The Most Underworked Muscle – Trap 3

For those who love to build and define, the muscle always worked on most vigorously is the weakest or smallest. I can tell you right now, that the most under worked muscle in your body is not your pectorals, biceps or deltoids. The most underworked muscle in your body is your trapezius 3.

I have covered the trapezius 1 in a previous post, for follow through (i.e. over hand passes), this only concerns the trap 1. For full range of motion, your shoulder girdle will be retracted and depressed fully. It is at this point that you have the maximum potential energy before launching forwards.

The Trap 2 and 3 will be the muscles in charge of supporting and balancing your shoulder girdle throughout the motion. Your shoulder girdle consists of articulations between the clavicle, scapula and proximal end of the humerus. For the sake of child birth, our shoulder girdle float within our bodies, supported by nothing but the surrounding muscles, otherwise we would not be as flexible. It is for this reason, that muscle control in this region of the body is crucial. Without the trapezius, there is no shoulder girdle coordination.

Exercising the Trap 2

Exercise Muscle focus Function Equipment
T raises Trapezius 2 Shoulder girdle support and balance 0-5 lbs dumbbell

Your trap 2 are located laterally inwards from your latisimus dorsi, between your trap 1 and 3.

In order to isolate your trap 2, you need to stand with your torso on a 90-degree angle as you would for a bent over row. Retract and depress your scapula (shoulder) on the side you intend to work, and raise your arm laterally, maintaining your shoulder position and straight, but not locked, elbow. Raise until it is on par with your torso, forming a ‘T’. Once you have reached the top, slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat 10-12 times.

This will isolate the horizontal muscle fibres in your trap 2, which run horizontally along your back.

Be sure to reset your shoulders after each repetition to ensure optimal results.

This will isolate the horizontal muscle fibres in your trap 2, which run horizontally along your back.

Exercising the trap 3

Exercise Muscle focus Function Equipment
Y raises Trapezius 3 Shoulder girdle support and balance 0-5 lbs dumbbell

Your Trap 3 are located just below yout trap 2, right and down from your latisimus dorsi.

Stand with your torso on a 45-degree angle and once again, retract and depress your scapula (shoulder). With your thumb pointing upwards to the ceiling, laterally raise your arm on an angle to form a ‘Y’ with your body. The muscle fibres run diagonally down your back, as would your arm in the ‘Y’ formation. Bring your arm to ear level or just past, then slowly control the descent. Repeat 10-12 times.

These exercises are also excellent for rotator cuff rehabilitation and increase in range of motion. Due to the minimal amount of activation these muscles get on a regular basis, to start, your body weight should suffice, progressing to 5 lbs if it is too easy.

If you have a desk job, overly developed trap 1 are not encouraged. This will cause you to hunch and therefore deteriorate your posture. Trap 2 and 3 however will improve your posture as well as range of motion.

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