Cable shrug

The cable shrug is an exercise targeting the traps, as well as hitting the shoulders and upper back. Cables allow for lighter loading which is beneficial for higher-rep sets.


  1. Builds the traps for aesthetic and strength purposes
  2. Works the shoulders through a full range of motion with good posture
  3. Cables allow for constant tension on the muscles

Cable shrug Images


Cable shrug Instructions

Cable shrug muscle diagram
  1. Grasp a cable bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a shoulder width or slightly wider overhand (palms facing down) grip.
  2. Stand erect close to the pulley with your arms extended in front of you holding the bar. This will be your starting position.
  3. Lift the bar by elevating the shoulders as high as possible as you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the bar. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  4. Lower the bar back to the original position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can perform this exercise with bands, barbells or dumbbell. You can also use a single handle and work one side at a time.