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.
Dumbbell Shrug Form:
Grasping a pair of dumbbell stand straight with palms facing towards your body with 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 dumbbells back down.
Common Dumbbell 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.
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Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Barbell Shrug
- Face Pulls
- Upright Row