T Nation

How to Build Big Traps?

Want to build big traps

:man_shrugging: :man_shrugging: :man_shrugging: :man_shrugging:


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Snatch grip high pulls. Paused shrugs. Farmer carries. Rows

What are you currently doing to train your traps?

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I see what you did there :wink:
the emoji is “man_shrugging”

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BRB, googling for picture of man constructing giant bear trap, and accompanying instructions. Will return with results.




I didn’t get the joke until you explained it. Now I know how my wife feels, except I’m grateful to you instead of angry at you

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Flip C. Ollar, suuuuuper geeeeenius.


I’m doing dumbbell shrugs with 45’s 4x10 with 5 second holds followed by 10 regular shrugs

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Some people respond to TUT, some respond to explosive movements. Probably worth trying both to see which one works for you - although both will still make traps grow.

I must be the only person on this forum not seeing the purpose of shrugs. Also, I do not fancy overdimensioned traps either, that most often contributes to assymetry in my opinion. For some reason many associate big traps with a herculean look. Jon Andersen comes to mind.

Not forgetting that traps also are one of the more overstressed muscles in daily life (office ergonomy, lifting shoulders invountarily as a physical reaction to stress). Do frequent shruggers experience headaches?

What is wrong with deadlifts as a solitary stimulus for the traps? Maybe even high rows? Why shrugs?

Ok, was just trying to balance this discussion, and know I have fronted this opinion before. Tread gently on me. I lifted the glass to that box machine…

Are you asking these questions because you genuinely want your opinion changed on the matter?

Nah! Merely suggesting an alternative route for traps through deadlifts.

I do the same with my calves via the prowler.

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I’ve never been a massive shrugger, but like to hit them from several angles.

I think it conditions the muscle through full contraction and elongation which prevents or reduces the problems associated with tension caused by poor ergonomics.

Just intuition though. No actual data to back that up.


My recent experience with shrugging seems to point in the opposite direction. I used to experience pain in my neck when pressing overhead. By using Shrugs before I press anything difficult, the pain seems to be completely gone. It’s early days, but it seems that Shrugs might be a magic bullet for me.


Yeah when I add in shrugs with a 4 second hold at the top my old neck pain (old rugby injury) feels so much better and I get much more movement in my shoulders.

As for size, when I used to dead lift I had a good set of traps without any other direct trap work. After I stopped my traps did decrease in size which I haven’t been able to match with shrugs (although I don’t keep them in consistently like I did with deads).