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5 Ways to Train Traps (Trapezius)

Jason Trammell | Sign-Up For Personal Fitness & In-Home Training Through Out the Portland, Oregon Metro Area

5 Ways to Train Traps (Trapezius)

Trammell's Health & Fitness Tips - Health, Fitness, Nutrition & Training Tips to Keep you Healthy and Motivated

  1. SHRUG IN TENS - Shrugs are still the most fundamental exercise you can do for traps (Trapezius muscle). With dumbbell shrugs it is a 10, 10, 10 approach. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms, at your sides. Do 10 shrugs with the right side, then 10 with the left side and finish with 10 bilateral shrugs. This greatly increases the time under tension.

  2. SHRUG LIKE ATLAS - One of the reasons people skip shrugs or relegate them to the end of a workout is because the movement seems to slight or subtle to matter. These people havent tried power shrugs. Power shrugs use the same hip drive that you would with do a clean with, but the the weight is heavy, so you just violently shrug it up. You want to try to make your traps hit your ears. You should eventually try to use more than your deadlift max with this movement for multiple reasons. Great trap builder!

  3. CHANGE PLANES - The standing shrug is great for building trapezius height, but to increase overall thickness, you need to add variety to your angle of pull with scapular retraction. On a seated row, grasp a narrow grip handle with your arms fully extended. Pull your shoulder blades together. This will build the middle traps and give a denser look. This is one of my favorite prehab movements for big benchers.

  4. PULL/PUSH - The functional opposite of scapular retraction is scapular protraction. Lifters like performing protraction to work the traps in a different way while building their strength chain on a bench. Hand spacing should be the same as your regular bench grip. Lower the bar with straight arms by dropping the shoulders down toward the bench and crunching the shoulder blades together. Then force the bar upward by spreading the shoulder blades out, while raising the shoulders off the bench. The bar will travel only 3-4 inches either way. This is a great way to add thickness to the midtraps and directly benefit your bench numbers.

  5. ROW - Shrugs for the traps are, by nature, isolation moves movement only occurs at the shoulder and without the benefit of other muscle groups. The upright row, however, is a multi joint movement that provides a high level of activation in the traps. This move, which also uses your biceps, forearms, middle and rear delts (the deltoid muscle), is a great move for building total upper body mass.

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