How To Get Big Traps
If you want to get yoked and build serious traps that stick out from your T-shirt like big lumps of meat, this exercise is for you.
This exercise is a barbell shrug, done with optimized form that works the traps MUCH better than normal technique. The standard form of simply shrugging up the shoulders falls well short of being the BEST way to attack the traps for several reasons.
1. There's not enough time under tension.
The traps thrive on loading and tension. That's what they're built for. The short stroke of the standard shrug simply doesn't provide enough time under that load for meaningful tension.
This is compounded by the way many people do shrugs, which is to use leg and back power to cheat and bounce the weight up to the top position in an effort to use as much weight as possible as fast as possible.
2. It doesn't involve as much of the overall trapezius muscle mass as it could.
Standard form involves shrugging the shoulders up. This hits primarily the very uppermost fibers of the trapezius muscle. It does work those well enough...it's just missing the bulk of the trapezius muscle fibers that aren't involved in direct upwards movement of the shoulders.
I'm not saying standard shrugging form doesn't work...it does...to a certain level.
You just have to ask yourself...am I doing the exercise to lift the most weight and because I think I should be doing it...or am I am doing it to seriously work the muscle and make it bigger?
This improved method of performing shrugs is going to address both of these above points and help you really dig in and build your traps where normal shrugs don't.
When performing this one, instead of simply shrugging the shoulders, I want you to envision locking down your entire shoulder girdle into a solid block then raising your ENTIRE shoulder girdle as high as you can, almost like you were trying to separate the upper half of your body from the lower half.
The example I like to use is on The Walking Dead when a zombie breaks in half with the lower half falling away while the upper half stays where it is (usually stuck on something).
This is what really inspired me to create this new version of the shrug. This "shoulder girdle lockdown" activates the middle section of the traps isometrically.
At the same time, you're going to also keep the bar a little bit away from your body, so you don't leverage it up your legs and the traps do all the work.
You're going to perform the movement strictly, with no assistance from your legs or lower back.
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