How to Perform Reverse Barbell Shrugs: Benefits, Tips | Technique Guide

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How to Do Reverse Barbell Shrugs

The Reverse Barbell Shrugs – are the main exercise for the grow of the trapezius muscle. It is usually included in the complex for training the back, but it fits perfectly into the training of the deltas.

how to do reverse barbell shrugs
how to do reverse barbell shrugs


There is an opinion among experienced athletes that shrugs should be performed with a maximum working weight (80-90% of a one-time maximum), they say, this is the technique that gives the best result. Meanwhile, trapezoid training implies the use of medium working weights, since excessive weights adversely affect the athlete’s posture, moreover, you can aim the target muscle more accurately with less weight.

What Muscles Do Perform Reverse Barbell Shrugs

he trapezius muscle is a rhomboid muscle located from the neck to the shoulder and in the length of the scapula, and has a diamond shape. The two parts of the trapezoid resemble the geometric figure “Trapezium”, it consists of 3 parts:

  1. The upper part of the trapezoid is located near the neck;
  2. The middle part of the trapezoid near the shoulder blades;
  3. The lower part is located along the shoulder blades.

Its main functions are to rotate, raise, lower and bring the scapula to the spine.

When performing the shrugs, the more share of the load gets the upper part of the trapezoid. In addition to them, rhomboid muscles participate in the work. In addition, when performing this exercise, other muscle groups acting as stabilizers also receive an indirect load.

| Read more The 3 Best Trap Exercises for Mass

Video How to Do Reverse Barbell Shrugs:

Reverse Barbell Shrugs: Technique

  • Take up the bar and hold it on straight arms from below;
  • Without bending your elbows, begin to raise your shoulders as high as possible;
  • At the top of the exercise, pause for a short while and return to the starting position.
  • Practical tips and tricks for performing shrugs
  • Throughout the entire approach, keep your back straight, to stabilize your position, statically strain your abs and back muscles;
  • When lifting your shoulders, do not bend your arms at the elbows, since in this case you will remove part of the load from the trapeziums and distribute it between the muscles of the hands;
  • Do not use too heavy weights, pick up a working weight with which you can perform 10-15 “clean” repetitions;

Throughout the reverse barbell shrugs exercises, feel the work of the trapezoid.

Shrugs Variation:


Whichever variations reverse shrugs exercises do you choose, exclude rotational in the shoulders – this will preserve the health of your shoulder joints. In addition, at the bottom of the exercise, do not relax your shoulders, allowing the weights to “hang” on stretched arms. Throughout the approach, hold the weight in static staid.

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