Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredCable
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Traps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Lying Cable Shrug Instructions

  1. Set up for the lying cable shrug by attaching a straight bar to a low pulley cable machine.  
  2. Select the amount of weight on the stack and lie down facing the machine with your feet about shoulder width apart. You can press your feet against the machine for stability.
  3. Grab the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing down), with your hands about shoulder width apart.
  4. Keeping the bar close to your body, let your shoulders sag as far as possible. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  5. Slowly shrug your shoulders up as far as possible.
  6. Pause, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Lying Cable Shrug Tips

  • Focus on lifting the weight with your traps and not your biceps.
  • Pausing at the top of the cable shrug makes the exercise more challenging and you'll get more out of it. Try and pause for a count of 1-3 at the top of each rep.
  • There's no benefit to rolling your shoulders forward or back when you shrug - that's a myth! 
  • Just raise the bar straight up and straight down.