Mini Anatomy Lesson – Upper Trapezius

The Trapezius is a large muscle that spans from the base of the skull down through the middle of the back, running along both sides of the spine. When talking about the Trapezius, we often divide it into 3 parts: upper, middle, and lower. While all parts of the muscle are super important, the Upper “Traps” get a lot of attention because many of us feel discomfort in this area. And they should get attention – they do a lot. Bilaterally (when working together), the Upper Traps extend the head and neck. When working unilaterally (just the right or just the left), the Upper Trap does the following:
-Laterally flexes (side bends) the head and neck to the same side;
-Rotates the head and neck to the opposite side;
-Elevates (lifts) the shoulder blade;
-Upwardly rotates the shoulder blade.
That’s a lot of action! And when we sit all day at a computer with our shoulders hunched up, guess what’s working in overdrive? The Upper Traps. So try the Upper Trap Body Break to give your shoulders some relief.

(Thanks to the Trail Guide to the Body for helping me with my anatomy!)

Tags: Mini Anatomy Lesson

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