Trapezius Exercises : How To Get Bigger Traps

how to get bigger trapsIn today’s health and fitness forums, it is very interesting to listen to bodybuilders discuss pressing issues concerning their workouts, diets and also supplements. One controversial debate going on that took me back to making more research was on trapezius exercises and how to get bigger traps doing it…the right way!

After a bit of reading and asking some questions around, this is what i was able to come up with. Trap workouts is indeed the best upper body workout to get bigger traps. This guide will open you to understanding what the best trapezius muscle workout is and how to build big traps the right way.

What is Trapezius Workout

To start with, the trapezius muscle is fairly large, spanning from the neck down to mid-back and then out to the shoulder blades forming a triangle shape.

It comprised of three regions known as the upper (raise the shoulders up.) middle (draw the shoulder blades together) and lower trapezius (The lower traps pull the shoulder blades down).

Your trapezius is important for good posture, as it plays a large role in keeping your neck and upper back in proper alignment. To best train your trapezius, you must do an exercise for each its three regions.

Upper Trap Exercises

The best exercise for your upper trapezius is the shrug, which is a straightforward shrugging of your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, stand up straight with the dumbbells by your sides and then elevate your shoulders in a shrugging manner. Simple enough, but highly effective for building stronger upper trapezius muscles.

Middle Trap Exercises

This region of the trapezius is responsible for retracting your shoulders, such as when you squeeze your shoulder blades together. That is the exact exercise you want to perform for this muscle, and it’s called the “T” exercise.

Lower Trapezius Exercises

The lower-most region of your trapezius also retracts your shoulders, but its main action is to depress them. Shoulder depression is the opposite movement of shoulder elevation, so you have to do the opposite exercise of the shrug. One such exercise is the dumbbell

Best Trap Workout – How To Build Trap Muscles

how to build trap muscle

The trap workout is a superb workout to adding size to your shoulder and your back, in fact, you will also see a burst in your strength when performing your upper body lifts. So if you want to put shape to your back and shoulders to get a v-shape torso, these ** trap exercises for mass should do the trick

Barbell Shrug

Have you heard of Tyler English? She’s the authour of the Men’s Health Natural Bodybuilding Bible. and in there she describe the shrug workouts as the king od all trapezius exercise. This trap workout is what gives your shoulder blades a lifted upward.

How To Perform Barbell Shrug

Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder-width apart, and let the bar hang at arm’s length in front of your waist. Keeping your back naturally arched, lean forward at your hip about 10 degrees.

Bend your knees slightly. Now shrug your shoulders toward your ears as high as you can. Your arms should be straight. Pause, then reverse the movement back to the starting position.

Related:Best Barbell Exercises For Your Abs

Dumbbell Shrug

Compared to the barbell shrug (shown on the previous slide), the dumbbell shrug places less stress on your shoulder joints.

That’s because your shoulders don’t have to rotate to hold the bar. This keeps them more stable as you perform the movement.

How To Perform Dumbbell Shrug

Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can.

Imagine that you’re trying to touch your shoulders to your ears without moving any other parts of your body. Pause in the up position, then slowly lower the weights back to the start.

Incline Dumbbell Shrug

Placing your body on a low incline bench helps targets your often-neglected lower traps, says English.

The lower trapezius—responsible for pulling your shoulder blades down—is often ignored, leaving the muscle weak. This can lead to poor posture and make you more likely to fall victim to injuries such as shoulder impingement.

How To Perform Incline Dumbbell Shrug

Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie chest-down on a 45-degree incline bench.

Let your arms hang straight down, palms facing each other. Now shrug your shoulders up while pulling your shoulder blades together. Pause, and then reverse the movement.

Related: What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscle

Dumbbell Jump Shrug

The dumbbell jump shrug hits the fast-twitch muscle fibers—the ones with the greatest potential for size and strength—of your traps and calves, says English.

The explosive movement adds power to your training program. Your goal should be to perform each rep as quickly as possible, while maintaining control of the weight at all times.

Related: Secrets to Building Bigger, Stronger Legs

How To Perform Dumbbell Jump Shrug

Grab a pair of dumbbells and bend at your hips and knees. Let the weights hang at arm’s length just below your knees, your palms facing your sides. Don’t round your lower back.

Simultaneously thrust your hips forward, shrug your shoulders forcefully, and jump as high as you can. Land as softly as possible, and reset.

Barbell Behind-the-Back Shrug

This movement targets your upper traps, middle traps, levator scapulae—the rope-likemuscle that runs down the back of your neck, says English.

When doing this movement, don’t stick your head forward or downward. This can increase your risk of injury and prevent your traps from fully activating.

How To Perform Barbell Behind-the-Back Shrug

This exercise is the same as a barbell shrug, except you’re holding the weight behind your body.

Grab the bar with an overhand grip so your palms are facing away from you, and your hands are shoulder-width apart.

Let the bar hang at arm’s length at your glutes, and then shrug your shoulders toward your ears as high as you can. Pause, then reverse the movement.

Barbell Row

Rowing exercises target your middle and lower traps and rhomboids, muscles that help keep your shoulder blades from moving as you lift a weight.

That’s important because unstable shoulders can limit your strength in exercises for your chest and your arms. Your upper traps, rear deltoids, and rotator cuff muscles will also assist in the rowing movement.

Related: The Chest & Triceps Workout for Bodybuilding

How To Perform Barbell Row

Grab the barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm’s length. Bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your back naturally arched.

Pull the bar to your upper abs and squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other. Pause, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Your middle deltoid may be the hardest working muscle during this movement, but your upper traps are working, too. They assist in raising the weight and act as stabilizers.

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Don’t rotate your upper arms inward in the up position. (Picture pouring out a pitcher of beer.) It can lead to shoulder impingement. Keep your palms facing forward and the weights straight up and down.

How To Perform Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Stand tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Turn your arms so that your palms are facing forward, and bend your elbows slightly.

Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your arms straight out to your sides until they’re at shoulder level. Your arms should form a T with your body. Pause for 1 second at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

 Overhead Barbell Shrug

Holding the weight above your head as you shrug works your upper traps. It also reduces the emphasis on your levator scapulae—the rope like muscle that runs down the back of your neck and is frequently overused compared to the upper traps.

Since these muscles are often imbalanced, adding the overhead barbell shrug to your routine can lead to better posture.

How To Perform Overhead Barbell Shrug

Hold a barbell above your head with an underhand grip that’s about twice shoulder width. You arms should be completely straight, and your feet shoulder be shoulder-width apart.

Lock your elbows and keep them that way. Shrug your shoulders, trying to raise the tops of your shoulders as close to your ears as possible.

Pause, then reverse the movement back to the starting position.

Snatch-Grip Barbell High Pull

When targeting your traps, skip the upright row and do the high pull instead. About two-thirds of men are at high risk for shoulder impingement when performing the upright row.

This is a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint. It most often occurs when your upper arms are simultaneously at shoulder level or high and rotated inward—the exact position they’re in at the top of the upright row—with a heavy load.

The movement relies mostly on your deltoids to move the weight, with your traps being the secondary focus, English explains.

The high pull, however, is a fast power movement that relies on the traps, mid back, rhomboids, deltoids, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back to move the weight, English says.

“The high pull brings much more power and lower-body muscles into the movement, whereas the upright row is a slow ‘grinding’ movement,” he says.

So why not use a standard grip? “The snatch grip—a wide grip that’s about twice shoulder-width—puts less demand on the deltoids, and greater demand on the traps than a narrower hand position,” says English.

How To Perform Snatch-Grip Barbell High Pull

Load the barbell with a light weight. Grab the bar with a wide overhand grip and let it hang at arm’s length in front of your body. Your hands should be a few inches from the weight plates. Bend at your hips and knees to squat down. Your lower back should be naturally arched.

Pull the bar as high as you can by explosively standing up as you bend your elbows and raise your upper arms. You should rise up on you toes. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Overhead Carry

In order to keep the weights from moving as you walk, your entire trapezius muscle must be turned on to manage the load overhead, says English.

Even though your lower body is moving, your upper body is performing an isometric hold. That means you’re increasing the trap’s time under tension, spurring muscle growth.

Related: The Single Best Upper-Body Exercise For Men

How To Perform Dumbbell Overhead Carry

Grab a pair of dumbbells and press them over your head, palms facing each other. Your upper arms should be next to your ears. Walk forward.



While this move primarily hits your front deltoids, rotator cuff, and serratus anterior, your lower traps and rhomboids also aid in lifting the weight.

This helps balance the muscles that rotate your shoulder blades. Adding this movement to your upper-body routine will help build stronger, healthier shoulders and a better posture, says English.

Related: —Fast Bodyweight Workouts That Are So Intense, They Rip Away Body Fat!

How to do Scaption:

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. Your palms should be facing each other and your elbows slightly bent. Stand as tall as you can.

Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your arms at a 30-degree angle to your body (so that they form a Y) until they’re at shoulder level. The thumb sides of both hands should be facing up.

Pause, then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.