Are You Sculpting Your Traps Right?

One noticeable thing about the Hulk is his traps. They almost swallow his neck. Traps (trapezius or trapezoid muscles) say a lot about a guy’s strength and power. Well-developed traps make you fit nicely into your coats, and they make your upper-body physique look proportional.  But many people trying to bulk up are at a loss when it comes to traps workout. Many gym veterans are also not able to pinpoint good exercises for traps. Working your traps sculpts your shoulders and back, improves your profile and supports your posture. Here are some traps workouts to give you mountains on your shoulders.

High pull up shrug

The pull up is a versatile body weight workout that burns virtually every muscle group in the upper body. To touch your traps with pull-ups;

  • Hang from a pull-up bar
  • Pull your shoulders up and down without bending your elbows
  • Count 10 reps for each set before climbing down

Shrug

This workout is called the shrug because the movement mirrors a shoulder shrug (lifting shoulders up and down). This workout is best done with dumbbells hanging from both hands.

  • Start with the hands hanging at the lowest point
  • Lift up your shoulders and hold at the top for 3-5 seconds
  • Do 4 sets of 8 reps

Shrugs can also be done using a barbell. When working with a barbell;

  • Grab the barbell at a width slightly wider than shoulder width while leaning slightly forward and knees slightly bent
  • Raise the shoulders to ear level and hold

The Incline dumbbell shrug exercises the lower traps.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie flat on a 45 degree inclined bench press chest down.
  • Pull your shoulders up and towards each other

Single arm upright row

This workout mirrors a puppet master’s string pulling at the elbow. The upright row is effective because it isolates the traps;

  • Start with a dumbbell hanging upside down from the elbow at a right angle
  • Raise the elbow upwards feeling the strain in the shoulder

Barbell row

Rowing workouts good compound workouts which will exercise both rhomboids and traps.  To do a barbell row;

  • Start by bending at the hips making your upper body parallel to the floor with knees slightly bent
  • Lift the barbell to touch your chest then lower it slowly to the floor

Dumbbell lateral raises

  • Start with dumbbells hanging at your sides parallel to your body
  • Raise your arms upwards to shoulder level without bending the elbows or turning the dumbbell
  • make a T and hold your arms at shoulder height for 3-5 seconds

Dumbbell overhead carry

This workout places the traps under tension for a considerably longer time, which improves endurance and spurs muscle mass growth.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand directly over your head, ensuring your hands do not lean
  • Walk for 10-15 seconds

Traps are probably the most challenging upper body muscles to exercise. With the right traps workout, you can get what you desire. Work on them correctly, patiently and you will see the mountains on your shoulders grow.

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