How do you exercise the trapezius muscles?


Quick Answer

While there are many ways of training the trapezius muscle, BodyBuilding.com recommends the Smith machine shrug. All you need to perform this exercise is access to a Smith machine and some weight plates.

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Full Answer

  1. Position the bar height

    Start by setting the bar at around the middle of your thighs. This can be done by lifting the bar slightly and releasing the hook, then lowering or raising the bar to the desired level and positioning the hook back on the safety levers.

  2. Load the bar

    Choose a weight you are comfortable lifting, and load the machine with the desired plates. Make sure that both sides of the machine have the same weight.

  3. Perform a repetition

    Lift the barbell off and out of the safety position. Keep your arms extended, and maintain this position. Exhale, and slowly raise your shoulders until they are relatively close to your ears. Hold this position for a second, and slowly lower the bar back down. Perform this movement for the required number of repetitions in your training program.

  4. Use a squat rack

    If you do not have access to a Smith machine, this exercise may be performed in the same way in a squat rack. However, because the structure of the Smith machine encourages proper form, ensure that you maintain proper form if you use a squat rack instead.

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