Trap 3 lifts are a class of exercises that are used to develop strength in the lower, oblique fibers of the trapezius known as the “trap 3”. The area of the trapezius known as trap 3 is of particular value to overall shoulder girdle health. It also plays a supportive role in proper posture of the upper back. Trap 3 lifts are valuable to trainees from all backgrounds because they act as a postural reinforcer, which helps to fight the rounded-upper back syndrome of kyphosis.
The Low Rope Trap 3 Lift has all the benefits of the 45° (or 60°, or 30°) Trap 3 Superman with one notable difference. Whereas superman exercises have descending strength curves – meaning that the exercise feels heavier at the top than at the bottom – the Low Rope Trap 3 Lift has an inverted “U” strength curve. This means that the exercise is hardest at the middle of the range of motion. By employing multiple exercises with different strength curves for the same body part, it is possible to improve strength in a given area at a faster rate of speed.
To perform the Low Rope Trap 3 Lift, clip a rope attachment to a low pulley. Grasp the rope in a thumbs-up grip, and stand about 1 foot away from the pulley.
Technical Note: the subject in the above image is standing too far away from the pulley because of the need to show body position. Ideally, there should be one line from the shoulder, through the arm, through the cable, to the pulley. Doing so provides the best line of pull for the exercise. In our image above, there are two lines: one from shoulder to hand (yellow), and one from hand to pulley (red). The best line of pull places the subject closer to the pulley, resulting in the proper, single line (blue).
Inhale. As you exhale, swing the rope away from you, upward, and finally as far backward as your flexibility allows.
Once at the top, inhale as you return to the start position by reversing the direction of movement.
The Low Rope Trap 3 Lift exercises the same muscle fibers as all superman exercises, but from a different strength curve. Here are some key considerations:
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