Most people don’t know that the trapezius muscle is divided into 3 groups namely:
• Upper traps
• Middle traps
• Lower traps
The trapezius muscle serves as a posture stabilizer and movement muscle.
The upper and lower traps also help with rotation of the shoulder blades.
The middle trap helps bring shoulder blades back, towards the spine.
Lets look at some exercises to help build your traps:

Dumbbell and Barbell Shrugs

1. Stand erect with a barbell (palms facing your torso), arms extended on the sides.
2. 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.
3. Lower the barbell back to the original position.
4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variations: You can perform this exercise with bands, dumbbells or cables. You can also use a single handle and work one side at a time
*Perform 4 x 20 reps of each

Wide grip upright barbell row

1. Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on the top of your thighs with your arms extended and a slight bend in your elbows. Your back should also be straight. This will be your starting position.
2. Now exhale and use the sides of your shoulders to lift the bar, raising your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. Continue to lift the bar until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion, and should always be higher than your forearms. Remember to keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
3. Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variations: This exercise can also be performed using a straight bar attached to a low pulley and it can also be performed using dumbbells, though this later exercise should be reserved by people that are well familiarized with correct execution.
*Perform 4 x 20 reps

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