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  1. #1
    Registered User YuMadThough's Avatar
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    The muscle that retracts your shoulder blades

    Just clearing something up.

    Your rhomboids are located behind your trapezius muscles right so they will never be visible.

    Your traps run from around the base of your neck to your middle back creating that diamoind shape and the fibres run in different directions mainly horizontaly.

    So really the traps is the muscle that you use to shrug your shoulders up and down but they also bring the shoulder blades together towards the spine and the rhomboids only assist in this.

    Right?

    When doing BB rows for instance you should feel it heavily in your traps since you have to retract your shoulder blades towards each other and the traps is the main muscle that does this?

    I think when im doing BB rows i get pissed off because i feel it more in my upper traps rather then nearer down my middle back but this is normal isnt it lol

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...95/Gray409.png
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  2. #2
    100% Venison Cdem's Avatar
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    you talking about upright rows, or bent over rows?
    ♠BMBC♠
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  3. #3
    Registered User YuMadThough's Avatar
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    Yeah sorry i mean Bent over BB rows bending at slightly more then 45 degrees with a overhand grip pulling to your upper abs.
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  4. #4
    Broscience > Studies Al Shades's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ace_2004
    Just clearing something up.

    Your rhomboids are located behind your trapezius muscles right so they will never be visible.

    Your traps run from around the base of your neck to your middle back creating that diamoind shape and the fibres run in different directions mainly horizontaly.

    So really the traps is the muscle that you use to shrug your shoulders up and down but they also bring the shoulder blades together towards the spine and the rhomboids only assist in this.

    Right?

    When doing BB rows for instance you should feel it heavily in your traps since you have to retract your shoulder blades towards each other and the traps is the main muscle that does this?

    I think when im doing BB rows i get pissed off because i feel it more in my upper traps rather then nearer down my middle back but this is normal isnt it lol

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...95/Gray409.png
    What you posted is correct, as far my understanding of the subject goes. Many people associate traps only with scapular elevation, but the middle trapezius fibers are, indeed, responsible for retracting the shoulder blades in rowing movements. It is a large muscle group with multiple functions, like the lats. As for the rhombs, I believe they are ordinarily hidden beneath the middle trap fibers, but they can become visible at a low enough BF%.

    Take a look at the shot below. I believe those are rhomboid striations in her mid-back, but I could be wrong. I haven't seen many BB'ers who sport that kind of definition in their mid-backs. It's genetically-influenced, no doubt. Most people are prone to carrying a layer of water and fat over that area.
    Last edited by Al Shades; 08-15-2007 at 05:24 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User AllusionDB's Avatar
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    You are right..Your traps are actually very large and go from your occipital bone (lower skull) down to your lower vertebre and illium (lower back).. Your rhomboideus are actually hidden underneath the traps and go from your upper vertebre (cervical 1 - Thoracic 5) to be specific and connect at the scapula (shoulder blades). When I do BentOver rows, I try to be as parallel with the floor as possible but I end up going about probably 25 degrees or so from the ground... My upper back tends to get soar from doing bent over rows and I assume it is a combo of my rhombs and traps because your rhombs are pretty much in your upper/mid-upper back I would say.

    Also just to let you know..the action of your traps is to extend your head, and elevate, depress, retract and rotate your scapula.. and the action of your rhomboideus is to retract and rotate your scapula so both are doing the work in BentOver rows.
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  6. #6
    Registered User YuMadThough's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Al Shades
    What you posted is correct, as far my understanding of the subject goes. Many people associate traps only with scapular elevation, but the middle trapezius fibers are, indeed, responsible for retracting the shoulder blades in rowing movements. It is a large muscle group with multiple functions, like the lats. As for the rhombs, I believe they are ordinarily hidden beneath the middle trap fibers, but they can become visible at a low enough BF%.

    Take a look at the shot below. I believe those are rhomboid striations in her mid-back, but I could be wrong. I haven't seen many BB'ers who sport that kind of definition in their mid-backs. It's genetically-influenced, no doubt. Most people are prone to carrying a layer of water and fat over that area.

    Yeah every article you see refers to training the traps with just shrugs but when you look at the muscle its pretty big and complex, if you just followed articles you would believe that traps just elevate the scapula and shoulders up and down and that the rhomboids are responsible for shoulder blade retraction but thats not the case at all.

    Look at this picture and you can clearly see how much work the traps actually do with anything involving the back and how much their used to retract the shoulder blades:-

    http://www.muscleblitz.com/176df300.jpg


    http://anabolic-steroids.blogspot.co...arris-back.jpg


    Which is why i posted that question about getting pissed off for feeling it in my traps alot when im attemptin BB rows, but ****....it would be impossible not to feel it in my traps after looking at the anatomy.

    By the way with an overhand grip pulling to my upper abs what muscle should i be leading with?
    Should i pull focusing on my lats or pull focusing on retracting my shoulders together, i know you should really do both but with mind muscle connection as your only tool doing a BB row is stressful when you dont know what muscles you should be tensing to get the weight off the floor lol

    Originally Posted by AllusionDB
    You are right..Your traps are actually very large and go from your occipital bone (lower skull) down to your lower vertebre and illium (lower back).. Your rhomboideus are actually hidden underneath the traps and go from your upper vertebre (cervical 1 - Thoracic 5) to be specific and connect at the scapula (shoulder blades). When I do BentOver rows, I try to be as parallel with the floor as possible but I end up going about probably 25 degrees or so from the ground... My upper back tends to get soar from doing bent over rows and I assume it is a combo of my rhombs and traps because your rhombs are pretty much in your upper/mid-upper back I would say.

    Also just to let you know..the action of your traps is to extend your head, and elevate, depress, retract and rotate your scapula.. and the action of your rhomboideus is to retract and rotate your scapula so both are doing the work in BentOver rows.

    Lol i bet its amazing how many people at the moment just think of traps as the muscle that shrugs up and down without realising how big of a back muscle it really is and its full function.
    They all say to do heavy shrugs straight up and down as the best mass builder for traps but surely the truth is that doing this only activates a small portion of the traps which is the upper section of your traps, shrugging up and down in a straight line wont do **** for the area of your traps that lay further down your back surely.

    By the way, dont know if you know this but if your traps and rhomboids both retracts and rotates your scapula then which muscle acts with the most force, another words which muscle is the primary muscle for retracting and rotating your scapula or do your traps and rhomboids both exert the same amount of force?

    Also would you say that for the main muscles this is right:-

    Upper back refers to Traps
    Middle back refers to Lats
    Lower back refers to your Erectors

    Thanks for replying guys lol
    Last edited by Ace_2004; 10-14-2006 at 08:33 PM.
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  7. #7
    Postural Advocate KopyKat's Avatar
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    Just also be sure you are not shrugging the rows with your upper traps, it should be shoulder blades together and pull the girdle downwards while doing this. Don't shrug upwards.

    Im sorry if this is not what your doing, just making you aware of what some others do.
    "I'm worried about deadlifts too. I mean the word "dead" has got to be in there for a reason. Are you sure they won't kill me?" - olympic
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  8. #8
    Registered User YuMadThough's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KopyKat
    Just also be sure you are not shrugging the rows with your upper traps, it should be shoulder blades together and pull the girdle downwards while doing this. Don't shrug upwards.

    Im sorry if this is not what your doing, just making you aware of what some others do.
    Thanks man all advice is welcome, i dont know **** about BB rows lol

    Thing is though when i do this and try and retract my shoulder blades downwards as im pulling upwards i dont feel anything in my back and just my shoulders and around the back of my neck gets sore......baring in mind i dont hardly work my back apart from deadlifts so it might just be pretty undeveloped i dunno.

    Ill keep trying though lol cheers.
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  9. #9
    Registered User JOHN GARGANI's Avatar
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    Thing is though when i do this and try and retract my shoulder blades downwards as im pulling upwards i dont feel anything in my back and just my shoulders and around the back of my neck gets sore......baring in mind i dont hardly work my back apart from deadlifts so it might just be pretty undeveloped i dunno.

    ACE: I think you have finally arrived at your answer here.....

    there are many other back exercises to do and it seems to me, that you need more lat development to get the "feel" that you are looking for....

    time to revamp your routine....
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  10. #10
    Registered User YuMadThough's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JOHN GARGANI
    ACE: I think you have finally arrived at your answer here.....

    there are many other back exercises to do and it seems to me, that you need more lat development to get the "feel" that you are looking for....

    time to revamp your routine....
    Whats that you say, more pullups....ok


    Thanks



    Would it be ok in my case do you think to swap BB rows with pullups just to get some basic back/lat strength without rowing concidering im following rippetoes.
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  11. #11
    Expert W8isGR8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ace_2004
    with a overhand grip pulling to your upper abs.
    Well, big f*cking duh!


    No **** you feel it in your traps, because that's how you're set up to work.
    Use a closer grip, pulling to the lower waist. It will lessen the scapular retraction, and use more lats.
    "Ahoy, cap'n. Glad to see you weren't bested by the white whale or whatever the fuk you were doing out in the water."- theshoupguy
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