From over thirty five years of manual labor, my shoulders can’t tolerate conventional shrugs performed with arms straight and hanging down, so about a year ago I began experimenting with overhead shrugs. Traps are easily my weakest body part, and I have been blown away with how much BETTER they have responded to shrugs done in this manner. Until I began doing shrugs this way, I don’t remember ever getting a pump in this area, or even being sore there. The best way I have found to perform the exercise is with the arms bent at around 15 degrees above parallel (105 degrees?) with dumbbells or better yet on an overhead press machine with a converging motion. Once in that position, keep the elbows there and shrug as high as possible, repeat for 15 reps. Pump and growth are most noticeable high in the traps at the base of the neck. I always perform posterior extension on the 4 Way Neck machine prior to warm that area first. Well worth trying.
I have never tried overhead shrugs…but i just might give it a go. I have 12 years in manual labor, and i have trained through all of it. I have done tons of band pull aparts and face pulls to help keep my shoulders where i need them to be.