Best Trap Exercises for Massive Shoulders

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When it comes to creating an impressive, mountain-like shoulder physique, you can’t neglect your traps. The trapezius muscles run along the tops of your shoulders and down your upper back. Developing thick, powerful traps adds major size and 3D definition that really caps off your delts.

At GYMGUYZ, our personal trainers emphasize complete development of the shoulder complex, including those often-neglected trapezius muscles. Here are some of the most effective trapezius exercises they program to set the stage for truly massive shoulders:

Barbell Shrugs

The iconic trap builder. Holding a heavy barbell with your arms extended, shrug your shoulders straight up toward your ears, squeezing at the top of the movement. Go heavy for sets of 10-15 reps to overload the traps.

Dumbbell Shrugs

Similar to barbell shrugs but allowing a greater range of motion. Let the dumbbells hang by your sides, then drive your shoulders up, concentrating on drawing your traps up toward your ears. Use a controlled motion and pause squeeze at the top.

Trap Bar Farmer’s Walks

Load up a trap bar or heavy dumbbells and walk for distance while keeping your shoulders raised. This movement builds incredible isometric trap strength and endurance. Go for long walks around the gym or outside.

Upright Rows

While an excellent overall shoulder exercise, upright rows heavily target the trapezius, especially the middle and lower regions. Pull the weight straight up toward your chin, squeezing your traps at the top.

Seated/Lying Dumbbell Shrugs

Isolating the traps by shrugging in a seated or lying position eliminates momentum and ensures just the traps are doing the work. These are great burnout moves or for higher rep trap training.

High Pulls

Popularized by Olympic weightlifters, high pulls build explosive trap strength and power. Grip the bar and violently pull it upwards while raising onto your toes. Absorb the weight with your traps at the top.

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking your trapezius muscles. Integrate focused trap work 1-2 times per week by including 2-4 of these exercises in your routine. Combine with sufficient overload, nutrition, and rest, and you’ll be looking like Bane in no time. 

Let GYMGUYZ take your shoulders and traps to new levels of size and strength. Our certified personal trainers bring the experience and programming know-how directly to you. Contact us today to get started on building truly massive shoulders!Remember, traps are only half the equation when it comes to shoulders. Here’s a guide on How to Get Bigger Shoulders by focusing on your deltoids!