T Nation

Naturally Big Traps

I’m 16 years old, 5’7, and 145 pounds.

I’ve been lifting weights on and off for about a year now.

For some reason, I’ve had big trap muscles since the 7th or 8th grade. I never trained my traps or anything. They always have been kinda big just naturally. My big traps make my chest look big as well when I have a shirt on, so my yearbook pictures always had me looking pretty strong.

But my chest isn’t that strong since I only bench about 150.

Now here comes the dilemma. I want to get stronger and more muscular everywhere: Biceps, triceps, chest, back, legs, etc.

But not traps.

I want to get bigger and stronger, but I want my traps to be the same. I dont want my naturally trap muscles to get bigger than they already are.

Are there any exercises I should avoid(besides the obvious “shrugs”)?

Which exercises work the traps, so I should avoid them?

Is it possible for me to prevent my traps from getting bigger or will it they just keep getting bigger as the rest of my body gets stronger and more muscular?

Thanks.

P.S. How do you think my traps got so big? Heavy backpack as child? Squatting??

So you want to get bigger and stronger, but you don’t want to engage an important muscle group while getting bigger and stronger?

If you don’t want to engage your traps, just don’t do any major compound movements.

In other words don’t train properly.

Really though, this doesn?t make any sense.

Maybe your traps look big because everywhere else is underdeveloped? You can’t be training very effectively if you are only benching 150. I mean unless you are some sort of freak with traps that look like wings, it can’t be that serious.

People do pose strange conundrums on these forums sometimes.

You are 145lbs. Chances are, your traps are NOWHERE NEAR as big as you seem to think they are. Please post pics.

You probably have a narrow, tubular body where your bone structure makes your traps look large since your shoulders are only slightly wider than your waist. There’s nothing you can do about this. Here’s a good test to see if your traps are too big.

  1. Can you see the individual muscle fibers in your upper traps and middle back even when they’re cold and relaxed? Can you also see pulsating veins as wide as your fingers no matter what state your traps are in?

  2. Can you barbell row three times your bodyweight?

  3. Have you won any Olympic Medals in Olympic-Style weightlifting by using power-clean and power-snatch technique?

  4. Does Paul Bunion mistake you for his giant blue ox because the yolk around your neck is so massive? Does this bother you?

  5. Can you pour an entire bowl of cereal and milk into the bowl created between your clavicle and your traps?

  6. Has your doctor spoken to you about how one quarter of your cardiac output is now directed to your traps?

If you did not answer yes to any of these questions, then your traps are not too big yet. So don’t worry. If you did answer yes, then you can take a break from doing shrugs by breaking train tracks off the ground.

SERIOUSLY. Consider replacing shrugs with more rowing. If you think your traps aren’t proportional and your bench is 150 then you’ve probably got too much dominance in your upper traps. Sorry, rowing will make your traps bigger but you could probably use more of it and rowing will make your lats and biceps bigger.

If you want to make your chest bigger start limiting your bench work to just variations of dumbbell bench press. If you want to up your bench max then just concentrate on upping your close-grip bench press max.

Your chest won’t get bigger unless you gain significant weight.

Well regardless of how big my traps are, I would still like to know which exercises work your traps.

As a “Baller,” would you consider yourself elite?

I have a similar problem.

My forearms and quads are wayyy to big. I can squat 200 lbs.

Does anyone know of any exercises that dont use forearms or quads. I am 5’8", 135 lbs.

why does everybody who posts with the word “baller” in their username end up creating a circus? Wait. Nevermind. I get it now.

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
Well regardless of how big my traps are, I would still like to know which exercises work your traps.
[/quote]

So you can avoid doing them? I’m sorry, but this is silly. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you are so developed in your traps that you need to approach your training as if they should be completely avoided. Anyone who ignores this and actually does try to help you avoid training that muscle group isn’t doing you any favors.

Post a picture of your traps.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Baller1950 wrote:
Well regardless of how big my traps are, I would still like to know which exercises work your traps.

So you can avoid doing them? I’m sorry, but this is silly. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you are so developed in your traps that you need to approach your training as if they should be completely avoided. Anyone who ignores this and actually does try to help you avoid training that muscle group isn’t doing you any favors.

Post a picture of your traps.[/quote]

But dude, he’s a baller. Baller1950 to be precise. His traps might get so big that he can’t raise his arms over his head to slam dunk. Come on, you gotta remember these things.

Dude, just go for monster traps. I’m guessing they insert a little higher than most dudes, so they look big. I’m guessing they need to fill out a bit.

If you avoid doing deadlifts because of this you’re crazy.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
I have a similar problem.

My forearms and quads are wayyy to big. I can squat 200 lbs.

Does anyone know of any exercises that dont use forearms or quads. I am 5’8", 135 lbs.

why does everybody who posts with the word “baller” in their username end up creating a circus? Wait. Nevermind. I get it now.[/quote]

I have the same issue with my penis.

I was thinking about getting a bigger girlfriend.

What sort of a weirdo doesn’t want big traps? I want traps so big I can’t hear anything. Like Hossein Tavakoli.

Who doesn’t want fucking massive traps. I want a pair so i can snag me some sweet ass poontang!

nothing says you lift weights like a massive pair of traps to keep your ears company.

dude, i doubt anybody is so blessed that their traps look stupidly developed with a 150lb bench.

maybe its just your perception of how developed they are?

Why not just help the guy out and give him some info on how to minimize trap development? HE DOESN’T WANT BIUGGER TRAPS! Who cares if they’re tiny, shriveled little things in your opinion? It’s his own body, he should be able to enhance it as HE sees fit, not comply to your ideal aesthetic.

People here act crazy every time I mention I want smaller quads, too. But I don’t give a fuck. I know how I want my body to look, and so does this guy. Help him out or shut the hell up.

[quote]aikigreg wrote:
Why not just help the guy out and give him some info on how to minimize trap development? HE DOESN’T WANT BIUGGER TRAPS! Who cares if they’re tiny, shriveled little things in your opinion? It’s his own body, he should be able to enhance it as HE sees fit, not comply to your ideal aesthetic.

People here act crazy every time I mention I want smaller quads, too. But I don’t give a fuck. I know how I want my body to look, and so does this guy. Help him out or shut the hell up.[/quote]

Na dude,

It’s like when a fat client tells me she wants to do cardio to burn the fat. Fuck that shit, were doing weights.

Don’t just give them what they want. Give them what they need. Ideally in a way they think they get what they want.

Maybe if he posted a pic of his gigantic traps we could offer some realistic advice.

You’ll want to avoid pullups, they are the biggest trap workers of them all!

[quote]Jason van Wyk wrote:
You’ll want to avoid pullups, they are the biggest trap workers of them all![/quote]

Ahaha, this tickled me.

If the OP genuinely wants to avoid any trap recruitment the best option is to stop picking things up.

Big traps are the hallmark of a powerful physique IMO. I’d love to have naturally massive traps, Goldberg style. I think it looks awesome when traps just look freaky big, out of proportion with the rest of the physique.

To the OP: if you don’t want big traps you should do heavy DL’s, rack pulls, snatch grip DLs, Overhead squats, snatches. Yeah, definately, that’s what you should do.

HTH.

He probably stands in the tough guy stance so his traps look bigger and his chest get the illusion of size. This could also be a postual problem or learned habit.