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Over-Active Traps? Anyone?

This there anyone here on T-Nation who has had really over-active upper traps and actually managed to use pre-hab (or whatever) to completely deactivate them?

I’d love to hear some advice from anyone who’s managed to correct this issue…

Read Roberton and Hartman’s latest article.

[quote]Meta-Monster wrote:
This there anyone here on T-Nation who has had really over-active upper traps and actually managed to use pre-hab (or whatever) to completely deactivate them?

I’d love to hear some advice from anyone who’s managed to correct this issue…
[/quote]

I’ll second that.

[quote]Meta-Monster wrote:
This there anyone here on T-Nation who has had really over-active upper traps and actually managed to use pre-hab (or whatever) to completely deactivate them?

I’d love to hear some advice from anyone who’s managed to correct this issue…
[/quote]

First off, I’d read what Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson have to say on the issues because everything in their articles helped me a lot.

I’ve managed it fairly well and it is not a problem now. I feel the best exercise that has helped me is scapular wall slides for the lower traps. It took me 3 or 4 times before I felt how to do them correctly, but it paid off. I think the second best exercise that has helped me is the cable row. Just keep working at it and make sure you really feel the movement. Sometimes I still catch myself moving up weight too much where I’m cheating myself.

If you are anything like me, you probably have more going on than just over active traps.

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:

Robinson and Hartman’s latest article

[/quote]

I’ve read it. A few times actually. Great article but it doesn’t seem to specifically apply to what’s wrong with me.

When I look in the mirror my scapulae don’t appear to rotate downward (looking at the inferior angle to make this judgement). They do wing out a bit. (My rhomboids are underdeveloped relative to my serratus anterior. I’ve also got rotator cuff issues - teres minor/infraspinatus are underdeveloped relative to my subscapularis.)

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
Meta-Monster wrote:
This there anyone here on T-Nation who has had really over-active upper traps and actually managed to use pre-hab (or whatever) to completely deactivate them?

I’d love to hear some advice from anyone who’s managed to correct this issue…

First off, I’d read what Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson have to say on the issues because everything in their articles helped me a lot.

I’ve managed it fairly well and it is not a problem now. I feel the best exercise that has helped me is scapular wall slides for the lower traps. It took me 3 or 4 times before I felt how to do them correctly, but it paid off. I think the second best exercise that has helped me is the cable row. Just keep working at it and make sure you really feel the movement. Sometimes I still catch myself moving up weight too much where I’m cheating myself.

If you are anything like me, you probably have more going on than just over active traps.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. I’ve read most everything Mike and Eric have published on T-Nation here. Great info to say the least.

Also, I second your experiences with scap wall slides and cable rows. Those are the two exercises I’ve primarily used to work on problem over the last 6-7 months. Progress is slow but it’s definitely getting there. Also, give chest-supported (incline) 1-arm cable rows a try if you get a chance. (Lay prone on an incline bench in front of a low-pulley cable station).

I think this exercise is absolutely AWESOME for training the specific muscles of the middle back (rhomboids, mid/low traps).
prone lower traps raises and supinated chin-ups are pretty good too.

Some other articles that I’ve find really helpful are CW and AC’s “8 weeks to monster shoulders”, Charles Stanley’s “In defense of overhead lifting” and Tony Gentilcore’s “Soft tissue work for tough guys”. Admittedly, some of these articles are more shoulder related, but I’ve got some stuff going on there as well.

I’ve got a pretty good routine for working towards “de-activating” my upper traps. I’ll post it when I get a chance soon.

And if anyone has any advice, tips, etc. please post them!

What I’ve been doing lately is grabbing a wide grip pullup bar, and do ‘shrug pullups.’ Just do the first movement of a pullup. Keep your elbows locked, hang there, and just shrug yourself up. Your range of motion will only be a few inches, but I’ve noticed it helps with the teres major and rhomboids.

Oh, and since the range of motion is so short, you’re going to need to use a dip belt and swing some iron under your nuts.

Face pulls
Scapular retractions
“Reverse shrugs” on parallel dip bars
“Reverse shrugs” hanging from bar

– ElbowStrike

[quote]Meta-Monster wrote:

When I look in the mirror my scapulae don’t appear to rotate downward (looking at the inferior angle to make this judgement). They do wing out a bit. (My rhomboids are underdeveloped relative to my serratus anterior. I’ve also got rotator cuff issues - teres minor/infraspinatus are underdeveloped relative to my subscapularis.)
[/quote]

If you have winging scapula it is actually probably a serratus anterior weakness. You sound like you have a lot going on, you may want to get checked out by a professional.

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
Meta-Monster wrote:

When I look in the mirror my scapulae don’t appear to rotate downward (looking at the inferior angle to make this judgement). They do wing out a bit. (My rhomboids are underdeveloped relative to my serratus anterior. I’ve also got rotator cuff issues - teres minor/infraspinatus are underdeveloped relative to my subscapularis.)

If you have winging scapula it is actually probably a serratus anterior weakness. You sound like you have a lot going on, you may want to get checked out by a professional.

[/quote]

You’re right, I do have quite a bit going on. (Then again, almost everyone does, it’s just that most of them don’t know it yet).

Also your advice about being checked out by a professional is dead on as well. I’ve seen a couple over the years and they’ve really helped me to better understand my particular issues.

As for scapular winging though, my under standing is that this condition is the result of an ongoing battle between a person’s rhomboids and serratus anterior. And in my case, my rhomboids are losing (which is causing the winging). Actually, my winging improved drastically after I quit doing direct serratus work and got some ART done to break up the adhesions in my serratus.

[quote]Meta-Monster wrote:

As for scapular winging though, my under standing is that this condition is the result of an ongoing battle between a person’s rhomboids and serratus anterior. And in my case, my rhomboids are losing (which is causing the winging). Actually, my winging improved drastically after I quit doing direct serratus work and got some ART done to break up the adhesions in my serratus.

[/quote]

I just figured it was probably your serratus anterior. I’ve never actually talked to anyone who had weak rhomboids compared to the serratus anterior. I’m not an expert by any sense of the word, but I think another cause could be shut down of the trapezius. I’m not saying you have that, just a thought.

Sounds like you are doing the right thing if it got better after the ART. I had physical therapy for winging of the scapula (I wish I would of found this site years ago, would of saved myself a lot of money). Good luck.