Dumbbell Shrug Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Isolation
  • Pull (Bilateral)
  • Beginner
  • Shoulders, Upper Back
Traps Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Assume a standing position with the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
  2. Hinge forward, inhale, and grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip.
  3. Stand up tall and ensure your spine remains neutral.
  4. Contract the traps to elevate the shoulders. Squeeze hard at the top and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise Tips

  1. 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.
  2. The traps tend to respond well to high reps and explosive movements (e.g. snatch grip high pulls) so program your accessory work accordingly.
  3. Limit momentum and excessive jerking or bouncing of the weight. No one cares about how much you shrug.
  4. 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.
  5. Adding a pause at the top of the movement can help to enhance the mind muscle connection.

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10 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 05/24/2017 - 06:15

Can i Do this Exercise by sitting

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/24/2017 - 09:13

Hi Sushant,

Absolutely, it's called a Seated Dumbbell Shrug.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 10/12/2015 - 10:11

I'm going to start this workout, but one thing is, will be good to do this workout at home as I'm going to do it at home, need advise please

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Posted Thu, 12/25/2014 - 09:46

Got amazing results with this 10 week workout plan Without using a mass gainer

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Posted Tue, 08/12/2014 - 00:06

Lmao! Adam... thats awesome, lol

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Posted Sat, 06/29/2013 - 22:31
Marcus Cooper

I want to know what are the best supplements to take cause I wanna get bulked up but yet be cut I'm 5'9 and I'm 175 pounds.

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Posted Thu, 08/15/2013 - 06:33

For that Marcus i'd recommend some slim-fast followed by a weight gainer.

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Posted Fri, 12/07/2012 - 10:27

i am doing dough's 5 day workout and i like to know what pounds to use for the dumbbell shrugs, my current weight is 174 lb and height is 5'6"

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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:37

You do what you can handle and what you are capable of.

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Posted Sun, 01/24/2016 - 13:25

gullien what u have got in these many years can u tell me please?