If trap training isn’t completely ‘shrugged’ off, it is often undertaken with a sub-par effort. What you may not realise is that by building traps, you will be creating the illusion of wider shoulders and reinforcing the coveted V shape torso. Not just that, strong traps will help to increase upper body power. So to help you to improve your overall physique and strength, we wanted to share our 4 favourite shrug exercises with you.


1. SEATED DUMBBELL SHRUG


Keeping good form on shrug exercises is of the utmost importance. It will help you to prevent injury of the rotator cuff and lower back as well as to focus on actually working the targeted muscle group without cheating.

By sitting on a bench when performing the seated dumbbell shrug, you will be eliminating the possibility of cheating the exercise by removing momentum.


THE SEATED DUMBBELL SHRUG EXERCISE:

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench. Drive your shoulders upward and hold and contract your traps for 2-3 seconds. Perform 12-15 reps for 3 sets.


2. FARMER’S WALK SHRUG COMBO


This full body taxing exercise will really exhaust the traps. It is one of the staples in the strongmen exercise arsenal.


THE  FARMER’S WALK SHRUG COMBO EXERCISE:

Grab a set of heavy dumbbells and hold them at your sides as if you were carrying your grocery packets. Stand up straight with your core braced in order to protect your spine from the stress of the added weight. Walk 20 paces and then perform shrugs until failure. Not only will this work most muscles in your body and test your cardiovascular fitness, it will also have your traps screaming for mercy. Perform 4 rounds.




3. LAYING BAR SHRUG


This is something you may not have tried, or even seen, but this exercise is great for focusing on the mid and lower traps. They play a large role in establishing a well-developed upper back. This move will help hit this hard to reach portion of your trap.

THE LYING BAR SHRUG EXERCISE:

Lay face down on an incline bench with the top of the bench situated just under shoulder height (mid-chest). Grab a barbell with straight arms. This should place a considerable stretch on your mid traps. From here, pull your shoulder blades back and hold for 2 seconds before returning to the strat position. Perform 12-15 reps for 3 sets.


4. OVERHEAD SHRUGS


Too much heavy lifting can sometimes lead to a rotator cuff depression. If you have a badly depressed shoulder, chances are that you will develop problems with your rotator cuff. The overhead shrug can help rebalance the shoulders and improve rotator cuff mobility.

THE  OVERHEAD SHRUG EXERCISE:

With this exercise, it is suggested to keep it light and concentrate on form. Grab a barbell and press it up overhead (as you would for a military press) and hold it in the top position. While bracing your core and squeezing your glutes, drive your shoulder blades upward and concentrate on contracting your traps. Continue to move your shoulder blades up and down while holding the barbell above your head. Perform 8-10 reps for 3 set.

 



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