CHARLOTTE, NC – The last of the core muscles are your trapezius muscles. Although it’s considered an upper body muscle, not necessarily a back muscle, I’m including it with our core muscles because of the size and coverage. This muscle is named for its diamond shape, much like that of a trapezoid.
Where is it located? The trapezius starts at the base of your skull and attaches at various points along your spinal column (skull, from C-1 all the way down to T-12) and around your shoulders. This muscle is superficial, flat, and covers a large area of your shoulders and back.
What does it do? The main job of the trapezius is to stabilize the scapula and to control the scapula during the movements of the shoulders and upper body. It helps to lower the shoulder, like when you put your hands down to your sides to help yourself get up from a seated position. It’s also responsible for extending your head and neck and for lateral flexion of your head and neck. It also rotates your head. If you’re throwing a ball, you’re using (among other muscles) your trapezius. If you raise your arms above shoulder level, thank your trapezius. In regards to your head and neck, if you’re looking up you’re using this muscle and if you put your ear to your shoulder, you’re also engaging the trapezius.
The trapezius tends to get tight and can cause pain or discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and even your ears or jaw.