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Strengthening Your Rhomboid And Surrounding Neck Muscles

Last updated: May 23, 2022

Your middle rhomboid muscles are critically important for neck strength and stability and can also affect other elements of your health, including your back support and core abilities. Thankfully, you can strengthen your rhomboid and the surrounding neck muscles using a few simple exercises. In this article, we discuss:

Rhomboid Workouts to Consider

The first step to take is to find some rhomboid exercises and rhomboid strain exercises you can use to help improve your muscle strength and recover from any strains. Here are a few different options you may add to your workout routine:

Lower Neck Stretch

Stretch your arms in front of your body and clasp one on top of the other. Reach out until your shoulder blades stretch from each other and bend your head forward. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times. You can practice this workout several times throughout the day if needed.

Resistant Stretches

Place a resistant band around a solid object at your waist level and turn your body to face that object. Balance the exercise band until you have equal lengths in both hands. Hold your arms in front of you and pull the bands back until your shoulders touch. Repeat 8-12 times a few times every day.

Neck Rolls

Stand straight and look ahead while you tip your right ear to your right shoulder. Keep your left shoulder in place and hold for 15-30 seconds. Tilt your head to the left and repeat. Perform these actions 2-4 times on each side and then rotate your neck around its full length for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Rolls and Squeezes

Stand straight and roll your shoulders up towards your ears as high as you can. Hold here for several minutes before rotating around the full length of your shoulders at least four times. Squeeze your elbows together behind your back as far as you can to work the rhomboid and neck muscles.

Ways to Build Your Middle Trap

The middle trap or trapezius muscle moves your shoulders back and forth. Strengthening it with middle trap exercises can help your rhomboid muscles and neck by building up extra strength and stability in these areas. A few exercises to consider include:

  • The Barbell Shrug: Grab a barbell you feel comfortable holding by using an overhand grip. Keep your palms away from you and hold the bar at arm's length. Shrug your shoulders towards your ears and repeat several times to work your middle traps.
  • Barbell Row: Hold a barbell with an overhand grip and keep it at arm's length at shoulder's width. Bend your hips and knees and lower until your torso is close to parallel with the ground. Pull the bar to your upper abs and squeeze your shoulder blades to work your traps.
  • Resistant-Band Lifts: Place resistant bands underneath your feet and hold them at arm's length, parallel to the ground. Lift each band up and hold it at the highest point of resistance. Tighten the band if you need more resistance to work your middle traps.
  • Stretches: You can do any of these movements without resistant bands or weights if you're new to these routines. It is usually a good idea to wean your way into them in this way or to use very light weights, such as 1-2 pounds if you haven't worked your back muscles in a while.

Retrolisthesis Exercises to Try

Retrolisthesis is a problematic condition that can affect your spinal health, rhomboid muscles, and neck. Thankfully, there are many exercises you can try and a few retrolisthesis exercises to avoid. Some of these routines will work other muscles in the body, such as your hips. These muscles may also affect rhomboid health if they degrade in any way. So make sure that you use the following exercise options to get a great workout that won't stress out your body too much:

  • Pelvic Tilts: Lay on the floor and keep your knees slightly bent. Suck in your abdomen towards the floor and rock your pelvis slightly upward. Hold this tilt for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat this process several times to work on this area and minimize its pain and discomfort.
  • Back Rolls: While on the floor, lift your knees slowly to your chest and clasp your hands behind them. Roll the body to the left and back to the original position. Rest for a few seconds before repeating to the right. Perform this routine at least 2-4 times on each side to work the muscles properly.
  • Hip Rolls: Stand up and hold a chair for extra balance. You may also use a wall if you need it. Put most of your weight on one leg and bend the other knee while you keep the ball of your foot on the floor. Rotate that foot's knee outward and inward to work your hips.


Q: When Should I See a Physical Therapist?

It is wise to visit a physical therapist if you notice any strain when you work out. For example, if your middle traps hurt when you perform basic routines, there may be a more problematic issue. A chiropractor may also help manage these problems for you.

Q: What Do I Do If I Hurt Myself While Exercising?

Stop what you're doing right away and contact your primary caregiver. This professional can quickly assess what is wrong and find a specialist who can work with you. It is best to talk with them before making any major life changes, including adding these exercises into your life.

Q: What Intensity Should I Use With These Exercises?

These routines don't have to be highly intense to be effective. It's all about proper form and minimizing unnecessary movements. For example, rolling your neck can be slow so that each muscle has time to release fully. You can increase the intensity, as directed by your doctor, as your neck strengthens through your exercise.

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