T Nation

Weak Rhomboids, Middle Portion of the Traps & Rear Delts


@CT I was doing the pendlay row and the chinese row and I realized I am very weak in my rhomboids, middle portion of the traps, and rear delts.

When you come across someone who needs to strengthen and thicken up his back do you have any methods or ways to quickly bring up these areas please?

Thank you


What works best for me (I was having this same problem myself because my upper traps take over every thing) is doing band pull apparts daily, focusing on flexion the rear delts (which means having the hands lower than the nipple line).

I recently gave seminars in Singapore and Hong Kong and I had a band in my hotel room and would do sets throughout the day during my off days and would do the exercise at every training sessions.

I also like Chris Duffin’s baby getup as an activation tool.

You can also add lighter barbell rows but focusing on trying to “stretch the bar” when you pull.


That’s very interesting. Am I correct to assume this approach has more value than trying to get stronger in rowing movements or getting stronger through exercises such as trap 3 raises, powell raises, external rotations and such?


It is an approach designed to make you good at activating those muscles.

As long as you dont activate them well, they wont get stronger because you will compensate with other muscles groups.


That makes sense and I feel the weakness in my left much more than my right. TY.


I learned YTW’s from Cal Strength. Check out this video - I did 3 sets of 10 at each movement with only 5 lbs in each hand and they were absolutely on fire.

Band pull-aparts are OK too at the beginning but as I continue to do them, I have felt like they have lost their effectiveness. I still do them as a warm-up but don’t really gain strength from them.


Pull-aparts are not a strength movement, they are mostly effective to program using the muscles properly… more of a motor learning tool


The problem I personally have with YTW is that personally my traps are so dominant that they take over everything but the “W”


Cool, I’ll keep the pull-aparts in then. Have been doing that + Bell’s hip sleeve, thing is awesome.

You are kind of right on the YTW, now that I think about it. For the Y and W my upper traps may take over some, but the T is pretty tough and hits the right spot for sure.