Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Traps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Inverted Shrug Overview

The inverted shrug is an exercise one can use to isolate the muscles of the traps.

As opposed to targeting the upper traps, as most shrug variations tend to do, the inverted shrug emphasizes the use of the mid and lower trap area. It is important to train them all to have a well develop set of traps.

Inverted Shrug Instructions

  1. Position the safeties just below waist height in a rack.
  2. Assume supine position on the ground just beneath the bar.
  3. Inhale and reach up to grab the bar with a double overhand grip.
  4. Pinch your shoulder blades together and exhale as you contract all of the musculature in your upper back.
  5. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Inverted Shrug Tips

  1. The traps tend to respond well to high reps and explosive movements (e.g. snatch grip high pulls) so program your accessory work accordingly.
  2. Ensure you don’t allow the shoulder blades to elevate during this movement. Keep the traps quiet and allow the musculature within your upper back to do all the work.
  3. Don’t allow the head to jut forward excessively as you squeeze the rhomboids, this can put the neck in a compromised position and result in an injury.
  4. Adding a pause at the top of the movement can help to enhance the mind muscle connection.