Rhomboid Strengthening Exercises
The following rhomboid strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the rhomboid muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.
Begin with the basic rhomboid strengthening exercise. Once this is too easy, progress to the intermediate rhomboid exercises and eventually, the advanced rhomboid exercises.
Rhomboid Strengthening – Basic Rhomboid Exercise
To begin with, the following basic rhomboid strengthening exercise should be performed approximately 3 times daily. As your strength improves, the exercise can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, frequency or duration of the exercise provided it does not cause or increase pain.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Begin this exercise standing or sitting with your back straight. Your chin should be tucked in slightly and your shoulders should be back slightly. Slowly tighten your rhomboids by squeezing your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible provided the exercise is pain free (figure 2). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Rhomboid Strengthening – Intermediate Rhomboid Exercises
The following intermediate rhomboid strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or duration of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.
Begin this exercise lying on your stomach with your arms by your side. Tighten your rhomboids by squeezing your shoulder blades together and slowly lifting your arms and chest off the ground, keeping your neck straight (figure 3). Hold for 2 seconds at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free. This exercise may be performed with palms facing up or down.
Resistance Band Pull Backs
Begin this exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 4). Slowly pull your arms backwards, tightening your rhomboids by squeezing your shoulder blades together as shown. Hold for 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.
Rhomboid Strengthening – Advanced Rhomboid Exercises
To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with rhomboid exercises and rehabilitation, click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.
- View Shoulder Stretches
- View Upper Back Stretches
- View Arm Stretches
- View Arm Strengthening Exercises
- View Upper Body Massage Ball Exercises
- View Upper Body Foam Roller Exercises
- View Upper Body Resistance Band Exercises
- View Basic Pilates Exercises
- View Basic Swissball Exercises
Find a physiotherapist who can assist with rhomboid strengthening exercises and rehabilitation.
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