Hold the bar with an underhand grip and let it hang in front of you. Move your hips back and bend forward at the waist until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and pull the dumbbell to your chest. Lower the weight back down again in a slow and controlled manner.

This will work more muscles than the traditional version of this exercise. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. (Video)

4. Seated Row to Neck – For this exercise you will need either a machine or some type of bar hanging from the ceiling.

Sit down and grab the bar in an overhand grip. Keep your knees slightly bent and pull the bar to your neck by bending at the elbows. Hold for a second at the bottom and return to the starting position. This movement is similar to a chin up, but you are bending at the elbows rather than gripping the bar for each rep.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps. (Video)

Exercise Tips:

All of the above exercises should be done at least twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks before taking a break. You can also do some of the exercises repeatedly throughout the day while you are working since this will also help you to strengthen the muscles in your neck and lower back.

Make sure to rest for at least a minute or two between each set. If you are doing your exercises at work then try and pick times when your breaks coincide. You can also take the weekend off from training, this will allow the muscles to recover and grow stronger.

Also, check your form by videotaping yourself or getting a friend to watch you. This will help you to identify any weak areas that you need to strengthen.

Is this all just a waste of time and effort? Well maybe, but do you really have anything to lose?

The exercises can’t hurt you and they might help. You can either try them out and see what happens or you can choose never to try them and hope that nothing bad ever happens to you. I think the choice is clear.

Sources & references used in this article:

Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging of the lower trapezius muscle: technical description and reliability by C O’sullivan, S Bentman, K Bennett… – Journal of orthopaedic & …, 2007 – jospt.org

The effect of thoracic spine mobilization on lower trapezius strength testing by EJ Liebler, L Tufano-Coors, P Douris… – Journal of Manual & …, 2001 – Taylor & Francis

Scapular muscle activity from selected strengthening exercises performed at low and high intensities by CH Andersen, MK Zebis, C Saervoll… – The Journal of …, 2012 – journals.lww.com

The effect of upper trapezius taping on electromyographic activity in the upper and middle trapezius region by GE Morin, D Tiberio, G Austin – Journal of Sport …, 1997 – journals.humankinetics.com

Closed kinetic chain exercise: a comprehensive guide to multiple joint exercise by TS Ellenbecker, GJ Davies – 2001 – books.google.com

Closed-chain rehabilitation for upper and lower extremities by WB Kibler, B Livingston – … -Journal of the American Academy of …, 2001 – journals.lww.com

Ultrasonographic measurements of lower trapezius muscle thickness at rest and during isometric contraction: a reliability study by NR Talbott, DW Witt – Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 2014 – Taylor & Francis

Electromyographic amplitude ratio of serratus anterior and upper trapezius muscles during modified push-ups and bench press exercises by J Martins, HT Tucci, R Andrade, RC Araújo… – The Journal of …, 2008 – journals.lww.com