The rhomboids are the muscles in between each shoulder blade and the spinal column. The rhomboids consist of the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor and together they contract the scapula (shoulder blade) back towards the vertebrae during pulling exercises such as pull-ups and rowing movements. Overtime the rhomboids can reach a permanent state of contraction, restricting mobility and potentially causing pain. This state of permanent contraction is commonly referred to as knotting and occurs in most muscle groups in the human body.
One of the simplest ways to regain mobility through your upper back, shoulders, and chest is to release the knots in the rhomboids. This movement requires the use of a trigger ball, or for something a little softer, a tennis ball will work fine. Anything around that size should work quite well (baseball, cricket ball etc).
To begin the movement, place the ball on the ground somewhere where it can’t roll away. Sit on the ground in front of the ball and lay down backwards so the ball is pressing between the inside edge of your shoulder blade and your spine. You may need to wriggle around until you find a knot but when you hit one, you will know it! Take a look through the short video below for a demonstration.
Once you get into the groove of this movement it becomes a godsend for anyone who does a lot of intensive pulling movements. It can be very unpleasant in the beginning, but if you hang in there for a few minutes at a time, your mobility will certainly start to improve and future maintenance will be far less uncomfortable. Disappear to your happy place for few minutes and regain your range of motion.