Muscles: The Rhomboids

Do you suffer from bad posture, and rounded shoulders?
If you do then there is a chance that you may have overstretched (or weak) Rhomboids.
The Rhomboids (Rhomboids Major and Minor) are posterior shoulder muscles which have the appearance of a Christmas tree on your back.

The Rhomboids get their naame from the Greek word Rhomb, a Parallelogram with oblique angles and only the opposite sides equal.Which describes their shape.



Origin: The Rhomboids Originate on the Spinous processes of C7 through to T1.

Insertion: They insert along the Medial (vertebral) border of the Scapula

Actions: The Rhomboids primary action is to retract the scapula, which is the action when you squeeze your shoulder blades together, moving them closer to your spine. They stabilize the Shoulder blade, and assist when you move your arm from above your head, down towards shoulder level.

The most common problem that you would experience with these muscles is tenderness, pain or aching between the shoulder blades. This occurs if the muscles are tight.
If the muscles are overstrertched you will experience rounded shoulders.
The rounded shoulders are also assisted by your Pec Muscles being too tight, pulling your shoulders forward, and overstretching the rhomboids.

You can strengthen the Rhomboids in many ways, including Rowing, Lat. Pull Downs and using a Pulley for Shoulder adduction.

The Rhomboids are mostly treated in the Prone (face down) position.
The use of several techniques including Stripping, Myofacial release, static friction and Trigger point work when massaging the Rhomboids can help relieve pain, and release taut bandsin the muscles. However in the case of overstretched Rhomboids, Strengthening exercises would also be recommended.

Trigger points in the Scalenes can often refer pain to the Rhomboids, and around the medial border of the shoulder blade, so should also be treated when addressing pain in this area.

If you have any questions about the Rhomboids that you would like answered, or any aches and pains you would like addressed, please comment below, or Email Me.

I would like to thank Charlie Watson at Advanced Massage Therapeutics for some of the information contained within this article.
Also used as resources was:
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy by Mel Cash
Deep Tissue Massage: A visual guide to techniques by Art Riggs
The Concise Book of Neuromuscular Therapy by John Sharkey