Traps Sore After Deadlifts? 12 Things To Consider
Have you ever wondered why your traps seem to hurt the most after a deadlift session? Chances are if you’ve been working out regularly and doing deadlifts as part of your routine, then your traps have probably taken a beating.
From deltoids to lats, every muscle in your body is used during a deadlift – but it’s usually the trapezius that gets hit the hardest. So why do our traps take such a pounding when we do deadlifts?
In this blog post, we’ll explore what role our traps play during deadlifts and how to make sure that they don’t get overworked. We’ll also touch on some useful tips for keeping them strong and healthy so you can maximize each workout without worrying about pain or injury.
Why Are My Traps Sore After Deadlifts?
Your trapezius is engaged when doing deadlifts, as they help to stabilise your spine and keep it in the correct position. As you lift a heavy weight off the ground, your traps are responsible for helping maintain control of the weight. This means that they must be strong enough to support the load and keep your form in check. You may feel your traps after doing deadlifts for various reasons, such as using the wrong type of grip on the barbell. A wide grip can put undue strain on your upper back and traps. Make sure to use a comfortable grip that feels natural for you. Gripping too tight when performing the lift. This can lead to tension in your trapezius muscles which will cause pain and discomfort afterwards. Your form may also be incorrect, which can lead to an overload of pressure on your traps. Make sure you are bracing yourself correctly and using proper technique when performing deadlifts for the best results with less strain on your muscles. If you’re new to exercise or focusing on more advanced lifts, you may benefit from working with a personal trainer who can help you perfect your form and prevent injury. Additionally, if you have a trapped nerve or lack control when doing deadlifts (jerking the bar), it can lead to pain in your traps post-workout. Lastly, if you’re shrugging your shoulders during the lift or lifting with your back rather than your legs, you may be putting too much weight on your traps which can cause pain after exercise.
Let’s now look at the reasons why you might be feeling your traps after doing deadlifts and what you can do to reduce this…
They are used in exercise
The thing to bear in mind when doing deadlifts is that you do actually use your trapezius muscles. They’re responsible for helping you maintain good posture and keeping your shoulders back and down, which helps to prevent injuries such as a rounded back or shoulder strain caused by lifting with incorrect form.
They are used to stabilise the load and keep the weight as close to your centre of gravity as possible. The traps also help with the transition from the eccentric (lowering) movement to the concentric (lifting) movement, which adds further strain on them.
You may not have realised that you used your traps at all during this exercise and this is why you may feel them afterwards.
This is why it’s important to ensure that you have the correct form when doing deadlifts to make sure your traps aren’t doing more than what they need to.
Your grip is key
The type of grip you use when doing deadlifts also plays a key role in how much strain your traps are under. A wide grip puts extra pressure on the trapezius muscles because it requires more shoulder retraction to keep the bar close to your centre of gravity.
When using a narrow grip, you can also experience pain in your traps due to the muscles having to work harder during the eccentric phase (lowering) of the lift. Make sure that you use a grip that feels comfortable and natural for you.
Gripping too tight can also lead to tension in the trap muscles which will cause pain afterwards. It’s important to maintain a relaxed grip during the lift in order to reduce the strain on your traps but not be too relaxed that you aren’t in control of the bar.
You can use a mixed grip when doing deadlifts, which is when you use one overhand grip and one underhand grip on the bar. This allows for more control of the weight as it can help to reduce the risk of dropping it.
However, some prefer to stick with an overhand grip as it helps to spread the load across your back muscles more evenly, which may reduce the amount of strain on your traps.
Test various grip widths, styles, and the amount of pressure you put on the bar to figure out what works best for your body.
Your form is off
It’s also important that you are using proper form when doing deadlifts in order to prevent injuries and ensure that you’re not straining your trap muscles more than necessary. Make sure that you keep your back flat, chest up and shoulders down and back during the entire lift.
If you are using an incorrect form, it can put extra strain on your traps and cause pain afterwards. So make sure that you practice good form when doing deadlifts for the best results with less strain on your muscles.
The deadlift on paper is a pretty basic movement, you bend down and pick up the bar, but there’s actually a lot of technique involved in getting it right. If you’re new to exercise or are struggling with your form, seek out a qualified personal trainer or coach that can help you perform this movement correctly and safely.
You’re going too heavy
One of the most common reasons you might feel deadlifts more in your traps is that you are simply trying to lift a weight that’s too heavy for you. You may be tempted to go heavier than you can actually handle in order to boost muscle gains and strength, but this will only put unnecessary strain on your traps and other parts of the body.
It’s important to use a weight that challenges you but still allows for good form and stability during the lift. If you’re having trouble with your form, try reducing the weight to ensure that you are in control of the bar and still getting a good workout.
As mentioned many times, ego lifting is a big factor in why this happens. You should focus on using the correct form and mastering the movement before adding more weight to the bar.
Your shrugging as you lift
Another common mistake when it comes to deadlifts is shrugging your shoulders as you lift or lower the weight. This can also put extra strain on your traps, causing them to become sore after exercise.
Some will unconsciously shrug just before they lift the weight, as this can help them to get a better grip on the bar. However, shrugging while you lift is not beneficial and will only put more strain on your traps unnecessarily.
Focus on keeping your shoulders down and back throughout the entire movement to avoid straining your trap muscles.
You might also find that you are shrugging at the top of the lift due to being too tense. Tension is common when anticipating a heavy lift because it helps to brace your body for the movement. However, being too tense can cause you to shrug and place extra strain on your traps.
Make sure that you are taking a few deep breaths before each lift to relax your body and help keep you focused on maintaining good form.
Related: Why is leg day so hard?
Your traps are playing catch up
If you are new to deadlifts or weightlifting in general then you may be feeling your traps more because they simply aren’t used to the movement.
This might be down to the new stimulus that’s being placed on them or maybe your trapezius is slightly weaker than anticipated, which would explain why your traps are feeling it more than other muscle groups.
It’s important to make sure you have a good balance of strength between all the muscles used during deadlifts otherwise this can lead to overcompensation of some muscles and injury. So make sure you build up your strength gradually and increase the weight slowly over time.
If you find that your traps are sore after exercise, then take some extra time to stretch and foam roll your traps before and after each session. This will help release any tension in the area and help to reduce any muscle soreness over time.
It’s important to give your body time to adjust to any new exercise and strengthen the muscles involved in order to avoid injury. Take things slowly and focus on perfecting your form before increasing the weight.
Your rounding your back
Just like any other exercise, deadlifts require the correct form in order to be done properly and safely, and one of the most important elements is to keep your back flat throughout the lift.
Rounding your back when performing deadlifts is a common mistake that can cause serious injury and strain on the traps. When you round your back the weight is shifted up onto your traps and other muscles that aren’t designed to bear the load, which will effectively make you “top-heavy”.
Make sure you are focused on keeping your back flat throughout the entire lift and not rounding it at any point. This can be difficult to do when lifting heavy weights as your body will naturally find any means to shift the load, which is why it’s important to master the form before adding more weight.
At first, it may be uncomfortable to keep your back flat while lifting as you will need to tilt your hips slightly. But with practice and patience, this action becomes second nature in no time! Learning the right technique for strength training may seem daunting at first, yet once you’ve perfected it, these skills will become second nature.
You’re not braced for the lift
It’s essential to brace your body correctly before each lift in order to boost stability and protect your spine and joints. Bracing is simply getting tight and generating tension in the trunk of your body, which helps to create a stable platform for the bar and protect your spine.
Many people forget to brace and rely solely on grip strength to lift the bar, and this can lead to injury as they are not braced correctly. Make sure you take a few deep breaths and brace your core before each lift in order to set yourself up for success.
If you aren’t bracing for the lift, your traps may get strained which could result in pain and discomfort. Focus on bracing yourself before the lift so that the bar feels secure and you are able to lift efficiently.
This applies to all exercises especially heavy compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts. Bracing is key to a successful lift so make sure you are taking the time to do this before each set.
You have trapped nerve
In some rare occasions, a trapped nerve in the neck or shoulder area can cause pain and discomfort during exercises such as deadlifts. This happens when a nerve is compressed due to pressure from the surrounding muscle and tendon.
If you have a trapped nerve it will feel very different to a pulled muscle, as it will be more of a tingling or numb sensation. If you think you may have a trapped nerve, it’s important to seek medical attention as this can worsen over time and cause long-term damage.
There are many different ways to treat a trapped nerve, depending on the severity. In some cases, rest and ice may be enough to help relieve the symptoms, while in more severe cases a combination of physical therapy, massage and other treatments may be necessary to reduce inflammation.
If you have a trapped nerve, it’s important to allow your body to rest and heal, as this will help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with deadlifts. Once your nerve is feeling better you can then start to slowly reintroduce exercises, making sure to focus on perfecting your form and avoiding any further injury or strain.
Related: Why do my squats lean to the side?
You lack control
It is important to maintain control throughout the lift in order to avoid injury. When lifting, you should be able to feel the weight moving smoothly and consistently – if this isn’t happening then it’s likely that you are jerking the bar or not maintaining proper form.
This can put a strain on your traps as they are not designed to handle the jerking motion. If you find that you are having difficulty maintaining control, try reducing the weight or focusing on slowing down your reps. This will help to ensure that you are not straining your traps and can move through the lift safely.
At times, form can be difficult to perfect in exercises such as deadlifts which require a large amount of strength and control. If you are having difficulty maintaining form, enlisting the help of a certified personal trainer or gym instructor can be beneficial as they will be able to guide you through proper technique and provide advice on avoiding injury.
You’re lifting with your back
Lifting with your back instead of your legs is a common mistake that can lead to injury. Deadlifts require you to bend down and lift the bar using your leg muscles, not your back.
If you are lifting with your back, it’s likely that you will be overcompensating by using your traps as well in order to handle the weight. This can lead to strain in the neck and shoulder area, as the traps are not designed to handle the heavy load.
In order to avoid this strain, it’s important to focus on proper form when deadlifting. Make sure that you are pushing through your legs while keeping your back straight, as this will help ensure that you are using the correct muscles for the lift.
Your traps are a key muscle group when it comes to heavy lifting, and if you’re not careful they can become strained which could result in pain and discomfort. It is important to focus on bracing yourself before the lift so that the bar feels secure and you are able to lift efficiently.
It’s also essential to ensure that your form is perfect – this will help to reduce strain on your traps and minimise the risk of injury. If you are new to exercise, enlisting the help of a professional trainer can be beneficial in order to ensure that you are lifting correctly.
By following these simple tips, you can avoid straining your traps and keep yourself safe when deadlifting. With practice and dedication, you’ll soon be able to lift with confidence.
Do you feel your traps when doing deadlifts and have these tips helped? Let me know in the comment section below.