If you want to get some big slabs of meat on your traps, you will need to shock your trapezius muscle entirely. You can do this by using two exercises that have been proven to work wonders on your traps. But instead of doing them one by one, you are going to combine them in a compound exercise which will help you achieve the desired effects. Do this right and you will be stimulating not only the upper and middle traps, but also the lower traps which are quite tricky to grow. If you want to exercise the traps from all angles and you want to make sure that they will reach their full potential, do some trap bar deadlifts with shrugs between pulls. Also, make sure that you are varying the types of contractions for maximum efficiency.
The exercise that works wonders for the trapezius is the deadlift shrug. Here’s how to do it.
FIRST, get yourself in position in the trap bar and lift it just so that your spine is straight and your arms are straight as well. Make sure you aren’t bending over.
SECOND, when you have the top position secured, use your shoulders to shrug as hard as possible in the direction of your ears. Hold each muscle movement for a second before lowering your shoulders back down with care.
One rep constitutes anywhere from three to five shrugs. Put the trap bar down between reps. Make sure you do five to eight reps per set. This can mean doing anywhere from 15 to 40 shrugs per set. When you’re performing this exercise, go for volume. Your trapezius muscle is very responsive to isometric and constant muscular tension and stimulation. You should do the exercise when you’re doing an upper body or back muscles day, and make sure to have at least four or five sets. Use a weight that you will be able to perfectly manage for three or four of those sets. The last two should be excruciatingly hard. The thing to remember here is that tempo makes a difference – don’t cut the shrugs short at the top of the movement and don’t use your neck to shorten the range of motion. Your neck shouldn’t be a part of the process here at all, if you’re doing it right. Make sure you’re moving slowly and handle the pain any way you want to, but don’t break form.
This exercise works because it has all of the elements of a successful trap exercise – it has concentric and eccentric actions on the traps, as well as an isometric action. Also, it targets the muscles that stabilize your spine as a secondary feature, which further increases the tension on the three aspects of your trapezius. Besides, when you hold this shrugging pose for 45 seconds, your heart rate spikes up and you will have a hard time keeping the rhythm down for quite some time. Extra conditioning, more strength and extreme hypertrophy. What’s not to like?