One Move For Big Traps: Barbell Shrugs.

If you want to give an impression of power then training traps using barbell shrugs is what you want. Use this basic exercise with any of the following methods & workouts and watch them grow.

Article Summary:
  • Traps are a muscle that shows how powerful an individual is. The bigger the better.
  • The trapezius muscles run straight down the back along the spine.
  • Barbell Shrugs are a great movement you can use to build the traps properly.

dot

One Move For Big Traps:
Barbell Shrugs

dot

If any of you are wrestling fans then you have probably heard of Goldberg. Bill Goldberg was a phenomenon in pro wrestling. He was larger than life, intense, entertaining and powerful. One of the things that really stood out about Goldberg was his powerful shoulders and those huge traps that sat on top of them. When he flexed and posed it looked like they were going to rise above his head. After he got popular it seemed everyone that watched wanted to do something in the gym the next day to get those huge muscles.

What many people do not know is that the trapezius muscles actually are not part of the deltoids. They are a part of the back. They run from the shoulder area straight down your back along your spine. Regardless of what they are a part of you probably want to know how to build them so let's get to it.


Barbell Shrugs

Nothing is better for building the traps than heavy weight. As long as you use good form on the movement, then the heavier the better. Most powerlifters have big traps because of all of the heavy deadlifts they do. Johnnie Jackson is a perfect example of this. He has said he actually doesn't train traps at all and his traps are huge.

Johnnie Jackson At The 2010 Olympia. Johnnie Jackson At The 2010 Olympia.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Johnnie Jackson At The 2010 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson At The 2010 Olympia.

Whether you choose to train the traps or not is up to you. If you do decide to then you want to do barbell shrugs because you can go heavy on them and nothing is better for building those traps up.


How To Perform The Barbell Shrug

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands in front of you using a pronated grip (palms facing the thighs).

Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for a better grip. This will be your starting position.

Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second.

Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Shrug
Barbell Shrug
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Shrug
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Shrug.

You can also do the barbell shrug behind the back. Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands behind your back using a pronated grip (palms facing back).

Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for better grip. This will be your starting position. Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second.

Barbell Shrug Behind The Back
Barbell Shrug Behind The Back
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Shrug Behind The Back
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Shrug Behind The Back.

Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps. The arms should remain stretched out at all times. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.


Shrugging In The Gym

Although you can train traps whenever you want, the most popular times to train traps are either with delts or back. It makes sense to train the traps with the back because they actually are a part of the back. Some bodybuilders feel more comfortable training them with the delts because the blood is being pumped into the area anyway from the shoulder work. Regardless of which way you choose to do it. These workouts will make it more fun and will yield more results.

Supersetting Shrugs:

Not sure which way you want to train shrugs? How about doing both? Do barbell shrugs to the front and as soon as you achieve the desired reps do them behind the back. Next time you are in the gym switch it up and do them behind the back first and go to the front afterward. 4-5 supersets will be enough to blast the traps.

Superset:

    • Barbell Shrug: 4-5 sets of 15-20 reps each, 90 seconds rest
    • Behind the Back Barbell Shrug: 4-5 sets of 15-20 reps each, 90 seconds rest

Dramatic Transformation Principle:

Designed by Kris Gethin, DTP is quick, intense and will not only help you pack mass. It will also serve as a good cardio workout too. 12 sets with only 45 seconds rest is all it takes to get through DTP. Oh yeah. You do a total of 310 reps.

The rep scheme ranges from 50 down to 5 and then you go from 5 back to 50. This is a crazy workout and the pump will make it addicting to do over and over again. If the pump doesn't push you the results will.

    • Barbell Shrug: 12 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,5,5,10,20,30,40,50 reps, with 45 seconds rest in between sets

The 100 Workout:

This is different and if you never tried this before you will be in for a pleasant surprise. You load up a barbell with weight that is moderate in effort for you to use. Go for as many reps as you can until you reach failure. You go for as many reps as you can and once you hit failure you rest for the number of seconds it takes to get to a total of 100.

Let's say you got 40 reps on your first set as an example. You rest for 60 seconds before continuing (40 + 60 = 100). Once you finish resting you do another set until you reach failure again. Say you get 30 more this time. You take that 30 and add the previous 40 for 70 total reps. You now rest for 30 seconds (70 + 30 = 100).

Now you do a third set and get 20 so now you are up to 90 total reps. That means you rest for only 10 seconds. This process continues until you get to 100 total reps.

This appears complicated but once you do it you will understand it and may even enjoy the challenge in getting to 100 total reps with less rest than the previous workout.

    • The 100 Workout Example: Barbell Shrug
    • Set 1: 40 reps with 60 seconds rest.
    • Set 2: 30 reps (70 total) with 30 seconds rest
    • Set 3: 20 reps (90 total) with 10 seconds rest
    • Set 4: 10 reps (100 total)

FST-7:

Evogen Founder and trainer to the bodybuilding stars Hany Rambod designed FST-7 and it is used and covered all over the world. 7 sets of 8-12 reps with 30-45 seconds rest between each set pumps nutrient rich blood in the muscle you are training and stretch the fascia of the muscle so you have room to achieve new muscle growth.

You can do the 7's either at the end or at the beginning of the workout.

FST-7 Program:

    • Trap Exercise 1: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, 90 seconds rest
    • Barbell Shrug: 7 sets of 8-12 reps, 30-45 seconds rest

FST-7 Reverse:

    • Barbell Shrug: 7 sets of 8-12 reps, 30-45 seconds rest
    • Trap Exercise 1: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, 90 seconds rest


Conclusion

Whether it is Johnnie Jackson who has the traps you admire or Goldberg or anyone else that just has those freaky muscles that surround the head you want to make yours look like, the barbell shrug is the movement that will help you do just that.

Recommended Articles

Share This Article:
Facebook