The shrug, an old school exercise performed to add mass to the traps, creating that highly desired V upper back/neck shape.
When it comes to building big traps there are no secrets, hit your shrugs heavy, often and with solid form and you're on the right track.
Barbell Shrug Form:
Grasping a barbell in front of your body with extended arms and an overhand grip maintain a slight bend in your knees.
Maintaining your straight position proceed to shrug your shoulders up as high as possible (imagine raising your shoulders to your ears).
As you reach the top of the repetition hold and contract for 1 second.
Lower the barbell back down.
Common Barbell Shrug Mistakes
Rolling Your Shoulders
When performing shrugs the biggest mistake I see being made is the constant rolling of the shoulders.
Focus on raising your shoulders up to your ears and squeezing in one vertical shrugging movement, no forward or backward rolling necessary.
If you're rolling your shoulders on each repetition you're merely transferring the weight from your traps to the associated joints and tendons, placing you at a greater risk of injury.
Not Holding The Contraction
Don't just speed through your shrugs without focusing on the contraction, if you're not getting the contraction you're not going to be getting the gains you want.
Ensure you hold the top position of your shrugs for 1 second.
Here's The Barbell I Use & Recommend...
I've been using one of these 'The Beast" 7 foot olympic barbells in my home garage gym for the last 6 years, it's affordable, high quality and gets the job done regardless of how many 45lb plates are loaded on it.
Check it out and invest in a high quality "The Beast" barbell here.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Dumbbell Shrugs
- Upright Rows