Winged shoulder, acromion impingement? Scapular Stabilizers You Shouldn’t Ignore – Lower Trapezius

The shoulder complex is composed of the glenohumeral joint, the acromioclavicular joint, the sternoclavicular joint and the scapulothoracic wall joint. The strengthening and stretching of the scapular stabilizer muscle is often used in the rehabilitation of shoulder joint dysfunction.

There are two muscles that play an important role in the stabilization of the scapula, one is the serratus anterior and the other is the lower trapezius.

The relevant content of the serratus anterior has been introduced before. Interested students can search for the keyword “serratus anterior” to read. Today, I will focus on the lower trapezius muscle.

trapezius and serratus anterior

The anatomical function of the lower trapezius

The lower trapezius is the lower fiber of the trapezius muscle, located in the middle area of ​​the back. For the scapula, the lower trapezius mainly plays a stabilizing role. It can provide pulling force from the medial posterior and inferior to avoid unnecessary forward movement and flipping of the scapula during retraction, forward flexion, and upward rotation.

lower trapezius

The upper trapezius, lower trapezius and serratus anterior work together to successfully complete the movement of raising the arm above the head. These three muscles are called the scapula upper rotation couple.

Scapula uprotation couple

Studies have shown that people with scapular dysfunction compensate by increasing activation of the upper trapezius and decreasing activation of the middle and lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles, which may contribute to acromion impingement syndrome, rotator cuff dysfunction, even neck pain.

Trapezius activity levels in people with acromion impingement

How to strengthen the lower trapezius

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) published a study on back training movements in April 2018, which studied Lat pull-down , Seated row , and Bent-over row . , Reverse row ( Inverted row ), forehand pull-up ( Pull-up ), backhand pull-up ( Chin-up ), TRX back row ( TRX row ), IYT ( IYT raises ) Eight movements to activate the back muscles Happening.

For activation of the lower trapezius, the situation is as follows:

It can be seen that IYT raises outperform all other exercises in the activation of the lower trapezius, followed by bent-over row, which is also significantly better than the other six movements.

Action 1: IYT

Lie face down on the floor or bench, palms facing each other, thumbs up

Keeping the head neutral, raise the arms at a 45-degree angle, forming a “Y” shape, return to the starting position after a short pause

Complete the “T” lift with the thumbs facing up, then return to the starting position after a short pause

Finally, raise your hands above your head to form an “I” shape, palms facing each other, thumbs up, and then stay for a while to return to the initial position

Ground IYT

Dumbbell Bench IYT

Action 2: Bend over rowing

Bend over, keep your back straight, and bend your knees slightly

Hold the barbell in your forehand, making sure your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in a straight line

Pull the bar toward your sternum, keeping your back straight throughout

The process of lowering the barbell should be as slow and controlled as possible

Bent over rowing breakdown

Bent over rowing animation