T Nation

Building Up Traps

I have been focusing on my traps for a few months now and I have some meat on them, but the problem is that they don’t don’t sit up high on my neck, they look flat, what excercise should I be doing or doing more of to help them look taller.

Right now I’m doing deads, high pulls, reverse shrugs.

Try CT’s “Power Look” routine. I tried it and was pleased with the results.


i like to see deads listed as a trap exersize.

i can think of two things…

you’re only working one aspect of the traps. keep in mind that the traps, abs, and glutes are rather dynamic in the way they can be activated. it seems you are only hitting the shrug aspect of the traps. try bent over rows. they will hit the whole trap but specifically the part across your upper back instead of shoulder. this could be your weakness.

the other thing…

you may have weak neck extensors. i think it is accurate to say that the neck extensors and traps are closely linked. try bridges off the wall then advance to floor bridges.

You’ll get tons of responses for deads, cleans, snatches, pulls of all kinds…farmers walks also…

I think a vital part of trap building (my favorite exercises and part of my body) is the hard sqeeze at the top of the motion. A huge shock to the system as blood is excluded and other fibers recruited.

If your gym won’t allow a true Farmer’s Walk, try this: Take the two heaviest dumbells you can deadlift and shrug. Deadlift and shrug them, squeezing the traps as hard and high as you can. Now don’t stop. Hold on. FIGHT IT! Little by little your traps will fail, drooping. Then your arms will shake, and your grip will fail. You’ll go from a full grip to a thumbless hook, then finger tips only. Hold onto those weights as long as you can.

I promise you’ll feel it in your traps.

try the waterbury walks you won’t be dispointed !

Here’s an awesome trap workout that RITJared gave me. I’ve been doing it for about 3 weeks now, and it kicks my ass every time!!

[quote]RITJared wrote:
Warm up
A1. 5 sets rack pulls (1x5, 1x3, 1x3, 1x4, 1x4)

Usually sets 2 and 3 are the same weight-- sometimes 3 is a little more, and sets 1, 4, and 5 are the same weight. But play with it.

Set the pins on the powerrack just below the knee. If in doubt, use the lower of the two pins.

B1. High pull 3x5-8reps

use a double overhand clean-grip. Bar and weight rests on the floor. The first portion of the lift is like a slow deadlift–some say to imagine your feet pressing the floor down, but it’s just a slow deadlift. When the bar reaches the knees, explode upwards with the traps and calves simultaneously, hopefully shooting the bar up to your lower ribs.

C1. 3x5 heavy barbell shrug
C2. 3x8-12 superset hise shrug on standing calf raise machine.

rest your heels on the platform and lift the weight with traps only. keep glutes and abs active as with any amount of weight there is a high risk for tweaking the back.

Sometimes if my traps are feeling trashed by the superset, i’ll forgo the heavy barbell shrug and just do 3 drop sets on the hise shrug. [/quote]

Try this when doing db seated side laterals. Go parallel once you get parallel from there keep the arms extended out and shrug from there up and then lower the dumbells and do another rep. If your doing 4-5 sets you will feel the trap burning!

hmmm, i’ve read several good notes on kelso’s shrug book… take a look at that. the guy who wrote, claimed his neck disappared (ok, bit of lie but he was happy with the results).