Shoulders, Upper Back
Dumbbell Shrug Overview
The dumbbell shrug is a variation of the shrug and an exercise used to build trap muscle size.
Traps, being a stubborn muscle group for many, can be trained with a fairly high frequency during the week. When doing so, be sure to mix up the volume, intensity, and implements you use to train the traps.
Dumbbell Shrug Instructions
- Assume a standing position with the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
- Hinge forward, inhale, and grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip.
- Stand up tall and ensure your spine remains neutral.
- Contract the traps to elevate the shoulders. Squeeze hard at the top and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Dumbbell Shrug Tips
- Looking slightly up while shrugging may enhance the contraction as traps help to control movement of the skull. This motion should be smooth and controlled, as a ballistic movement could result in a neck injury.
- The traps tend to respond well to high reps and explosive movements (e.g. snatch grip high pulls) so program your accessory work accordingly.
- Limit momentum and excessive jerking or bouncing of the weight. No one cares about how much you shrug.
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward excessively as you squeeze the traps, this can put the neck in a compromised position and result in an injury.
- Adding a pause at the top of the movement can help to enhance the mind muscle connection.