Avoid the mid-life hump

Women often won’t work their traps because of a fear of looking freakishly muscular. They see bodybuilders with trapezius muscles so large that they form a straight, bulging line from their necks to their shoulders.

But since women’s muscles aren’t genetically inclined to get that big and bulky without the help of steroids or rigorous training, you can put aside your concerns and start realizing the benefits of strengthening this underappreciated posture enhancer.

What are the trapezius muscles and where are they located?

When viewed together the trapezoids form a shape that looks like a kite or trapezoid (hence the name). They start from a point at the base of the skull, fan out across each side of the neck to the shoulders and meet in a point near the middle of the back.

What do they do?

Traps shrug up, draw shoulder blades together and pull shoulder blades down. They bring the head and neck backwards and rotate and side-bend the neck.

Why you should strengthen your trapezius muscles

If you have weak traps your posture can suffer. They are the source of that sore feeling you get in your neck and the top of you shoulders after a long day working at a desk. Strong traps force you to stand straight and tall, pulling your shoulders back. They counterbalance the forward-pull of the chest.

There is no better way to avoid developing a hump as you age. Strengthening traps also has the potential to alleviate shoulder pain.

Exercises that target the traps