Trapezius Exercises Simplified

September 2, 2011
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Trapezius MusclesHow many times have you noticed a person walking at the beach with a huge upper back and shoulders?  You may have even noticed how some guys can wear a t-shirt and fill out the neck with mounds of muscle.  That muscle that you are looking at and notice is called the Trapezius.  The Trapezius muscle can be a difficult muscle to work because it is a difficult muscle to isolate.  However, with the right kinds of exercises you will see dramatic improvements in the size and strength of the trapezius.

First of all you must understand where the trapezius is located and what kind of movement it performs.  The muscle is located at the top of your upper back and is in a diamond shape. 

It is a muscle that typically allows you to shrug your shoulders.  However, one needs to know the typical shrugging movement angles that will allow you to exercise the trapezius properly.  Some patients think of doing shoulder flyes to work the trapezius but this only works part of the trapezius and will not provide a full workout of the muscle.

Exercise Program

As with any exercise programyou must always get a good warmup of at least 10-15 minutes of light cardiovascular work to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing to the trapezius prior to the exercises.

Begin with a weight you can handle fairly easily.  You can use dumbbells or a barbell with the weight.  The key to the exercises are how you execute them.  With each trapezius exercise you should perform at least 3 sets with reps in the 8-12 range.

Upright Rows:  Begin by standing in a comfortable position with the weight in front of you resting at your thighs.  Your palms should be facing you while holding the weight.  Pull your hands up to your chin while your elbows flare out to the side.  Take care to make sure that at the top position your elbows are higher than your hands so that you work your trapezius to a greater extent.

Shoulder Shrugs:  This is a simple exercise as all you have to do is shrug your shoulders while holding either a barbell or dumbbell that you can handle safely.


Behind the Back Barbell Shrugs:  Stand in a comfortable position with the barbell behind your back.  Grip the barbell with the palm of your hands facing behind you.  Now shrug the shoulders to raise the weight and then lower it slowly.


Finally, make sure you get the correct weight for your trapezius exercises so it will work the trapezius muscle to its full extent.  It will take some time to get the muscle bigger but keep with it and as always your diet is one of the main keys to allow proper muscle growth.

Have a Great Workout,

Dr. B

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