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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Approved By Coach
Improper postural alignment can cause injuries and pain. A slouching shoulder and overdeveloped chest muscles indicate that you need rhomboid exercises. We often ignore them and work on bigger muscles, but if you want a good physique that makes you look and feel good, you must pay more attention to these exercises.
In the following section we’ll dive into a more detailed explanation:
What is Rhomboid?
Our rhomboid muscles help us maintain proper posture. Located on the upper back, right underneath the trapezius muscle, their main function is to pull the shoulder blades together. Rhomboid muscles are of two types: rhomboid minor, situated directly below the upper back muscles, and rhomboid major – which is larger and runs diagonally down from the cervical vertebrae to the shoulder blades. They’re the smallest muscles in our back area, and can hardly be detected unless proper exercises for rhomboids are done. The trapezius muscles and the latissimus dorsi hide away the rhomboid. They get their name because of the shape of a rhombus.
Why Should You Train Your Rhomboids?
The rhomboid workout is as important as your cardio or any other major workout. Most people exercise to have a body that looks attractive and can be flaunted. The rhomboid plays no role in making your body any more appealing, so why do it, right? Well, because if your rhomboids are weak, it could result in a loss of scapular control. If this happens, moving your shoulder blades will be difficult. When your rhomboid muscles fail to perform their job due to lack of exercise, the other counterparts will have to do the job they’re not meant to do. This will result in more wear and tear than necessary. So you can see how important rhomboid strengthening exercises are.
The Best Rhomboid Exercises
There are several rhomboid muscle exercises that you can undertake to improve your posture and strengthen scapular control. Some of them are very easy and can be performed even by those that train at home, without equipment and trainer.
Scapular Wall Slides
A little difficult to begin with, but with practice, you can get there:
- Flatten your back up against the wall and very slightly bend your knee;
- Lift your arms over your head with palms facing away from the wall;
- Now slide the arms towards the shoulders while squeezing the muscles in the mid-back. Wrists, elbows, and palms are tight but comfortably pressed against the wall.
Face pulls are easy but effective for your mid-back and problems with posture.
- Set your pulley machine a little above your face and pull the tricep rope with both hands towards your nose. While you do this, you must externally rotate your hands.
Rear Delt Flyes
- Keep your feet flat on the floor while sitting relaxed on a bench;
- Knees at 90-degree angle;
- Hinge forward, holding a dumbbell in each hand away from you;
- Move your belly to the thighs and exhale engaging your core;
- In a single motion, sit up straight, lifting your torso;
- Stretch your hands on the side with the dumbbells;
- Bring them down slowly and repeat in sets of 10.
Bent-Over Lateral Raise
- Stand with your feet apart and knees bent;
- Bend over slightly with a pair of dumbbells;
- Raise the arms to your sides and bring it back slowly to the starting position. Be careful with the weights.
Prone 'Y' Raises
This is one of the best rhomboid exercises for beginners.
- Lie down on the floor with a face-down position with arms extended over your head;
- Now using your upper back muscles, try to lift your arms a few inches up the ground;
- Hold this position for five seconds and relax.
How To Stretch The Rhomboids
- Kneel on all your fours;
- Line up your wrists and shoulders, and knee and hips;
- Take a deep breath;
- Pushing your back out towards the ceiling, exhale;
- Do it in a set of 10.
One of the easiest stretches that can be done in between your work is the cross-body stretch.
- Grab an arm with the opposite one above the elbow and pull it across the body toward the chest;
- Do it 5 times each in intervals as per your convenience.
This helps you perform rhomboid major exercises more easily.
Resistance Band Rows
Resistance band rows can be done either seated or standing, at home, in the gym, depending on the facilities you have present.
Wrapping it Up
Rhomboid exercises at home or the gym are essential for your body and health, so don’t neglect them if you wish to have a better, healthier lifestyle. Have any opinions or experiences? Share them in the comment section, we’re glad to interact with our dear readers.