The Traps: The Real Way To Do Shrugs With Alberto Nunez

We all want those big beautiful traps and unfortunately some of us just aren't genetically predetermined to having them naturally. Some of us are gifted and some of us just aren't. Those of us that do have to work a hard to build them up are not doing what we need to do to build them up. We are either not doing the correct exercises or we are doing the exercise incorrectly. The most effective exercise (we have found) for the traps, is the shrug.

A Little About the Traps: The Trapezius or Traps, in very simple terms, is a three part muscle, upper, middle and lower. The traps are one of the major muscle in the back and are responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the scapula (the shoulder blade) and some neck extension.

So how do we do the shrug correctly to get the most out of them?

1. Set the pins on your rack to the height high enough that you just need to squeeze your glutes to get it off the pins.

- High enough that you don't hit them on the shrug down and use as little energy as possible. We don't want to be deadlifting it.

2. Set your arms shoulder width apart with your hands simply straight down onto the bar. Not too wide and not too close.

3. Once your hands are on the bar externally rotate your shoulders (pull the bar apart). This will help keep your shoulders safe. This makes everything more stable and will allow you to do more work with this muscle group.

4. Shrug and hold the contraction at the top. We want to hold for about 3-4 seconds, this will make the shrug that awesome movement it can be.

-We want to do this in the higher rep range, 12-15+ reps, this will help eliminate momentum and our instinct to use other muscle groups while performing the movement. This is not a speed test as that will only lead to us compensating with other muscles groups as we just mentioned.

Example Shrug: