T Nation

Weak Traps...


So I thought I was training my traps perfectly with all that deadlifting... I was wrong! a shoulder injury later, I find out I have no tension, and I lack 'activation' in my traps in pretty much all my movements. I was letting my shoulders slump, and then 'activating' my traps. It seems that with all my lat/back work, my scapula's were being dragged down, and down and down and down. That's when the pain started, above my scapulars and in my rotator cuff, then up into my neck, and down into my middle back...

Don't make the same mistake as me, and actually train your traps, rather than relying on deadlifts. When you deadlift, don't let your shoulder slump, keep the top of your scapulars even with your C5. Remember relatively huge traps does not mean relatively strong traps. Mine were pretty developed.

So, beside fixing the obvious flaws in my lifting technique stated above, what should I be doing to get 'strong' traps?


OK, deadlifts should really be most of the trap training you need, but rows and such would cover the rest. read rippetoe's long explanation of the deadlift.


Rack pulls...?


I think you are thinking of "upper traps" when you say you have big traps

Kelso shrugs are good for what you need.

That and heaps of rows and chins


Yep. My upper traps were large, but none of my middle/lower traps would activate.


Kelso shrugs, push ups plus, band retractions and even band pull aparts


face pulls


upper back work is often the most overlooked.....and often makes the biggest difference for all lifts


Could you give a number of exercises one would do to work on their upper back? When I band deadlift, I feel like this is the weakest muscle group that never gets activated


BB Rows, BB Shrugs, Wide chin/pull ups, heavy Rack pulls with a hold at the end.


it looks like your training in a commercial gym, so i suppose you have access to machines

I reccommend that you do machine rows with a chest support where you row to the chest...that will isolate that middle area...i suggest you hold the contraction for a second or so to ensure that you are actually contracting those muscles...

i would also do reverse pec dec flys...and squeeze that middle back area as well....


upper traps: shrugs of all types, upright rows, olympic pulls
middle traps and rhomboids:rows of all types(except upright row), face pulls, pull ups(to a degree)
lower traps: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/top_priority_for_lower_traps


Try wall slides and forearm slides before sets to activate.


olympic lifts like high pulls or power snatch work your traps nicely...bb rows and shrugs also are very good.