How to Get Bigger Traps
One of the most favorite body parts for body builders are the trapezius muscles (or traps as they’re called for short). In this article, I want to give some tips on how to get big traps in a short time.
But before we get into the specific tips, let’s see what the trapezius muscles are and where they located on your body. As you can see in the picture to the right, the trapezius muscle begins at your neck, goes to the side on the top of your shoulder and travels halfway down your back.
Due to they’re location, having strong traps supports your back, arm, and shoulder muscles in a variety of exercises. Without having powerful traps, your ability to do other upper body exercises will be limited.
It is common to view the trap muscles as two separate groups:
- The superior trapezius (or upper).
- The inferior trapezius muscle (or lower).
Each of these sub-muscle groups is trained in a different way with its own exercises. In this article I will go over workouts for both the superior and inferior traps. To build bigger traps, you need to do both.
Superior Trapezius Exercises
The upper portion of the traps can be worked by lifting your shoulders. This can be done by a number of exercises:
1. Shoulder shrug – This exercise can be done with dumbbells of with a barbell. Let’s explain, briefly, how a barbell shrug is performed: You stand straight with your feet firmly on the floor and slightly apart. Your grab the barbell with both hands at shoulder width apart and your arms totally straight.
Raise both shoulders up as if you’re trying to touch your ears with your shoulders. Don’t bend the arms at all. Lower your shoulders back to the starting position.
2. Overhead shrug – This is a more difficult exercise than the regular shrug. You sit down on a workout bench and hold the barbell about your head with both arms straight but with your shoulders at neutral position. The movement is the same as with the regular shrug: lift both shoulders, hold, and lower them down to the starting position.
3. Upright row – This is a slightly different way to lift your shoulders. You grab a cable pulley or a barbell in both hands and stand with your knees slightly bent and your arms straight down before you. The movement is simple: you life the cable up to your chin by bending both arms at the elbows and lifting them up. Your elbows will naturally move to the side of your body (sort of like chicken wings). It’s very important to life the cable as far as you can to really work the traps.
Try these 3 trap exercises to get strong upper traps.
Lower Trapezius Exercises
For the lower traps, you need exercises that cause the shoulder blades to move closer together. These include the following:
2. Any rowing exercise such as the cable row or barbell row will also work the lower traps.
As you can see, these are mostly known as back exercises but they are actually trapezius exercises for the lower trap muscles.
Tips to get big traps
1.The traps are also strained when you do back and shoulder workouts. You can and should focus your time and effort on the bigger upper body muscle groups. The traps will develop indirectly through these exercises as well.
2. You can’t work the traps directly very often. I recommend doing no more than 2 focused workout sessions each week with 3 days of rest in between. Once a week should also prove enough.
3. I recommend doing trap exercises only after you finished doing the back, shoulders, and arm exercises that you planned on doing during this particular workout. As the trapezius muscle acts in a supporting role for these muscle groups, you want it to be as fresh as possible while you’re doing these exercises.
Do these exercises and follow these tips to get bigger traps and be able to continue building muscle mass in the right way.
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