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Don't "Trap" Your Tension

One of the areas most likely to get tense is the shoulders. An important shoulder muscle notorious for trapping tension is the trapezius - often referred to as the "trap". You can help prevent tension from building up in this muscle.

If you are sitting or standing still for any significant period of time, be sure to move the muscle through a full range of motion once in awhile. We suggest the 20/20 Rule: For every twenty minutes that you are inactive, spend twenty seconds moving. This helps ensure that your muscles don't have the opportunity to lock into any particular position.

Use the following two simple exercises to bring your traps through a full range of motion and to keep your muscles relaxed and tension-free.

Do these Shoulder Rolls to release tension in your neck and shoulders. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears. Then slowly roll your shoulders in a big circle moving them back, down, forward and up. Repeat several times and then reverse directions.

Neck Rolls. Drop your head straight forward toward the floor and let it hang for a moment. Be sure to keep your back upright. You may feel a slight stretch in your neck or upper back. Then slowly roll your head to the right. Continue until your head is tilted to the right as illustrated above. Let your head roll back down to mid-line to the center of your chest (*do not roll your neck into extension to complete a full 360 degree rotation) and continue the movement around until your head is tilted to the left. Roll your head back and forth slowly like this several times.


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