Browsing: Upper back (trapezius)

The main trapezius exercise besides the shoulder shrug is the upright row. Remember, the traps work during many middle back exercises. The shoulder shrug and upright row are enough to give the traps a little extra work when combined with middle back exercises in a sound weight training program.

The upright row exercise primarily works the traps, but they get a lot of help from the medial deltoids. Because the upright row puts pressure on the shoulder capsule, do not perform this exercise if you have shoulder problems.

If you lift heavy weights while performing trapezius exercises, you can use straps to hold onto the bar, particularly if your grip strength is weak. In this case, straps may be necessary since your traps can handle quite a bit of weight and often a lot more than your wrists can.

Many so-called experts will tell you to roll your shoulders forward and back at the top of the lift. This is not necessary and will not increase the emphasis on the trapezuis muscles. Worse yet, it may put the shoulder in a bad position. Although they are uncommon, shoulder dislocations have occurred when lifters tried to roll the shoulders.

Often trap work is performed on the same day as shoulder work (e.g., rear deltoid fly).