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Aren't prone and Y raises supposed to work the lower trapezius? whenever I do them my upper and middle traps get an absurd pump, it feels like they are going to explode but nothing happens to the lower trap.

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A lot of times it's because you're handling more weight than your lower traps can handle (i'm assuming you're doing this with weights or a band) or because you haven't learned to engage them properly with the right cues. So your upper traps come into play to help compensate. Try other exercises as well and get a feel for the lower traps firing. Developing those cues and going lighter (without weights if you have to). I personally found middle trap raises and partial dip shrugs on the assisted pull up machine really helpful in targeting my lower traps.

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  • I agree with this. On a separate note, after herniating a disc in my neck, I had severe trap pain for 3-4 months. Think of the worst night's sleep with your head craned off the pillow for 8 hours and then multiply that by 10. It was awful. When I finally got past that and into physical therapy, it was discovered that my lower traps were essentially "turned off." I literally couldn't activate them and had to start with basic arm movements focusing on activating my lower traps. It was ridiculously difficult. Once the mind-muscle connection resurfaced, I progressed quickly.
    – Frank
    Jun 4 '18 at 8:36

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