T Nation

Trap Training

Okay, my younger bro showed me an excercise that I have never seen or read about before. He saw it in the background of a wrestling training video, so it was around at one point.
for the moment I’ll call them shoulder rolls.

Shoulder rolls: Grab a dumbbell in each hand begin with the arms hanging straight down ward. Then roll the shoulders forward, up to ears and back to the beginning in a complete circle. Do this for reps than switch direction and put out the same number of reps.

This looks like the shoulder warmup seen at most martial art classes, with dumbbells in hand.

Does this have greater than normal chance of injury? It really really works the traps and is much more difficult than shrugs .(I had use 50’s rather than 60’s to get my 10 reps in). I also have not gotten the tension headaches I usually get when doing direct traps training. I also feel it much more in the muscles of the neck itself clear down to the middle upper back in the full diamond shape of the trapezius.

Just hoping for some feedback. Has anyone else seen/done this? Better than shrugs/upright rows?(okay, like everything else it depends on goals and individuals)

I do them with db’s and a shrug machine. I dont use them to replace my upright rows or shrugs, I use them in addition too.

No real pain so far.

Hang cleans hit my traps better than anything else. I did that shrug roll thing a while back, it just made my shoulder bones hurt.

“Shrug Rolls”, and close grip upright rows, have been found to be more prone to creating injury than and no more effective than regular shrugs. I do shrugs with DB’s, a shrug bar and behind the back on a smith machine (I don’t have a shrug machine.)

[quote]Avoids Roids wrote:
“Shrug Rolls”, and close grip upright rows, have been found to be more prone to creating injury than and no more effective than regular shrugs. I do shrugs with DB’s, a shrug bar and behind the back on a smith machine (I don’t have a shrug machine.)[/quote]

AGREE!!

[quote]BigLJB wrote:
Hang cleans hit my traps better than anything else. I did that shrug roll thing a while back, it just made my shoulder bones hurt.[/quote]

I would suggest to just SHRUG! Grab an Olympic bar and fill it with as many 45’s as you can handle without injuring yourself and that’s the only exercise you’ll ever need for traps.

That hang clean thing by the way… works! When I do hang cleans, my neck is even sore a few days later. those cleans are a nice alternative for the upper portion of the traps than shrugs. For the lower portion of the traps, you can hit all kinds of exercises. Bentover rows, laterals, deads… just to name a few. for the “yoke”… just shrug!

Just wanted to say thanks for answering my questions. I will do hang cleans and plain old heavy shrugs. No sense sticking my neck out.

Go to a calf raise machine.
Instead of doing calf raises, use it as a shrug platform.

If your goal is to work the upper traps, you should focus on pure scapular elevation (going straight up and down). Rolling them just causes you to protract and retract your scapulae. I believe that these movements are caused by the serratus anterior, rhomboids and middle/lower traps.

However, the load is vertical so these movements are unloaded. It would be like doing a db front raise then spreading the db’s apart and back together at the top (useless movement).

[quote]BigLJB wrote:
Hang cleans hit my traps better than anything else. I did that shrug roll thing a while back, it just made my shoulder bones hurt.[/quote]

Hang cleans are quickly moving up on my list of favorite excercises.

I hardly ever do shrugs and my shoulders are my best asset. How? Like the guy above I do lots of hang cleans and power cleans and snatches. My shoulders have benefitted tremendously from them.

no offense, but you need to be using big weight to get big traps. i think you need to worry about using bigger than 60lb DB for regular shrugs before you start thinking about different variations.