- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredTrap Bar
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Trap Bar Shrug Overview
The trap bar shrug is a variation of the barbell shrug and an exercise used to isolate the traps.
The main difference in a trap bar shrug is the hand placement and bar used. By utilizing a neutral hand placement, you’ll be able to maintain proper posture, avoid shoulder impingement, and utilize a heavy load to target the muscles of the traps.
Trap Bar Shrug Instructions
- Position the safeties just below waist height in a rack.
- Assume a standing position with your body positioned inside of the trap bar.
- Hinge forward, inhale, and grab the bar with a double overhand 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 bar back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Trap Bar 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.