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You probably don’t need any convincing to realize the aesthetic benefits of trap development – this long, triangle-shaped muscle, located on the top of your back is already a visual favorite of many bodybuilders, even though they usually fail to train their traps correctly and sufficiently.


🔥Barbell Shrug

To develop your traps, you need a steady diet of barbell shrugs, the king of trap exercises that activates the upper portion of your traps, which are crucial for elevating the scapula.

To perform it, grab a barbell with an overhand grip that’s wider than shoulder width apart, then let the bar hang at arm’s length in front of you. Maintaining the back in its natural, slightly arched position, lean around 10 degrees forward at the hips and slightly bend your knees. Shrug your shoulders toward your ears as high as possible, keeping your arms perfectly straight. Pause for a second, then return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Shrug
Dumbbell Shrug

🔥Dumbbell Shrug

The great thing about dumbbell shrugs is that they place less stress on your shoulder joints, compared to barbell shrugs which can easily cause joint pain if overused.


Since your shoulders don’t have to rotate to hold the bar, they remain relatively stable all through the movement.

To perform it, grab a pair of dumbbells with the palms of your hands facing each other, and let them hang at arm’s length on your sides. Shrug your shoulders as high as possible. Pause for a second at the top contracted position, then slowly lower the weights back down.


🔥Barbell Shrug Behind The Back

Barbell Shrug Behind The Back
Barbell Shrug Behind The Back

This exercise effectively targets multiple muscle groups at once, including the upper traps, middle traps and levator scapulae muscle, and it will help you accelerate your overall back development.

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width, holding a barbell with both hands behind your back, using a pronated grip. Your hands should be positioned a bit wider than shoulder width apart, and the knees should be slightly bent. While keeping your arms straight, lift your shoulders up toward your ears as high as you can. Hold the contraction for a second, then slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position. To ensure maximum trap activation, refrain from trying to move the weight by using your biceps and avoid sticking your head forward or downward.

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