Dumbbell Shrugs – Step by Step Exercise Guide

Do you want to get that “power look” ?? Then forget about the bench press and biceps curls, because the back, traps and neck is where the game is. Nothing screams “power” like well developed traps. But trapezius muscles aren’t just about looks. Having well-developed trapezius muscles can help you be a better athlete, and prevent injuries. One of the best exercises for developing the traps (besides heavy deadlifts) are the dumbbell shrugs.

Which muscles do dumbbell shrugs target

Dumbbell shrugs primarily target the upper trapezius muscles.

Dumbbell shrugs equipment needed

The only equipment you need for this exercise are two dumbbells.


Dumbbell shrugs execution

  • Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart.
  • Your arms should be fully extended and placed to your sides
  • Raise your shoulders in a shrugging manner, as high as possible.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your traps.
  • Lower the shoulders and repeat the movement for the targeted number of repetitions.

The traps are a really strong muscle so you may need to use relatively heavy dumbbells.



Some notes when doing dumbbell shrugs

Never try to roll your shoulders backwards or forward as this action can cause injury to your shoulder joint. Instead try to move your shoulders vertically in a straight line.

Inhale in the lowest position and exhale in the highest position when the load feels the heaviest.

Focus on pulling the weight up with your traps and not your arms (biceps).

This exercise is a basic isolation exercise and can be used by novices as well as advanced athletes.


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