How to Strengthen the Rhomboid Muscles
The rhomboids are the diamond-shaped muscles located in the upper back, just under your neck and between your shoulder blades. The rhomboids are responsible for pulling your shoulders back and lowering the shoulders. These actions make the rhomboids a necessary part of maintaining good posture. By performing exercises for the rhomboid muscles, you can reduce muscular tension in the upper back. Perform the exercises every other day to give your muscles time to strengthen and recover. Start with a five-minute warmup for the muscles before engaging in strengthening exercises.
Place your hands on either side of a stability ball with your hands facing away from each other. Walk your feet backwards to assume a plank position. Tuck your elbows at your sides and bend at your elbows to lower your body toward the ball. When your chest almost touches the ground, push against the ball to straighten your arms to return to your starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Hold a medium-weight dumbbell in your right hand and lean forward, placing your left hand on a weight bench or chair for support. Lower the weight with your palm facing your body. Bend at your elbow to bring the elbow back, toward your torso with your elbow in the air. Lower the dumbbell toward the floor. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Perform the shoulder blade squeeze exercise to target the rhomboids. Stand with your arms extended and bend the arms at your elbows. Imagine someone is standing behind you, pulling your elbows toward each other, moving the shoulder blades, feeling them almost touch. Release the exercise and repeat 10 times. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for two sets.
Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your arms over your head. Lift your upper body off the ground, keeping your stomach on the floor. As you rise up, you can pull the hands backward, stopping when your elbows almost touch your sides. Hold this position for five seconds, then lower the torso toward the ground. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Stretch the rhomboid muscles after resistance training to help reduce muscle tension. Start by clasping your hands together in front of your body and pulling the hands away from your body. Shoulder rolls in circles also can stretch the rhomboids after exercising.
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Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.