While the trapezius muscle is a back muscle, because of the way you have to work it, I treat it like it is it’s own muscle group for exercise purposes. The trapezius muscle is a muscle that most people are surprised that it’s as big as it is. While everyone focuses on their legs, chest or arms, this muscle sometimes get forgotten in your daily or weekly workout. Well, I’m not going to let you forget it!
The trapezius muscle (or traps in gym lingo) is a large triangular muscle that goes from the spine all the way up to the bottom of the skull. The upper fibers of the traps elevate the shoulders toward the head. The middle fibers works with other muscles to pull the shoulder blades together. The middle fibers can be worked while performing back exercises. So, what about the upper fibers?
Since the upper fibers elevate the shoulders toward the head, we can do shrugs. It’s a pretty simple exercise really. All you do is raise your shoulders straight up as high as you can toward your ears, then lower them back down. That’s it!
This is an exercise that pretty difficult to do incorrectly. Everyone knows how to shrug your shoulders, right? Now all you need to do is add some weight to the exercise. For resistance, you can use bands, dumbbells, a weighted barbell, pantyhose, some milk cartons filled with water or sand, a couple of suitcases – pretty much anything you can think of. Then shrug away!
This is definitely an exercise where you can pile on the weight. Your forearms may give out from holding onto the weight before your traps wear out. So, don’t be afraid to hold onto as much weight as you can when you perform this exercise.
From the front, you can see these muscles at the top of your shoulders, inward from the deltoids toward your neck. Given the size of this muscle, don’t forget to give it a good workout along with all the other muscles of your body!
Until next time, remember that… there are no excuses when it comes to your health!