Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Traps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Dumbbell Shrug Instructions

  1. Set up for the seated dumbbell shrug by choosing a pair of dumbbells and sitting with your back straight on a flat bench.
  2. Grasp the dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms facing in), with your hands down at your sides.
  3. Let your shoulders sagĀ as far as possible. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Slowly shrug your shoulders up as far as possible.
  5. Pause, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Seated Dumbbell Shrug Tips

  • Focus on lifting the weight with your traps and not your biceps.
  • Pausing at the top of the dumbbell 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 weight straight up and straight down.
Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 11:09

Is there difference in effectiveness between standing or sitting when working the upper body/arms? It would seem that sitting would make it easier to maintain correct form. Is that correct?

Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 00:11

I am a novice but sitting shoulder press said it was better than standing because it isolated the muscles more instead of having to balance and include the core when standing. So I think yes to your question and yes because it isolates them more as well.