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Problems w/ My Traps

I am having problems with my traps. I have developed great shoulders and a great back, however, my traps seem to be lagging. I have done all of the shrugs you can do with various angles and bars. Any suggestions would help.

Hey georgebushrules,

Saw your post and thought I’d share a little story with you. yesterday I got together with my training partners for our usual weekend workout. We dreamed up the following little workout: the 5 of us would complete a 1-mile 260-lb farmer’s walk, relay style. Each of us eneded up doing 4-5 walks, maybe 100-150 meters long (just a guess).

Today my traps are so sore I can’t put a shirt on, and this is from someone who’s been deadlifting and Olympic lifting for years and years. I always caution people not to get too wrapped up in soreness as an indicator of progress, but obviously it has some meaning.

Give it a try, my friend!

Charles, quit trolling :slight_smile:

I’ve found rope pulls to the neck and heavy barbell hack squats to be helpful.

Hopefully this isnt a double post…


I just hit a rack pull PR last night (325 @ BW of 130ish) and my traps are sore!

To focus more on the upper back with the deadlifts use a wider double overhand grip, or even snatch grip if you can handle it.

snatch hi pulls, overhead shrugs, dumbell swings

In my opinion, O-lifts are the best trap developers there are. If your form isn’t great, you can start with clean pulls and snatch pulls where you don’t bend your arms but sort of do a powerclean movement but only shrug it and put it back down.

Deadlift, perform O-lifts or variations, and farmer’s walks like Coach Staley said. Eat enough food, and they’ll grow. Throw in face pulls&seated DB cleans for higher reps to mix things up and help w/ recovery from the main trap-builders listed above.

I always feel power cleans in my traps. Especially the next day if I haven’t done them for a while.

have you tried the clean and jerk, or upright rows?
I always get good pump in the traps superseting the two.

I’m here guys, fire away!

[quote]wufwugy wrote:
Charles, quit trolling :)[/quote]

Charles, I know you are involved in martial arts, but I haven’t heard the particulars. Care to elaborate on what arts you practice and on your experiences and accomplishments?

You know what? I sympathize. I too have been able to build a decent back but I’ve had problems hitting the medial are just between the scapulae.

Upper (superior) traps, no problemo but that area just superficial to the rhomboids always seemed to get superceded by my thicker lumbar area.

(Okay, I’m back to manning my prime time thread; I’ll check back later…)

I got good results from CT’s “Power Look” program. It contains a lot of the exercises others have already mentioned.


I don’t think most people go heavy enough. I only do one movement for traps and that is shrugs, usually with the HS shrug machine. I remember seeing the most growth in the beginning using an olympic and going as heavy as possible for reps. Then, for the last set, we would load up the bar with as much weight as we could lift one time and hold the weight for static contraction. We would try to hold it as close to 30 seconds as possible (it was almost like a game at the time). That was when my traps started growing.

Since that time, I can now do the weight I was once only able to hold for more than 12 reps. I think this technique works for a muscle that dense.