Home » Overdeveloped Traps
How do you keep traps from overdeveloping? I find that when I lift weights, no matter how much I focus on not engaging my traps, I end up with really gigantic traps. Help!
The trapezius muscles, known colloquially as “traps”, are important shoulder blade and neck muscles that contribute to shoulder blade stabilization as well as arm elevation. There are upper fibers and lower fibers. The upper fibers of the trapezius elevate the shoulder blade and extend the neck and are most prominent visually.
Overexerting during workouts that involve neck extension and arm elevation can preferentially strengthen the upper traps leading to muscle hypertrophy and the appearance of “overdeveloped traps”. In addition, stress and poor posture are associated with overcompensation of the upper traps which can lead to hypertrophy and overbalance. Finally, rotator cuff weakness and shoulder blade weakness (scapular dyskinesis) can lead to upper traps hypertrophy. Aside from just concerns about appearance and muscle imbalance, overdeveloped traps can also lead to muscle hypertonicity and spasm, which can be associated with tension headaches. It is therefore important to be cognizant of these numerous causes and address each factor to minimize the risk of trap hypertrophy.
Dr. Rahman Kandil is a fellowship-trained sports medicine Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in shoulder and knee surgery. Dr. Kandil treats a variety of bone and joint conditions including general orthopedic injuries, fractures, and ligament/muscle/tendon injuries. Dr. Kandil received his undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA and graduated in 2011 with multiple honors. Dr. Kandil completed both his internship and residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, where he received the Chief Resident of the Year award in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Following his residency graduation, Dr. Kandil further sub-specialized and completed his fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at Stanford University Hospital. Read More-->