Your traps are a huge part of your back muscle,s and they're capable of way more than most people think. Sadly, they also fall into the muscle category for many people of 'they'll train themselves', but for the most part, they need so much more than that. If you're looking for the best trap exercises you can find to add to your next back workout, or just to give the traps a workout of their own, we've got you covered.

We've put together 5 of the best trap exercises we can find so that you don't have to. It's a mixture of some of the most iconic trap exercises out there, as well as a few wildcards that you might not have even heard of before. In any case, they're all tried and tested mammoths of exercise, and you'll be feeling the burn form them in no time.

Let's do it.

Shrugs

 

Person doing shoulder shrugs for trap exercise

 

Shrugs are one of the more famous exercises for the trap muscle group, and for good reason. They’re pretty basic in what they need you to do, but that doesn't mean they're any less of a demon trap exercise. You can do them with any equipment you can hold in one hand - even weight plates. Just pull them up as high as you can, hold tight, and drop them down. Don't go too fast or you'll be using momentum, but give it a solid effort.

The weight you use is often a big problem in this exercise though, so head our warning while you can. Although it feels awesome to use the biggest weight you can, make sure your form comes first as always. A weight that's too heavy just means you can't shrug as high as you should. Without the full rep range, you're not hitting the whole muscle as hard as you can.

Farmers Walk

as far as trap exercises go, believe it or not, farmers walks are up there with the best of the best. they let you move a HUGE amount of weight as far as you need to, and they do amazing things for your whole body (even as a great forearm exercise).

The awesome thing about this one is the time under tension you're experiencing in the exercise. It's non stop, and it's hardcore. Their activation huge in comparison to other exercises and is almost guaranteed to give you muscle growth if done right. Avoid shrugging and keep your arms completely extended rather than having any bending around the elbows and you’ll definitely feel the results. It's tough but it works.

Pull Up Shrug

 

Person doing pull up shrugs

 

This is a real challenge in comparison to the rest of the exercises that made the cut here. The pull up shrug is basically just grabbing on to your pull up bar, but rather than doing a standard pull up, you guessed it, you essentially just shrug your shoulders. You're raising yourself as high as you can that way, before slowly dropping yourself back down again. That's where all the trap power comes into the exercise.

These are a great way to add a more natural exercise into the mix, and it's particularly practical if you've already got a solid pull up plan in your workout too since you're already on the bar. Even an exercise that seems small like this can have a seriously dramatic impact.

Trap Raise

Trap raises are a surprisingly difficult yet extremely effective trap exercise, but again, you’ll likely have to keep the weight down! The technique for the trap raise is hard to grasp, but as we said, it really is effective.

Start in a bent-over or inclined position so you're at a close to a 30-degree angle. With a dumbbell in each hand, lift your arms upwards and in front of you so when fully extended, your torso is in a Y shape. Bring this back down slowly and repeat, and that’s the rep.

Bent Row

 

Person doing bent rows

 

 

The bent row is another infamous move in the exercise world and can also be another controversial exercise because of the potential injury that it can bring (as seems to be the case with most back exercises for the same reason).

Once you master your technique and find a weight that is right for you and won't ruin your form halfway through a set, it's a great way to be able to work the majority of your upper back, especially your lats and your traps. Another great point about this exercise though, is that you can reverse your grip too to go overhand and underhand, meaning you can get the most out of the movement and hit your upper and your lower traps. Hard.

 

A note about trap exercises

The traps themselves can be hard to train in some workouts because of the little number of exercises that focus on them directly, but they are important to train for an overall stronger back because of the roles they play in so many other exercises and movements.

As we stated, be extremely careful with back exercise, but it is actually safer to have a stronger back than to not to prevent any future possible injuries, as well as improving posture and general back figure in everyday life, which can be really useful at work or even at home.

 

 

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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.