Trap Stretches and Neck Stretches With The Recovery Foam Roller
The traps and neck muscles can cause a lot of pain when it comes to training. Tightness in the traps and neck can cause pain during pressing movements, as well as, competitive throwing. To stretch the traps and neck athletes must utilize a Recovery Foam Roller to compress and relieve tension in these areas. The video below demonstrates a complete stretching sequence to relieve tension in the traps and neck. Athletes can relieve pain after just a few sessions by continuously rolling these areas.
Trap Stretches With The Recovery Foam Roller
Stretching the traps should be completed daily. Athletes should place the Kbands Recovery Foam Roller against the wall. The Recovery Foam Roller should be at a 45° angle matching the angle of the traps. Athletes should lean their body weight against the Recovery Foam Roller to begin stretching the traps. The roller should not be vertical or horizontal. A slight angle in the roller will allow each athlete to roll the length of the trap muscle naturally while applying pressure with the Recovery Foam Roller.
Begin with static pressure in one area of the trap. Athletes will not initially find trigger points within their trap muscle. The traps are different than the long muscles within the legs. When rolling the hamstrings athletes will find trigger points throughout the length of the muscle. With the shorter trap muscle athletes will struggle to find one point on which to focus. This is why constant pressure in one area will begin loosening the muscle. As the trap muscle begins to loosen athletes will then feel small trigger points throughout the length of the trap muscle. Athletes should use a combination of static holds for 20 to 30 seconds and small 1 to 3 inch rolls to massage tension out of the trap muscle. After stretching the trap muscle athletes will then repeat the process on their other arm. The time used for stretching each trap muscle is dependent on the tightness of each athlete.
Static Trap Stretches
In addition to rolling the trap muscles with the Recovery Foam Roller it is important that all athletes also incorporate static stretches for the upper traps. Static stretches for the upper traps are very similar to shoulder stretches. The shoulder and trap are related in movement and can be utilized to lengthen the kinetic chain. To stretch the upper trap, place one arm across the chest. Athletes will reach across their body and place their opposite arm over their elbow. At this position athletes will add pressure to the elbow stretching both the shoulder and trap muscles. To increase the tension throughout the trap and initiate the trap stretch athletes should tilt their head away from the arm that is stretching. Athletes will find a more focused trap stretch during the cross body shoulder hold by leaning in the opposite direction. The head tilt will lengthen the trap muscle from one end of the trap while the shoulder will lengthen the opposite end. This technique is a great way to statically stretch the trap muscle, in addition to the deep tissue massage techniques of the Recovery Foam Roller.
Foam Rolling The Neck
As the trap muscles begin to relax it is now time to begin the neck stretches. Neck stretches can be completed without the Recovery Foam Roller. Athletes will lean their head to the side slowly relaxing the area. Next, athletes will roll their head forward until they reach the opposite side. Athlete should continue to roll back and forth from side to side until the neck muscle begins to loosen. If tension persists repeat the trap stretches listed above with the Recovery Foam Roller. The trap muscles hold a lot of tension that will tighten the neck. By compressing and utilizing deep tissue massage techniques athletes will begin to loosen their neck and trap simultaneously.
Static Neck Stretches
More advanced athletes may require assisted static stretching. To complete assisted neck stretches athletes will follow the same process. Athletes will relax the neck leaning forward and roll their heads position off to the side. At this point the athlete will place their hand on top of their head pulling toward the same direction as their head is tilted. This is a similar concept used to stretch the hamstrings. When athletes place their foot on top of an object for an assisted hamstring stretch, they are assisting the stretch. By adding more tension to the muscle, athletes will find their hamstrings loosen. The same concept applies to the neck. When the athlete places their hand on top of their head they will add extra tension to the neck muscles. This will increase the tension within the muscle leading to relaxation and lengthening of the entire neck muscle.
Athletes should complete the assisted neck stretch technique on both sides for 3 to 4 sets. Each static hold should be held for 20 to 25 seconds before moving to the other side.
Trap Stretches Are Just The Beginning
Athlete should not only focus on trap stretches and neck stretches. They need to be tension free and have full range of motion during competition. To help athletes understand how to properly stretch their entire body KbandsTraining.com has put together an amazing full body stretching sequence with the Recovery Foam Roller. The Rejuvenate Stretching Sequence will take athletes 15 minutes to complete and should be used before every training session. By increasing blood flow throughout the body, and lengthening the muscles with deep tissue massage techniques, athletes will maintain their athleticism pain free. Get started training today with the Rejuvenate Stretching Sequence and Recovery Foam Roller.
Recovery Training Equipment