The rhomboids can only become apparent when you suffer pain in your mid-back. This can be caused by poor posture or repetitive motions such as pulling or rowing.
By incorporating stretches and yoga poses that work on your rhomboids, you can prevent those injuries from occurring and continue to be active without suffering pain.
In this guide, we will look at what the rhomboid muscles are, the yoga poses you can do to stretch them, and why it is important to stretch them.
What Are The Rhomboids?
If you ever feel a strain or muscle fatigue in your mid-back then that can be caused by over-stretching the rhomboid muscles. Along with the posterior rotator cuff and lower trapezius muscles, these help to support your shoulder blades.
You may begin to feel your rhomboids when they begin to become tight, typically when you overwork your arms, shoulders, and your back.
This can be from a repetitive movement during sport such as rowing, serving a tennis ball, throwing a baseball, or simply carrying a backpack.
Yoga Poses To Stretch Your Rhomboids
To strike at the cause of mid-back pain, you need to stretch your rhomboids by opening up the front of your shoulders and your chest.
These yoga poses should help you do just that and you should be able to hold them for around three to five breaths in two to three sets.
Take your time practicing these poses as any force could result in pain so try them daily and check in with your body to see how it feels.
There are variations on The Locust yet the crux of it involves you lying face down on the mat keeping your feet a hip distance apart. Lift your arms, hands, and chest then outwardly rotate the shoulders so that your thumbs are turned up to the sky.
Press back into the balls of your feet as you lift your legs and then draw your shoulders back while you elongate your neck to look down towards the mat.
To support your lower back, squeeze your glutes and hold the post for between three and five deep breaths.
For beginners, have your feet on the mat and lengthen the body through your heels. The advanced variation is a bit more intense and includes interlacing your fingers at the bottom of your spine and then drawing your shoulders back.
Relax your face and hold the pose for between three and five deep breaths.
Bridge & Fish
The Fish pose may be a bit tricky so ease yourself in with The Bridge pose. Both postures will open your chest up and help raise the mobility in your thoracic spine.
For The Bridge pose, lie down on your back and bend your knees with your feet on the mat around hip distance apart. Rest your arms along your sides, have your toes pointing straight with your palms down and then walk your feet back.
Once your fingertips touch your heels take a breath in and press your feet on the mat then lift up your hips. Take a breath out and relax into the pose, you will want to take between three and five breaths.
The Fish pose still helps to open up your chest and alleviate any pain in your shoulder blades. Again, lie down on your back then lift up your head to gaze at your feet.
Move the elbows in closer to each other and then arch the back while lowering the top of your head to the mat. Press into both of your elbows, elevate your chest, engage the core and lift your legs up to meet a 45-degree angle.
Upward Facing Plank
For the Upward Facing Plank, sit down with your knees up and your hands behind your back. Rotate your shoulders externally and then lift up your chest, elongate your neck and squeeze your shoulder blades so they move towards each other.
Move your legs out so they ease to the floor and hold the pose for between three and five breaths to complete a maximum of three sets.
Why It’s Important To Stretch Your Rhomboids
Once your shoulders and upper back begin to round themselves forward, the shoulder blades will begin to pull away. That can cause strain in the mid-back and when it feels painful you would naturally be tempted to stretch your upper back.
Not only would that miss the spot but could even increase the problem.
To focus on the cause of the pain would be to check in with the rhomboids and activate those muscles that help support your shoulder blades to raise the mobility in your thoracic spine.
If you do begin to suffer mid-back pain, even if you stretch your rhomboids regularly, take some further action. This can include booking a massage, visiting a sauna, or relaxing with a bath.
If you are active at the time, stop what you are doing and take a break. Even if that means getting off your bicycle or getting up from your desk at work.
Something as simple as bad posture or repetitive sports movements can trigger pain in your rhomboids. The muscles can become overworked just from daily activities so try to fit in some yoga poses to take care of them.
These can include the Upward Facing Plank, The Lotus, and a combination of The Bridge & The Fish. As with any yoga poses, take your time with them and stop as soon as you feel any pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can Cause A Trigger Point In The Rhomboids?
If your rhomboid muscles become overworked, it is typically because they have been triggered by another set of muscles. These include inhibition of the serratus anterior and excess tension in the pectoralis muscles.
What Are Some Simple Steps To Take To Remove Rhomboid Pain?
Once you begin to feel rhomboid pain, try to find out if you can improve your posture. Perhaps do some easy shoulder stretches but definitely try to sit up straight.
Going further, you can apply ice or deep heat to your shoulders and shoulder blades though try to keep your arms down.