Developed traps look AWESOME.
Train them in the fashion I’m about to illustrate and you’ll be well on your way.
This article revises and replaces a previous shrug tutorial article on this site. I now advocate a slight flexion at the elbow joint.
By the way, the form here applies to all variations of the shrug: barbell shrugs, dumbbell shrugs, cable shrugs, or trap bar shrugs.
Watch the vid first and I’ll explain all below…
- The first point before anything else is the cadence. Traps are best worked rather slowly. We’re talking 1-2 seconds on the positive and 2 or even 3 seconds on the negative.
- Feel the muscle here, not the weight. Raise and lower the weight slowly, smoothly, and under full muscular control.
- I now recommend a slight flexion at elbow joint as you perform the positive portion of the rep (raising). This will make it a little easier to get into the point of maximal contraction. I’ve been employing this method in recent months to great effect.
- Keeping a smooth motion, raise the shoulders up to the point where further elevation is impossible.
- Lower slowly and under control while at the same time extending the arms – fully straightening them.
- Make sure you lower the weight right down to the lowest point possible. It should feel like it’s “hanging” on the traps at the bottom.
You’ll note in the video that I am ensuring the weight is lowered to the lowest point on the negative, and raised to the highest point on the positive. Do the same and see some real trap growth!
Let me know how you get on 🙂
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