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Upper Traps & Softening the Shoulders


“Relax your shoulders”, “soften your shoulders”, “release the tension in your shoulders” – I don’t “know what youre talking about”, but I’ve heard all of these instructions and more( and surely said some myself !) in my many years in the yoga world.

Part of the same reasons for these cues is the widespread creed that just about everyone’s upper baits are pesky, misbehaving muscles that unavoidably compel anguish in our shoulders& neck.

This is an interesting idea, though, because 😛 TAGEND

1) The upper trapezius muscle is actually a very thin, superficial arrangement that seems pretty low on the listing of “most likely to be evil” muscles.

2) Pain isn’t an input from the boundary, but an production from the central nervous system – so a muscle doesn’t actually* originate* pain.

3) Even if the upper traps* were* the widely misbehaving, rude muscles we often think they are, why would perpetually relaxing or “releasing” them cause them to behave well?

This “relax your shoulders” narrative has seemed questionable to me for years, but I recently was informed about a brand new study in which people with cervix& shoulder grief were given a 5-week upper trap strengthening platform.( That’s right – a* strengthening* platform !)

And after doing this upper trap strength work, their hurting declined!

This evidence seems to run counter to popular belief. Instead of relaxing the upper nets and “releasing” their antagonism all the time, perhaps we should consider strengthening them and* increasing* their strain!

Just one more reason why “tension” isn’t undoubtedly a bad thing, even though our expression often is often used to imply that it is.

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