T Nation

T-Vixens and Working Traps

Since I’m starting to get asked by more and more people (both male and female) for advice on training, etc., I have a question for the T-Vixens. Is the old “rule” from 80’s and early 90’s female bodybuilding still true; females should do very little, if any, direct trap work? (It all had to do with some sense of aesthetics).Do any of the T-Vixens directly work their traps?

some trap work should be done. stronger traps will make for bigger weights used on biceps movements

I do on rare occasion. Not as a regualr part of training.

I dont know but IMHO large traps would not be of any help asthetically for a women, especially in the evening wear stakes.

I train my traps through deads and then immediatley follow up with shrugs. Aesthetically speaking a women should shoot for traps that rise above collarone level to about 1/2 to 2/3 up to her ear. My T-man can’t keep his hands away from them, so I end up getting many free massages. T-men don’t want froo-froo traps. Instead, they want traps that say “Okay, you wanna wrestle boy, I’ll make you my sex bitch.” Traps should bristle with power. As a lady and a bodybuilder I would suggest Trap exercises.

I have gotten compliments on my traps, and I never work them. They have grown without encouragement. Front lifts (dumbbell and BB), pullups, and deads seem to work them just fine. Personally,I don’t like overdeveloped traps on men or women, but we all have different tastes and I have seen “aerobics” type women working traps with their personal trainers. Funny, these women have no delts or lats. I always think you should develop the larger muscles first, then work on the smaller ones if they haven’t come along on their own.

I don’t think most women need extra trap work, because these are a fast growing muscle and can look too big, but some do. Three examples are: Lenda Murray, who in an attempt to make her shoulders look wider, had no traps, and while her shoulders were wide all right, I think a little bit more traps would have made her look better. Also I have a client who had poor posture because she had absolutely no trap strength whatsoever. After a few sets of dumbbell shrugs once a week, her neck stopped going so far forward and her posture improved. Third, the trapezius muscle is what makes your head virtually impossible to twist off. So if you are possessed by demons like in the Exorcist, then you should begin a grueling regimen of trap bar shrugs.

This question intrigues me because I started doing hang-cleans for just over a month now- after no trap work at all- and am loving my results. My whole upper body seems to have responded and look so much better. I don’t understand not training a muscle. Would a woman really look bad for training her traps?

Good question, Jennifer. I think what I was asking was in relation to DIRECT trap work (eg heavy shrugs). As A Girl pointed out, the traps can (and will) get a lot of indirect work that MAY provide much of the support and aesthetics needed. Also, as A-Girl pointed out, I think overdeveloped traps in a woman OR man CAN reach a point of unattractive imbalance. (Shouders look sloping and slumped; the “gorilla” look as I’ve heard it called).

The second point may be (and this seems to be coming across in the responses), that like any other body part, you can get one part out of proportion.

One last thing: this MAY fall under the same catagory of “do you need to do direct front delt work?” (One look at Kevin LeVorone’s Delts convinced me some time ago to do direct front delt work, which he is proported to regularly do). Is balance and aesthetics the key? Probably so.

Mufasa, yes, I’d agree that balance and aesthetics are key, but this applies to both men and women. Vixens, if you’re deadlifting and cleaning (God, I love seeing fit women working movements like that in the gym, but I digress) only a bit of occasional direct trap work would be necessary, but as a guy, I’ve gotta tell you I wouldn’t ignore that muscle group by any means. They show up nicely in a dress, tank top or swim suit, and really advertise that you’re a weight trainer and in shape, frankly.