Tip: Incline Shrugs for Big Traps

Most people only do shrugs standing up. Maybe that's why most people have small traps. Try this for complete trap development.

When most lifters think of their traps, they visualize only the small portion of the upper traps they see from the front. But the trapezius is a big muscle, originating at the base of the skull, running down to the upper and mid-back, and running width-wise covering both scapulas. If all you do is standing vertical shrugs, you’re “missing” much of the muscle.

Try chest-supported incline shrugs at various angles. Each angle will target a particular portion of the traps. Use a steep angle to hit the area about halfway between the upper and mid-traps. Drop the bench a bit lower (about 30 degrees) and you’ll target the mid-traps, which is where most people are lacking.

Just lay chest down on an incline bench. Shrug up, hold, and squeeze at the top. You can use either a neutral grip (palms facing each other) or a pronated grip, as you would on a standard bench press.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.