Build The Best Traps In The Gym With This Workout


Whenever you train the back, the traps (which are part of the back complex), don’t always receive the specific stimulus needed to fully grow. This is because our larger, stronger muscles are engaged, but the traps must be prioritised with movements suited to their full recruitment.

The traps are part of the back complex, and do not work exclusively in isolation. Neither can the separate trapezius areas be strictly isolated with specific movements, but, there are ways we can emphasise the recruitment of the upper, middle and lower traps to reveal as much detail as possible in each.

Firstly, keep lifting heavy, basic movements such as:

  • The bent over barbell row.
  • Deadlift.
  • Weighted chin-up.

These exercises are just a few that incorporate the entire trapezius and are essential for complete traps development. Though effective, a solid regime of mass building movements will define and build the traps only so much.

Top 4 Trapezius Exercises:

Dumbbell Shrugs:

Probably the best traps movement of all time, when performed properly it targets the entire traps. Be sure to keep the elbows behind the body, rather than to the front, this will work all three sections of the trapezius.

  • Stand straight with a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing your torso), arms extended on the sides.
  • Lift the dumbbells by elevating the shoulders as high as possible while you exhale.
  • Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the dumbbells. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
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