Fresh Start to Fitness: Exercises to Strengthen Your Rhomboids

Fresh Start 2 Fitness - Exercises to Strengthen Your Rhomboids
Your posture says a lot about how you take care of your body. The way you stand or sit shows how well your joints and muscles are working. Poor posture alignment can lead to problems like chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. It can also cause muscle atrophy and weakness.

The rhomboid muscles are located on your upper back underneath the trapezius muscle, and play a big part when it comes to posture. This is especially true if you have overdeveloped chest muscles or your shoulders pronate forward, said Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray.

The rhomboids are rhombus-shaped (hence their name) and are used to pull the shoulder blades together. They also rotate the scapula in a downward direction and provide stability for your shoulders.

Beck recommends that you complete the following rhomboid-strengthening routine twice per week to improve your posture and enhance your quality of life.

1) Trapezius Stretch: Start on the floor in the 4 point position. Without rotating your torso take your hand under and across your body, palm facing the floor, so that you feel a stretch in your mid back musculature and hold for 20-40 seconds. Slowly bring your hand back and repeat on the other side. Do 2-3 sets.

2) Rotator Cuff Circles: Start on the floor in the 4 point position. Raise your left arm up and out above your head with your thumb facing the sky. Bring the arm out to your side and then back down. Repeat 10 times and then switch arms. Do 2-3 sets.

3) Side Lying Trapezius Exercise: Lie on your right side, legs stacked on top of each other. Hold a light weight in your left hand. Bring the weight out in front of you until it reaches 90 degrees and then return to starting position. Complete 10 reps and then switch sides. Do 2-3 sets.