Mid back stretch focusing on the trapezius and rhomboids
Many people, both athletes and non-athletes alike, often find that they have pain in their mid back. A good stretch here in conjunction with a chest stretch for the pectoral muscles can often release this and also seems to provide a good feeling as an antidote to having been sat at a desk or in a car for too long.
Position and function of the primary muscle:
The trapezius is a large muscle on the back with attachments that focus on the occiput (base of the skull), the vertebra C7 to T12 and then cross to the clavicle, acromion and spine of the scapula. In effect the pair of muscles either side of the spine form a kite shape across the middle and upper part of the back. It has a variety of functions around stablisation and movement of the scapula as well as extending the head and neck when the two muscles work together and rotating or laterally flexing the head and neck when working individually.
The rhomboids (major and minor) attach to the vertebra C7 to T5 and then onto the border of the scapula. Their role is to adduct, elevate and downwardly rotate the scapula.
Sit or stand with a good posture and a solid core. Clasp your hands together horizontally in front of you and then look down between your arms. Combine pushing your hands as far forward as possible and pulling your chin nearer your chest to feel the stretch particularly along your spine and in between your shoulder blades. As with all stretches, for the best results first pull the shoulder blades together for five seconds and then push into a full stretch for fifteen seconds. Repeat this three times once or twice a day.
Inevitably, bearing in mind my job, my final recommendation would be to also get a sports massage if you are particularly tight, as massage work in conjunction with stretching will help ease the muscles even further.
- Stretches should only be performed gently, not with any discomfort or pain and only subsequent to a gentle warm up
- When stretching do not bounce or strain into a stretch, increase the pressure slowly to a point where you feel the stretch become active
- Care should be exercised to perform all stretches correctly – if in any doubt please contact a specialist for verification on stretching manoeuvres.
Jeremy Waite works as a Sports Massage Therapist in Berkshire covering areas such as Streatley, Goring, Pangbourne, Wallingford and Reading.
Back to Strengthening and Stretching Exercises
Providing sports and remedial massage as well as training and rehabilitation advice throughout Berkshire and Oxfordshire and especially to clients in Streatley, Goring, Pangbourne, Wallingford and Reading.