When you do exercises regularly for at least 5 days a week, you always focus on specific parts of the body in your routine. However, most of the people never know what muscles are involved in the process of a particular workout. It is really important to know about the muscles that you are working out . This makes the workout more impactful, and the positions of each exercise make sense by relating them to muscles. So, in this article, we are going to discuss some details about a muscle, which is important for the upper part of the body. The muscles on the upper back connecting to the scapula on each side are called rhomboid muscles. They are simply called as rhomboids, and the name exactly suits as the muscle is in rhombus shape. These rhomboid muscles are again composed of two muscles – rhomboid major and rhomboid minor. However, the minor and major muscles are combined together on each side. When it comes to the posture of the upper back, the rhomboid muscles play an important role. The rhomboids maintain the posture of the cervical and thoracic region of the back. Also, the shoulder’s stability depends on these muscles. Hence, they play an important role in shoulder mechanics and upper body posture.
Defining your back using these easy rhomboid workouts:
When it comes to maintaining posture and strengthening shoulders, the below easy-to-do exercises are just for you that you can add into your exercise routine and improve your upper back muscles especially the rhomboid muscles. Keep reading to find these amazing rhomboid exercises.
- The first exercise is the one where you have to lie on your stomach straight. First, start with basic dumbbell weights. Hold one on each side. It would help if you touched your forehead on the mat, and arms should be rested and extended for the initial position. The palms should hold the dumbbells and face the ground. For starting the movement, you need to start exhaling and slowly lift the arms on your side and be sure to maintain the elbows at shoulder height. Your arms need to be perpendicular to the torso and fully extended. Remember to squeeze the shoulder blades when you reach the shoulder height. It would be best if you held in this position for a bit. Then release the position slowly by inhaling. This first exercise is called “prone lateral raise”.
- For the second exercise, you do not need any dumbbells. To form the initial position, you need to again lie down in the same position as the first one. This time, you need to stretch your arms above you straight out. Keep your thumbs up by resting the arms. As this is an upper body exercise, you should not move your torso or lower body. When you start doing this exercise, you need to exhale and raise the arms keeping the thumbs up. The stretch should be full and you should not lift your forehead. Hence, it acts on your rhomboid muscles. It would help if you held in the maximum position for a bit by squeezing the shoulder blades. Come back to your initial position by inhaling. This exercise is called front raise thumbs up. When you become accustomed to the routine, you can start using dumbbells.
- The third exercise is the most common routine followed. It is called Rear delt flys. For the initial position, you need to sit on a bench with knees at 90 degrees. Holding a dumbbell with each of your hands, hinge forward until your stomach is slightly on your thighs. While exhaling, do a reverse fly raising your arms to the sides with dumbbells. The wrists need to be rotated towards the ceiling when they reach the shoulder height. The elbows can bend a little. You can twist the wrist to the floor again which takes a moment and then release from the position by inhaling and bringing the arms down to the initial position.
- For the next exercise, you need to lean against a wall touching your head back and butt on the wall. You can bend your knees a bit and raise the arms above your head palms facing away from the wall. From this position, you need to squeeze your back muscles while bringing the arms to shoulder, keeping elbows palms and wrist touching the arm. The chest should be open with your back tall and straight. This contracts your muscles nicely, giving the stretch required. As it involves the wall for doing this exercise, it is called scapular wall slides.
Flexible rhomboids with easy stretches:
For increasing the flexibility in the tightened rhomboid muscles and strengthening them, simple stretches help you to gain the posture and strength back. Below are some of the stretches that you can try for flexible rhomboids.
- For the first stretch, you need to pull your arms towards the front and clasp your hands one on another. You need to keep standing with legs hip-width apart. Pull the arms as far as you can until the shoulder blades are stretched away from each other. While doing this, bend your head forward. Hold this stretch for few seconds while breathing deeply. You need to switch the hands clasping. This stretches your lower neck and upper back properly.
- For the perfect rhomboid stretch, start with sitting position keeping the legs apart for more than hip-width. The knees need to be at 90 degrees angle. Make sure to sit at the edge of the bench or chair to keep the feet flat. Now, grab your right ankle with your left hand and you need to press your left elbow with the right hand. This causes a stretch on the left side of your shoulder blade and spine, which is exactly the rhomboid area.
- The last stretch that you can try focuses on improving the posture. For this, you can be either in a seated or standing position. Roll your shoulders back and down, bringing your arms behind by holding the left elbow in the right hand and right elbow in the left hand. Stay in this position by lifting your chest and pressing the shoulders down for a few minutes. Then switch positions and repeat the same.
With the above information, now you came to know about the rhomboid muscles and the exercises/stretches that you can do to improve the posture and strength in your upper back.