T Nation

trap tip

kelly, and free extopian. are you guys doing farmers carry, and split squats with d-bells in contracted or extended position of traps?

Paul: I’ve done it both ways, and I think both techniques
are effective. Using both techniques adds variety to the
stress placed on the traps. Obviously, doing the farmers
carry with your traps in the contracted position is a lot
more intense on the traps, so you will need to use a
lighter weight than when using the extended position.

When doing DB split squats I usually keep my traps in the extended position because when doing those I am primarily focusing on legs and not traps.

I’m doing them in the extended position. Actually I’m not even trying to work the traps at all, it’s just I use quite heavy weights for these, I use straps, and by the time I’ve finished both legs of a set I’ve been holding those dumbells for quite some time and my traps I guess get hit trying to stabilize the weight when I move up and down in the squat and such. It’s kind’ve like you take a guy who’s never done deadlifts before, usually their traps get hit really hard even though the arms are extended the entire time.

Kelly: I think you’re right; It’s been my experience that
using traps as stabilizers force them to grow more than
working them directly. EG using them as stabilizers during
deadlifts or farmers walks (in exteded position) causes
them to grow more than doing shrugs or upright rows etc.
At first this may sound strange. But when you think about
it from a functional perspective, traps rarely do direct
lifting work, but they often do stabilizing work.

Oh…another one i forgot about…when i was 17 i had a job for the summer doing refinery construction…my job was to haul wheel-barrows full of concrete around all day. I didn’t even lift weights but my traps and lower back grew like crazy…Traps love volume, volume, volume!!!