T Nation

The Best For Trap Growth?

I already looked in to thise but thought I’d ask anyway (i do use the search option)

What is the best way to go for trap growth? Olympic lifts, Power lifts? or both.

Im thinking of something like hang cleans, heavy shrugs, upright rows? push press?


Well… you could look at the cool tip for today. Personally I think that heavy deadlifts out of the power rack and power snatches/cleans put most of the meat on my traps. I never liked shrugs much.

This might not work for everyone, but a trap bar made my traps explode. A friend of mine, who throws shot, and I just put over 300lbs on a trap bar and played horse, trying to beat each other’s rep count.

Every rep certainly wasn’t perfect, but my results were undeniable.

Same as scott here, there a better options than shrugs. Also you could add some face pulls, band pull aparts, farmer walks…

UFC’s Tank Abbott does very heavy upright rows. I think he goes as heavy as 405 (somewhat lose form). For being natural he has HUGE traps!

After watching a video of him training, I decided to give heavy UR rows a shot (w/ wrist straps).

Although I eventually had to give them up due to pain in the palm of my hand, I did get up to 135 for 8 fiarly strict reps and saw instant improvement in my traps.

My computer must be messed up, I checked this thread a couple of mins ago and had no replies, and the tip was not about traps???

I just read the tip haha how is that for timing.

This is what has worked amazingly well for me, should be good for anyone

Deadlift workout
And pause at the top of the last 3 lifts for about 5 seconds.

These lifts were done with a max of 435 and
about 3 minutes in between sets, maybe a little more between the last two.
But I promise you, they will pack some mass onto your traps among other things. Provided of course that you are eating right! Best of luck to you man!

Barbell shrugs, little hip and leg drive thrown in.

deadlifts, military press, and db shrugs is what i use. and of course rows kinda hit them

[quote]dyejtmagraven wrote:
deadlifts, military press, and db shrugs is what i use. and of course rows kinda hit them[/quote]

Military press, really? I do a lot of military press and press variations and my traps are definitely not one of my better features.

I’ve heard a combination of olympic lifts and shrugs with long contraction times are the best way to build traps.

But Westside barbell champions heavy upright rows over anything else. I think they’re crazy…but they’re a lot bigger than me. I bet they’re just doing a bunch of high-pulls and calling them upright rows.

I’m not saying it’s “the best” way, but Hise shrugs are pretty good.

These are shrugs with the barbell held as in a squat, leaning forward slightly. More weight can be used than with regular shrugs and reps can be much higher, like 20-25. The feel is different and intense, and the results good. Personally I prefer using a Manta Ray for them but obviously that’s not the classical way.

An important factor is just doing enough work for traps. For example most who wish they had better traps are probably doing at least 50% more, perhaps double, perhaps triple the sets per week for chest than they are for traps. I wouldn’t be surprised if many dedicate only about 1/20th of their total sets per week to traps. This isn’t enough unless just gifted in this regard.

My traps are doing pretty well and I feed them with a healthy diet of heavy shrugs and oly lifts (cleans and snatches)

in case u missed it today:

Today’s tip comes from Charles Poliquin:

Best Exercises for Traps

Which is better for traps? Olympic-style lifts or shrugs? For ultimate development, use both. The thing with barbell shrugs though, is that most people limit their range of motion. If you’re going to do shrugs, it’s best to do them with a dumbbell one arm at a time so the trap can have a few inches more range. Do three weeks of that, then alternate it with an Olympic-style lift such as power cleans or power snatch.

Not a huge fan of shrugs. Any variation of cleans or snatches will do wonders for your traps. I noticed the best growth after doing clean and snatch high pulls.

[quote]n3wb wrote:
Barbell shrugs, little hip and leg drive thrown in.[/quote]

Backed. You get awesome traps and calves simultaneously.

Face Pulls for thickness and shrugs for height. I do my shrugs on the standing calf machine. Traps can move well over 1000 pounds if you do them this way.

I am a huge fan of shrugs for trap development, but I do a couple variations. usually I do 3 sets of 8 reps barbell, with anything from 225 to 315 on the bar. Next I go to dumbell shrugs, finally to haney shrugs. T

hib explains the latter in his HSS-100 back routine. These I believe are the best movement to round out the traps, ever since I added them I have added some pretty noticeable size to my traps. I do deadlift 2-3 times per week, so that may have something to do with it, but I can correlate the time I started using these 3 shrug variations with the time I finally put some good size on my traps.

For my traps I do Power Snatch, Hang Clean, OH Shrugs, Upright Rows, and on my shoulders day I do military and arnolds which help too.

Oly and variations:
Snatch (floor, hang, blocks/pins, one-arm db/bb, clean grip)
Clean (floor, hang, blocks/pins, one-arm kb, clean grip, kneeling)
High pulls (snatch grip, clean grip, sumo, db, one arm db/bb/kb, db/kb/plate-pinch pull-and-catch)
Burpee or ab-roll in and out of these movements if you hate yourself.

Everything else
SHRUGS! (alternating grip/overhand grip/behind the back/trap bar in 4-25 reps, cheated in 3-6 reps, one-arm bb/db/cable in 4-25 reps db/bb/bb sleeve, hise in 15-25 reps, kelso in 8-25 reps, overhead bb in 15-25 reps, bilateral low pulley diagonal in 8-15 reps, isometrics)
face pulls (long bar or v-rope or v-handle, 6-15 reps)
upright rows (6-15)
bent-over laterals (6-15)
Traditional / trap bar Deadlifts and rack pulls with overemphasized scapula retraction and a true shrug at the top if you can drive throughs–more likely for shallower pulls.
Snatch grip deadlift, the wider the better

If that isn’t comprehensive, my name is Jem and you all are the Holograms. Just don’t ask me to pick a favorite.