The Best Trap Builders

A man with big arms can still look fragile, but when your traps are climbing to your ears, people will get the memo that you are strong and assimilate it quickly. Below are some of the best trap builders. Enjoy.

1.Deadlifts

Heavy deadlifts work the traps in an isometric fashion. The traps stabilize the upper back and the shoulder girdle during the lift. Many people get thick traps solely from deadlifts.

2.Barbell rows

The barbell row hits the entire trapezius muscle pretty hard. A strong barbell row always equals decent traps.


3.Olympic lifts

The Olympic lifts have a pulling phase that involves the traps. You have to shrug the weight in an explosive fashion and then get under the bar. As you can guess, this will murder your traps. It’s not a secret that Olympic weightlifters have very well developed traps. This is the reason.

4. Barbell shrugs

Barbell shrugs work. It’s that simple. Use straps and don’t cheat. The goal is to overload the traps, not your forearms or ego.

5.Power shrugs

Power shrugs are nothing more than barbell shrugs combined with a short hip extension. This movement will allow you to lift super heavy weights – more than your deadlift.

However, power shrugs are not a beginner exercise. First, you have to develop proper pulling mechanics and back awareness. The popular U.S. strength coach Bill Starr used to love this exercise.

6.Overhead press

The overhead press works the traps too. When the weight is locked above your head the trapezius has to work extremely hard to stabilize the heavy barbell over your head.

Of course, the overhead press may not be the most dedicated trap exercise, but it’s still a compound exercise that can be a valuable addition to your muscle construction plan.

7.Kroc Rows

The Kroc row represents a regular dumbbell row on a bench done for high reps (20+). It was popularized by the former powerlifter Matt Kroc. He used it as an assistance lift for his deadlift.

8.Rack pulls

The rack pull is essentially a partial deadlift done in a power rack. It takes the quadriceps out of the movement and allows you to lift more weight than the regular deadlift. As a result, you can overload your upper back and traps.

9.Snatch grip shrugs

A cool way to hit the traps even harder is to do your shrugs with a snatch grip. The snatch grip shrugs are basically wide grip shrugs. Use straps for this one too.

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