These are the 5 Best Exercises for bigger & thicker traps. Learn exactly how to get big neck muscles and a wider back with this workout specifically designed for muscle growth & mass
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Your Traps are flat triangular shaped muscles that run from the back of your neck across to your shoulder girdle, and all the way down to the middle of your spine. Due to its multiple attachment points and the different directions of the muscle fibers, each trap can be separated into 3 sections, the upper portion, where the muscle fibers run at an upward angle, the mid portion where the muscle fibers run almost straight accross, and lower portion where the muscle fibers run at a downward angle. All Together these muscle fibers are responsible for extending your neck and moving your head side to side, lowering and elevating your shoulders, retracting your shoulder blades, and much more. To target all the portions of the traps you’ll have to perform different exercises from multiple angles which will allow you to have better overall trap development. And by developing your traps not only will it give you a stronger, more aesthetic looking appearance from the front and from the back, but it’ll also help you prevent some very common recurring neck and shoulder injuries. So today I want to give you guys the 5 best exercises to build up those traps starting first with one of the all time best exercises for your upper traps, barbell shrugs.
The exercise itself is pretty simple and helps you isolate the upper traps very effectively. When loading up the weight that you’ll be using you want to take into account that your traps are very very powerful muscles. So even though you don’t have to start off with a whole lot of weight when doing the exercise for your first time you do want to work up to a higher weight load as time passes to help your traps grow because they respond very well to heavyweight loads. Of course proper form is important as well so to begin you want to load up a barbell and position it on racks a little lower than waist level. Stand with your feet squared off towards the barbell and grab it with an overhand grip with your hands about at shoulder width or a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Then unrack the bar take a step back and shrug the weight up as if you’re trying to make a confused or an I don’t know expression with your shoulders. While shrugging you want to make sure that your elbows are straight and that your arms are relaxed and hanging straight down instead of having your elbows bent. We’re not trying to target the biceps here we’re going for the traps. Once you shrig the weight up you’ll want to hold that position at the top of the contraction for a second and then lower the weight nice and slow down to the starting position and repeat for reps. Do not just jerk the weight up and down too fast. It’ll be much more effective if you can control the weight throughout the entire exercise. You also want to avoid rolling your shoulders as you do the shrugs. Even though rolling your shoulders will incorporate some of the middle and lower traps since you’ll be pulling your shoulder blade back, you still won’t want to do that because it’s going to decrease the effectiveness of the exercise and take Focus away from the upper traps which is the whole point of this movement. Another common mistake that you want to avoid is using so much weight that you’re not performing the exercise with a full range of motion. When you see guys doing this you’ll see them barely raising their shoulders up and moving so slightly that it doesn’t look like they’re doing much of anything at all. if you find yourself doing that drop the weight to an amount that you can actually shrug all the way up and down with a full range of motion. Again we want to go heavy but we want to do it right
Let’s move on to the next exercise which is the bent arm lateral raise and we want to perform this exercise with certain variations to help Target our traps a lot better. Now this exercise is so great for the traps because it has very similar mechanics and follows a similar movement pattern as the upright row except it’s a lot safer. Many of you probably already know that the upright row puts your shoulders into a very bad position of maximal internal rotation which it can lead to a serious shoulder impingement injury. With that said the upright row is actually very good at targeting the traps and it’s actually one of the best exercises but the problem is it comes with a lot of risks that outweigh the benefits…