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How to build the traps: Exercises for the trapezius muscles

The trapezius is one of the largest muscles. It bears the main load during weight-lifting. The trapezius is located in the upper back covering the back neck part. Its volume demonstrates the intensity of weightlifting exercises.

Efficient building of the trapezius muscles allows enlarging the neck significantly. If you don’t build the pectoral girdle muscles, you risk getting a disproportionate shape. You will get a large neck and wide shoulders.

So the trapezius should be built together with other muscles. All professionals recommend doing this.


Back muscle anatomy

Why trapezius was named so? It can be represented as two triangles with adjacent bases. The spine is located between them. The trapezius covers the cervical spine, partially, the shoulders and back between the shoulder-blades so as the area under them. It looks like a trapezium.

It can be divided into three parts:

  • Upper (including the neck);
  • Middle (upper shoulder-blade area);
  • Lower (area between the shoulder-blades and under them).

The trapezius provides the following movements:

  • Shoulder-blade raising and lowering, bringing them together;
  • Shoulder and arm raising and lowering;
  • Arm and neck rotation.

How to build trapezius

Many sportsmen are unaware about this. Many of them pay little attention to trapezius underestimating them. If you won’t build this part of the body, it will be weak and your shape will become disproportionate.

Trapezius exercises should be always included into the exercising program.

The upper trapezius can be kept in excellent shape by doing “shrugs”. This means shoulder raising and lowering with or without weights.

The middle trapezius area is built with weight-lifting exercises.

The lower area is built with pectoral girdle exercises and lifting apparatuses above your head.

These exercises allow gaining the following results:

  • No cavities in the neck and shoulder area;
  • Neck enlargement;
  • Neck muscle endurance.


Exercised muscles are handy in any kind of sports

The trapezius is successfully built with complex exercises. However, there are some special techniques for the trapezius. They are described below.

Shrugs with dumbbells

Trapezius exercises can be done without weights. But for making them more efficient use different apparatuses.

Dumbbell exercises involve the following movements:

  1. Back straight, hold in your belly, shoulders inclined back.
  2. Take the dumbbells.
  3. Raise your shoulders as high as possible and stay for a few seconds in this position. Keep your back straight. Initially the dumbbell weight should not exceed 2kg.
  4. Lower your shoulders.

Do up to 10 repetitions. 2-3 sets are recommended

Shrugs with a barbell

During exercise move vertically only raising and lowering your shoulders. Other parts of the body including your arms should be straight and tense. Never turn your head during this exercise. It should not move. Don’t use a wide grip and do jerks.

Kettlebell row

This trapezius exercise involves the following movements:

  1. Stand wider than shoulder width apart and grab the kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Bend your knees and slightly incline forwards. Keep your back straight.
  3. Tense your abs. Straighten slowly and lift the kettlebell to the knee level. Stay in this position for a few seconds and return to the initial position.

Do up to 15 repetitions (depending to what extent you wish building your back trapezius).


Exercising the middle trapezius part on an incline bench

If you do this exercise with dumbbells keeping your body on the incline bench, the number of repetitions can be reduced as your back is the most loaded part in this case.

Lie on the bench, facedown and fix your head. Slightly bend your knees. Initially it is not recommended to lift dumbbell heavier than 2kg. Lift and lower the dumbbells, trapezius tense.

P -bars or chin-up bar

The most widely-used apparatus. These exercise are excellent for building the lower trapezius. Firstly, hang on straight arms. Lift your body as high as possible bringing your shoulder-blades together.

Chest chin-ups allow achieving good results. This allows building the middle and upper trapezius. Keep your bulk in the upper position for 8s.


It allows building the muscles of the upper areas of your back, neck and shoulders. This exercise is excellent for stretching after the main work-out.

Lie face down, shoulder width apart, straight arms upwards and slightly sideways. Palms facing each other. Raise your hands, head and chest over the floor so that you can feel your spin stretching. Tense your abs. This allows building all muscles. Then slowly lower on the floor.

It is important not only to know how to build trapezius, but also to follow some rules. Apparatuses allow for achieving good results.

They include dumbbells, a barbell, a chin-up bar or P-bars. They allow making exercises more diverse and efficient as they distribute the load between all muscles.

If a beginner-sportsman does not have the above-mentioned apparatuses, it would be difficult to build the back trapezius at home. So attend to the gym and consult your coach for preventing injuries.

Those who just begin mastering the set of exercises should visit the gym. With the guidance of a professional a sportsman can obtain the required exercising skills without exceeding the allowable load.

Please note that trapezius is involved in many exercises so we don’t recommend increasing the number of sets.

There are the following requirements towards exercises:

  • For beginner sportsmen it is recommended to exercise twice or trice per week no longer than for an hour and gradually adapting to high loads;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Rational nutrition is rather important;
  • Recover after exercises properly (a massage and warm shower are recommended);
  • Alternate trapezius exercises with different loading methods.

Those who wish to have an attractive muscular body should possess soul in patience. For making your trapezius decent and functional it should be exercised on a regular basis.

Help of a professional coach allows achieving the most efficient result.

Tip: Although the help of a coach can be very beneficial for your training, many athletes have found that with the use of supplementation, they progress much faster within their workouts and build muscle mass with much faster progression. The main substances used for this purpose are Testosterone and Nandrolone, or, Dianabol or Anadrol tablets. There are other variations of supplements that are used to gain lean muscle mass and also ones that promote fat burning. These can be found within our online catalog with more information regarding the specified benefits and outcomes for different users. Visit our online store now for enhanced progression within your workouts!

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