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  1. #1
    The Purple People Eater The Viking's Avatar
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    Muscle imbalance; weak trapezius. Physical therapist giving weird info

    That's what my physical therapist diagnosed me with. I screwed up my shoulder in wrestling in December and after quite a few visits to my general physician, he sent me to physical therapy. She didn't give me too much detail and said it was hard to explain. She basically said that my lats were really strong, but my traps were too weak; and that it's pulling my shoulders and clavicle down (visibly so). Thus, my bones are in awkward positions, leading to an easier time jacking up my shoulder which I did.

    Sounds good so far. But then she started making me do these goofy bodyweight exercises. And that's not what bothers me, it's how she wants me to do them. She has me do these bodyweight overhead presses while focusing on shrugging. However, she tells me to not use my deltoids, and only my traps. How is that possible? Later she has me do these things that look like bodyweight 'lying lateral raises', but also tells me to not use my shoulders; only my trapezius. She mentions how I try too hard and recruit all these other muscles such as my rhomboids and deltoids. I just go 'alright' and try my best at those sessions; which isn't too hard because I just lift my arms.

    I'm down with the first part. I'm sure my traps are way weak and need help, but those exercises she wants me to do are strange. I ask her about how I could have kept my traps in balance with my other muscles, and she tells me that there's not much anyone could do because weight lifting just tends to cause imbalance for the traps. I ask her about all these back exercises (pullups, pulldowns, rows, etc); about how they use the trapezius as well. She tells me that they don't.

    Long story I guess, but does anyone have anything to say? She is the therapist and the one who has the degree and all, but I'm just suspicious about some of the info she gave me. I swear those back exercises recruit traps.. Also, if anyone has had experience in this sort of muscle imbalance, it'd be great if you could offer some advice, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by The Viking; 03-13-2008 at 06:45 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Reactive's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The Viking View Post
    That's what my physical therapist diagnosed me with. I screwed up my shoulder in wrestling in December and after quite a few visits to my general physician, he sent me to physical therapy. She didn't give me too much detail and said it was hard to explain. She basically said that my lats were really strong, but my traps were too weak; and that it's pulling my shoulders and clavicle down (visibly so). Thus, my bones are in awkward positions, leading to an easier time jacking up my shoulder which I did.

    Sounds good so far. But then she started making me do these goofy bodyweight exercises. And that's not what bothers me, it's how she wants me to do them. She has me do these bodyweight overhead presses while focusing on shrugging. However, she tells me to not use my deltoids, and only my traps. How is that possible? Later she has me do these things that look like bodyweight 'lying lateral raises', but also tells me to not use my shoulders; only my trapezius. She mentions how I try too hard and recruit all these other muscles such as my rhomboids and deltoids. I just go 'alright' and try my best at those sessions; which isn't too hard because I just lift my arms.

    I'm down with the first part. I'm sure my traps are way weak and need help, but those exercises she wants me to do are strange. I ask her about how I could have kept my traps in balance with my other muscles, and she tells me that there's not much anyone could do because weight lifting just tends to cause imbalance for the traps. I ask her about all these back exercises (pullups, pulldowns, rows, etc); about how they use the trapezius as well. She tells me that they don't.

    Long story I guess, but does anyone have anything to say? She is the therapist and the one who has the degree and all, but I'm just suspicious about some of the info she gave me. I swear those back exercises recruit traps.. Also, if anyone has had experience in this sort of muscle imbalance, it'd be great if you could offer some advice, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
    The lower fibers of the trapezius are typically weak in individuals. The action of these fibres is to rotate the scapula upwards. Technically speaking... pull ups, pull downs etc do not train these fibres, and lateral raises, upright rows do but only when raising the humerus above should height. Technically...
    Realistically... there is some recruitment, just not as much as you would think.

    http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/...t_syndrome.htm

    This article has a good description of what you can do, since I am by far too lazy to describe it tonight.
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