T Nation

Deadlifting and Traps

I know people like Dante say deadlifts make your traps big and no powerlifter has small traps… well thats true i guess. But for me my traps dont grow very much from dead lifting. Maybe its my form or whatever but do you all notice huge trap growth from deadlifts?

They always seem to grow much faster from shrugs. What is everyone elses experience with this? I do try to roll shoulders back when i finish deadlift.

BTW i do 225 or 275 for reps, depending on how many… weigh 170

They’ll make the traps bigger, but that happens over time. You may not notice it for a while.

DLs help but if you have trouble growing traps I suggest heavy dumbell shrugs.

Also, don’t roll your shoulders when DLing, it can cause an injury especially as you get stronger. Same thing for shrugs, straight up and down, as heavy as you can hold.

275 isn’t enough weight to grow some mean traps. It’s possible that they won’t work for your traps but at this point I don’t even see how you could conclude that without lifting at least 400.

I know soreness is not an indicator of a good workout. That said my traps hurt most after a session of hang cleans.

Just give it time. I’ve never done any direct trap work, just the basic compound lifts and my traps are one of the things I’m most proud of.

Make sure that you are locking out correctly at the top of the dead lift. I see a lot of people that don’t really finish the movement. The traps should grow though.

275 is just not enough weight to really feel it in your traps. Hell, I didn’t even feel it in my traps when I was deadlifting 405. It wasn’t until I started doing heavy rack pulls that I actually started to feel the weight in my traps.

Try some high rack pulls, and you will truly feel the weight in your upper back, traps, rhomboids etc. This is a strong muscle group. It needs a lot of weight. Some people just have to get their hips and lower back up to par before they can start lifting heavy enough for their traps to notice the difference.

Have you tried not weighing 170lbs?

[quote]Wilba wrote:
DLs help but if you have trouble growing traps I suggest heavy dumbell shrugs.

Also, don’t roll your shoulders when DLing, it can cause an injury especially as you get stronger. Same thing for shrugs, straight up and down, as heavy as you can hold.[/quote]

True that. That’s definitely not a good habit to start.

Deads should be activating your traps, maybe that’s why you’re having trouble pulling more weight? Trying going with a heavier weight… my ex-training partner weighed 140 and could still get up at least 300. Try using a double-overhand grip, too.

Like everyone else said, go straight up and down when doing shrugs, and try holding them at the peak for a few extra seconds. I guarantee you’ll be sore.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
275 isn’t enough weight to grow some mean traps. It’s possible that they won’t work for your traps but at this point I don’t even see how you could conclude that without lifting at least 400.[/quote]

Agreed. Just keep plugging away. You’ll have better traps when you’re weighing 200 and pulling 500+

[quote]Popiapang wrote:
I know people like Dante say deadlifts make your traps big and no powerlifter has small traps… well thats true i guess. But for me my traps dont grow very much from dead lifting. Maybe its my form or whatever but do you all notice huge trap growth from deadlifts?

They always seem to grow much faster from shrugs. What is everyone elses experience with this? I do try to roll shoulders back when i finish deadlift.

BTW i do 225 or 275 for reps, depending on how many… weigh 170[/quote]

It could be form - at that weight, you feel like you should be getting somewhere, i remember feeling the same - wait until you slide another plate on there (each side).

I am really proud of my traps at the mo - but it aint deads that have done it, my favourite and yours ARMPIT ROWS!! haha! And shrugs, and DB Shrugs, and cleans, AND deads and and… and…

Joe

Might try adding Hise shrugs in the mix :slight_smile:

Ever since doing deadlifts I never bothered to do shrugs. Like others said, you will get much bigger traps once you increase your deadlift as you continuously eat enough to gain weight.

If I were to do shrugs however (if for whatever reason your traps are not growing as you’d like), I would do 1 handed db shrugs to get a better ROM compared to bb shrugs or 2 handed db shrugs to really hit the traps hard.

Heavy shrugs are a great exercise that has worked for many lifters and there is no reason why you can’t include them in just about any type of routine.

Some type of shrug, dead lifts, and cleans along with vertical pulls and horizontal pulls is the basic template of total back development. Use variations of all three types of movements and you’ll figure out what works best for yourself and your goals.

What about power shrugs?

Power shrugs and power cleans have helped my traps. They might work for you.

Heres a little secret… even powerlifters do other exercises.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
275 isn’t enough weight to grow some mean traps. It’s possible that they won’t work for your traps but at this point I don’t even see how you could conclude that without lifting at least 400.[/quote]

And you’ll get there faster doing Rack Deadlifts.

MORE WEIGHT, MORE WEIGHT, MORE WEIGHT!!!