The 6 Best Trap Exercises (You’ve Never Done!)

The 6 Best Trap Exercises (You’ve Never Done!)

The 6 Best Trap Exercises (You’ve Never Done!)

The Dumbbell Shrug Row is one of my all-time favorite trap exercises. In fact, it’s a variation of one of my favorite back exercises, only with a tweak that makes it ideal for your trap workouts.

A one-armed row can hit different areas of your back depending upon where your elbow is in relation to your body, or the direction it travels.

You can keep it nice and tight with the upper arm tracking inward toward the rib cage to hit the lats.

Or you can let the elbow track straight backward to hit the rear delt by initiating the row with the shoulder rotator muscles, which is exactly what we’re doing here.

Every single one of these rows is initiated by the traps and not the arms.

Lean on an incline bench, an adjustable bench, power rack, or anything that allows that one-arm row starting position, using a neutral grip to hold your weights.

Shrug your shoulder blade inward toward your spine before you begin the rowing motion, maintaining the shrug throughout the row on every rep. You want the shoulder blade to pull up and in toward the spine to achieve scapular retraction.

For the eccentric lowering phase, let the shoulder blade “sag” and your arm stretch down toward the floor to provide full range of motion. Keep continuous tension on your mid-back by not relaxing your back at the bottom of each rep.

The traps’ range of motion is actually pretty small, because the distance between the medial (middle) border of the scapulae (shoulder blades) and spine is only a couple of inches.

Another important thing to remember is that the traps do not connect to your elbow. You could do this exercise with a completely straight arm. What you’re doing here is a shrug variation that’s sometimes called a Backward Shrug or Mid-Back Shrug.

The intense contraction that you’re going to feel in the traps is probably unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.

Start including this fantastic exercise when you’re doing all your other rows to hit those bigger muscles of your back, namely the lower and middle traps.

Now we head into the lighter but harder trap exercises. Caution: “light” doesn’t mean easy.


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The 6 Best Trap Exercises (You’ve Never Done!)

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