Tightness in people’s upper traps is a nationwide pandemic. A new study shows that 52-90% of computer workers have neck pain. But the good news is that with focused resistance training, you can reduce your neck and trap pain.
The “New” Gittleson Shrug
A study revealed that easy dumbbell exercises can lower upper-back and neck pain among workers who sit at the computer all day. The exercise below is among the best:
This is the top exercise you can do for “tight” traps. Here’s how it’s done:
- Sit on your bench. Get a dumbbell and let it hang at your side. Using your other hand, grab the side of your bench to stabilize yourself.
- Bend your neck going away from the side with your weighted arm, then flex your neck to your front, and rotate your head just slightly toward your weighted arm. You should be seeing the ground just in front of your arm with the dumbbell and feeling a complete stretch on your top trapezius.
- As you bring your shoulder up, also bring your neck into an extension, side-bending going toward your weighted arm, and rotating away. Bring your top shoulder to your hairline. Squeeze to fully contract your position.
- Slowly bring the weight back to the staring position as you get your neck back into flexion. Get a slight full stretch on your upper trapezius before starting the next rep.
Rather than a classic shrug, I always recommend this special version of the Gittleson Shrug. Because this version exaggerates your motion. Giving you a greater tri-planar stretch on your upper back area and the small areas of your neck. The weight you put on the dumbbell should be around 33-percent lower than your normal weight for a normal shrug or Gittleson shrug.
Work-connected cervicogenic pain, which is pain that comes from your muscles and bones of your neck, will greatly benefit from increasing your endurance and strength. Most lifters will get a meaningful improvement in their neck and back symptoms within 2-3 months of consistent practice.
Author: Blake Ambrose