Still doing shrugs for trapezius development? Ready to crank it
up a notch, build some trap size, strengthen your thoracic
erectors, train your core, and develop some rapid total body
conditioning? Then add overhead shrugs to your


Hold the bar overhead as if you'd just completed a shoulder
press. Stretch your traps by bringing your shoulders down. Keep the
arms locked and the bar overhead. The trunk must be kept tight.
While keeping a tight posture, bring the shoulders up by
contracting the traps; the shoulders must go up in a straight line.
Hold the highest position for two seconds, squeezing your traps as
hard as you can.



Paul Chek, corrective and high-performance exercise
kinesiologist, suggests you start with a weight you could
comfortably military press for about 10 reps. Press it overhead and
practice shrugging it six to eight times.

A grip slightly narrower than a snatch grip will provide optimal
mechanics. If you feel like your muscles or joints are binding, try
moving your hands inward or outward until you find a natural groove
for your body mechanics.

The Overhead Dumbbell Shrug

After you master the overhead barbell shrug, try this dumbbell
variation from Christian Thibaudeau. Simply start the weight with
your arms parallel to the floor, thumbs facing upward. From that
position, contract your traps to raise the shoulders and lift your
arms upward at the same time. Hold the fully contracted position
for 2-3 seconds and go back down.

You won't need a lot of weight for these; five to fifteen pound
dumbbells should do it!

Choose a variation and try it out this week!