T Nation

Trap Problem


'sup everyone. Long time.

I'd appreciate some advice on how to minimize my trap involvement in sholuder exercises. They're bigger than they should be right now, nothing too serious, but already they give my shoulders that sloped, caveman look. I haven't done shrugs in years, and I've thrown out the upright rows about a month ago, but the damned things overpower the delts still. Maybe it's the deadlifts? Or the rows? Currently, I work rear delts with flyes after back and side delts with flyes after chest on 2 separate, yet consecutive days. It's 4 sets of each in the 12-6 rep range. I feel the traps much better than the delts on both days. I do the flyes straight-armed, with a slight bend at the albow.


you could try keeping your shoulders depressed (opposite of doing a shrug) when doing your movements and see how that works for you


Jason explains his setup to take his traps out of the movement....


That's interesting. Sounds logical, but I'll have to try it out and see if it's even possible. Thanks man!


Remember that the traps perform more than just shoulder elevation, the lower traps actually work to depress the scapulae like John wrote. So you could have an imbalance there. Try this little dandy:

grab a bench and set it up at about a 50 degree incline, and lie face down on the bench with some light dumbells. Perform what I can only describe as a low-rear delt / lat fly. What I mean is you will keep the dumbells relatively low as you squeeze your arms back, focusing on trying to bring the dumbells together behind your back (physically impossible of course, and don't squeeze so hard that you cramp something in your middle back) but hold that squeeze and feel the traps pulling back and down. This exercise not only hits the entire trap system, but also incorporates the rear delt and neurologically helps your body with that feeling of scapular depression. I wish I had a video to show you, but unfortunately I don't. You can also do the same thing with cables in which you would start high and pull low and back. Imagine yourself trying to stick out your chest and really flex the back!

It also sounds like those traps could use a good foam rolling or massage as they are probably tighter than a nun's corset.


Thanks a bunch man. I'll look it over.


But I don't want my traps to do any work man.

Got that right!


I have no idea if this was mentioned, but when doing side raises, make sure to reach out as far as you can. You shouldn't feel any trap involvement.


Do heavy weight high rep lateral raise partials at the bottom end.

Also do full rep lateral raises from a side lean. Grab a doorway or a squat rack and lean sideways. Ofcourse it would be done 1 handed, so maybe it would take out the traps?

Try the unwinding press, i didn't feel any trap involvement from it. I could see where there could be though, so try that.