Tip: Try This For Bigger Traps

Got a bit of a pencil neck? This shrug variation will get your traps to explode in no time.

Yes, traps really are the new abs. And one of the best ways to grow yours is through dumbbell shrugs.

But most commercial gyms only have dumbbells that go up to 100 pounds, if you're lucky. If you find yourself in this predicament, try escalating holds. It's a slight modification on shrugs:

Shrugs With Escalating Holds

Just shrug as you normally would, but on every rep increase the hold time for each shrug by one second. Here's what that would look like:

  • Rep 1: Hold for 1 second
  • Rep 2: Hold for 2 seconds
  • Rep 3: Hold for 3 seconds, etc.

Time under tension will make this feel harder, but use the same weight you normally use; just aim for half as many reps. So if you can do 20 reps with 100-pound dumbbells, aim for 10 reps per set.