5 best exercises to build bigger traps
Conditioning

5 best exercises to build bigger traps

clock-circular-outlinePosted 24 Jun 2019

Your biceps and triceps might be popping, but big arms are nothing without some bulging traps muscles to support your upper limp arsenal.

Building mass and strength in your traps not only creates the signature bodybuilder aesthetic, but it also helps maintain correct posture alongside playing a key roll with your heavy lifts. Exercises that train your traps muscles are a really important addition to your upper body workout routine, and we've got the best traps exercises for you to try.What are the best exercises for traps? We've got five exercises you should definitely add to your next traps workout, or back workout in general...

Here are 5 of the best exercises for traps:

Scroll down to find out more about each traps exercise, and how to do them.

1. Shrugs

It wouldn’t be a list of the best exercises for traps if we didn’t mention shrugs.  When you think of training your traps, shrugs are probably one of the first exercises that come to mind, and for good reason. These bad boys are great for activating your upper and middle traps and help to build mass, strength and muscular endurance. 

Shrugs are a great exercise whatever your ability, as they can be done with anything from dumbbells and barbells to cables or a trap bar. This also makes them the perfect traps exercise if you’re short on equipment or don’t fancy waiting around for the barbell.

The shrug exercise can make for a great upper body finisher, isolating the traps muscles. Pick an appropriate weight and aim for 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions to really feel the burn.

2. Barbell Deadlift

If we’re talking about the best ways to build a specific muscle group, deadlifts pretty much always feature, and we’re not even sorry about it.

When performed correctly, deadlifting is one of the best compound exercises out there, demanding so much, from so many muscle groups in the body. This lift requires your entire back to be engaged, including your traps muscles.

Yes, the traps aren't the main focus with this lift, but the beauty of the deadlift is that all three parts of the trapezius muscle are challenged.

Start your workout with deadlifts, end it with shrugs and trust us, your traps will have got a serious pump from two of the best traps exercises.

3. Rack pulls

If you don’t know what rack pulls are, it's pretty much the top half of a deadlift; rather than lifting the bar from the floor, you pull from the rack at roughly knee height.

So why are they featuring as well as a deadlift? Well, as you are pulling from a higher point when compared to a conventional deadlift, rack pulls concentrate on the upper portion fo the deadlift movement, which demands more from the upper body, back and traps muscles.

Therefore, if today isn't leg day, you can target your traps with rack pulls rather than a full, conventional deadlift. They’re not going to give you the same full-body strength development, but rack pulls are definitely up there with the best exercises for traps.

4. Upright rows

Upright rows are a great exercise to add to your traps muscle workout routine, and if you're currently skipping them, it's definitely time to give this exercise a little love. Not only are they going to help you build strength and mass in your traps, but they also challenge your anterior and rear deltoids.

Linked to shoulder pain and causing shoulder impingement, the upright row is an exercise that needs to be performed correctly to avoid issues.

Start light and master the the movement, focusing on the muscular contraction in a higher rep range. The upright row is also an essential part of the clean and press; so if if you're an olympic lifter, isolating this movement may help you throw more weight above your head!

If you do struggle with shoulder pain, this may be one to avoid.

5. Face pulls

Face pulls are often overlooked when it comes to upper body exercises. However, they are an excellent exercise when it comes to building muscle, correcting posture and promoting good overall shoulder health.

Similar to upright rows, face pulls are a shoulder exercise that also engage the traps muscles.

They need to be performed in a controlled motion, ensuring the muscles are loaded correctly is key to avoiding shoulder joint issues.

Add them in at the end of your workout for a finisher that is guaranteed to leave your traps muscles ruined… in a good way. 

Try This Shoulder Workout Or Create Your Own Traps Muscle Workout

We've given you five of the best traps exercises for building bigger, more developed traps muscles.Now it's time to put them to the test.

Plan your own workout from the five above, add a couple on to your current workout routines or make your own workout programme on the Gymshark Conditioning App.

Which is your favourite exercise to train your traps? 

Let us know in the comments down below. 

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