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The Upper Trapezius muscle – Why does it keep getting a bad name?

The Upper Trapezius muscle – Why does it keep getting a bad name?

Most, if not all the painful upper traps we see at the SSG are weak and long, not tight and short, and yes, they can ‘feel’ tight and tense, but they ‘feel’ this way because they are over loaded due to being weak.

Hence, we don’t need to be stretching or massaging these muscles all the time, we need to be giving strengthening exercises, which is completely alien and counter intuitive from previous practice.

At The SSG, we often conclude that weak, inefficient Upper Traps are often the culprit for a lot of shoulder and neck pain, and that most Upper Traps need to be strengthened. The Upper Trap muscle has 2 distinct roles that direct us to give strengthening exercises:

  1. The Upper Traps are a huge contributor to helping get your shoulder blade rotating upwards smoothly – this helps you get your arms up overhead without pain!
  2. A primary role of the Upper Trapezius is to distribute loads away from the neck – thus reducing strain on the joints, muscles and nerve structures.

So, instead of stretching, rubbing, poking sore and painful Upper Traps all the time, let’s get them stronger and more robust! See below for a few exercises to help you get started.

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