Looking for those monster traps? Building big traps is something that can make even the scrawniest guy look like a hulking monster but the problem is knowing how to go about it. As far as most people know, there is really only one major exercise for the traps… and most people are doing that one move they know wrong!
So how do you start getting traps right? Read on and we’ll find some answers!
How to Perform Shrugs Correctly
That one move that we’re referring to is of course the shrug. Shrugs are the most basic trap movement and to be fair, they’re really all you need in most cases.
But as we said earlier, a lot of people are getting this one critical move wrong.
The first trick is to sit down. This way, you aren’t challenging your legs and your torso with super heavy weights and therefore you can afford to work harder with the target muscle group.
The next important tip is to pull your shoulders back slightly. This will shorten the traps and it will make it slightly harder to continue. The biggest mistake most guys make with the shrugs is simply leaning forward and letting their shoulders roll forward when they’re training. Keep your shoulders back and bring your scapula together – this way your traps will work much harder throughout the movement.
Another big mistake a lot of guys make? They initiate the movement with their arms. In other words, they use their biceps to create momentum and thereby ‘throw’ the traps upwards. How do you stop yourself from doing this? One neat trick is to tense your triceps which will make it impossible to cheat.
Keep your neck neutral the entire way through the movement and give it a short pause when you’re at the top of the movement for added benefit.
If you want even more benefit then you can try throwing in some variations too. Good variations for the traps include using the trap bar for instance, which is entirely designed for shrugging. Another tip is to try using the seated bicep curl resistance machine and shrugging that weight – this allows you to go heavy and perform easy dropsets without your hands fatiguing and without dropping heavy weights on your toes.
You can also engage the traps even more by performing a variation where you lift a single dumbbell behind your back while standing. This forces you to bring the shoulder blades all the way back and is an excellent way to encourage perfect technique. Finally, remember that bench press, chest press, press ups and more all also train your traps hard.
How to Train Traps
Finally, bear in mind that the best way to get a response from your traps is to train with high volume. In fact, your traps can likely stand up to being hit 2-3 times a week if you perform just one or two exercise for them at a time. Work them into your chest/shoulder workouts for a logical combo.