Lee Walker Personal Training
Lee Walker Personal Training

Traps

Running up your back to the base of your head and over towards each shoulder. a hugely strong muscle designed for lifting and pulling.

 

Barbell Shrug

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Traps

EquipmentBarbell

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands in front of you using a pronated grip (palms facing the thighs). Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for a better grip. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can also rotate your shoulders as you go up, going in a semicircular motion from front to rear. However this version is not good for people with shoulder problems. In addition, this exercise can be performed with the barbell behind the back, with dumbbells by the side, a smith machine or with a shrug machine.

 

Upright Row

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedTraps

Other MusclesBicepsShoulders

EquipmentDumbbell

Mechanics Type: Compound

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated (palms forward) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The dumbbells should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  2. Use your side shoulders to lift the dumbbells as you exhale. The dumbbells should be close to the body as you move it up and the elbows should drive the motion. Continue to lift them until they nearly touch your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the dumbbells, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Be very careful with how much weight you use in this exercise. Too much weight leads to bad form, which in turn can cause shoulder injury. I've seen this too many times so please no jerking, swinging and cheating. Also, if you suffer from shoulder problems, you may want to stay away from upright rows and substitute by some form of lateral raises.

Variations: This exercise can also be performed using a straight bar attached to a low pulley and it can also be performed using an e-z bar.

 

Barbell Shrug From Rear

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Traps

Other MusclesForearmsMiddle Back

Equipment: Barbell

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands behind your back using a pronated grip (palms facing back). Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for better grip. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps. The arms should remain stretched out at all times.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can also rotate your shoulders as you go up, going in a semicircular motion from rear to front. However this version is not good for people with shoulder problems. In addition, this exercise can be performed with the barbell in front of your thighs, with dumbbells by the side, a smith machine or with a shrug machine.

 

Cable Shrugs

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedTraps

EquipmentCable

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Grasp a cable bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a shoulder width or slightly wider overhand (palms facing down) grip.
  2. Stand erect close to the pulley with your arms extended in front of you holding the bar. This will be your starting position.
  3. Lift the bar by elevating the shoulders as high as possible as you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the bar. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  4. Lower the bar back to the original position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can perform this exercise with bands, barbells or dumbbell. You can also use a single handle and work one side at a time

 

Leveridge Shrug

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedTraps

Other Muscles: Forearms

Equipment: Machine

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

ForcePull

 

  1. Load the pins to an appropriate weight. Position yourself directly between the handles.
  2. Grasp the top handles with a comfortable grip, and then lower your hips as you take a breath. Look forward with your head and keep your chest up.
  3. Drive through the floor with your heels, extending your hips and knees as you rise to a standing position. Keep your arms straight throughout the movement, finishing with your shoulders back. This will be your starting position.
  4. Raise the weight by shrugging the shoulders towards your ears, moving straight up and down.
  5. Pause at the top of the motion, and then return the weight to the starting position.

 

Kettlebell Sumo High Pull

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Traps
Other Muscles: Adductors, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Shoulders
Equipment: Kettlebells
Mechanics Type: Compound
Level: Intermediate
Sport: No
Force: Pull

 

  1. Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Position your feet in a wide stance, and grasp the kettlebell with two hands. Set your hips back as far as possible, with your knees bent. Keep your chest and head up. This will be your starting position.
  2. Begin by extending the hips and knees, simultaneously pulling the kettlebell to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

 

Calf Machine Shoulder Shrug

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Traps
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Isolation
Level: Beginner
Sport: No
Force: Pull

 

  1. Position yourself on the calf machine so that the shoulder pads are above your shoulders. Your torso should be straight with the arms extended normally by your side. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears as you exhale and hold the contraction for a full second.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position as you inhale.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can use dumbbells, barbells, smith machines and pulley machines to perform shrugging motions

 

Scapula Pull Up

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Traps
Other Muscles: Lats, Middle Back
Equipment: None
Mechanics Type: Isolation
Level: Beginner
Sport: No
Force: Pull

 

  1. Take a pronated grip on a pull-up bar.
  2. From a hanging position, raise yourself a few inches without using your arms. Do this by depressing your shoulder girdle in a reverse shrugging motion.
  3. Pause at the completion of the movement, and then slowly return to the starting position before performing more repetitions.
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