The trapezius muscle or traps as it is more popularly known as is the muscle between neck and shoulder. They are one of the largest and most prominent back muscles and contribute substantially to the thickness of your upper back and neck. They are responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the scapula (shoulder blade) and extending the head at the neck.
Any pulling motion will work your trapezius. Here are our 3 favorite exercises that will give you the most muscle activation in your traps –
These are one of the most popular and effective exercises when it comes to traps development. Hold your shrugs for 3-5 secs at the top of the motion and try and contract the trapezius muscle as hard as possible. See to it that the weight that you are using is not too heavy and allows you to pause at the top of the motion.
- Barbell Deadlifts:
Deadlift is not only one of the best exercises to train your traps, it is one of the best exercises that you can do, period. During a deadlift, the trapezius muscles (along with other muscles in the back) contract to keep a straight back. The traps also help you keep your chest up, which is critical to completing the deadlift.
- Dumbbell Farmer’s walk:
Farmers walk is one of, if not, the single most potent mass builders for the traps, upper back, shoulders and neck. Choose a pair of a dumbbell with total weight equivalent to or greater than your body weight. Keep a tall posture, avoiding any forward shoulder rounding, and maintain a tight, rigid core throughout the movement.
The muscle fiber in your trapezius muscle are made up of 45% fast twitch and 55% slow twitch muscle fibers. This means they should be trained with both heavy weight and low reps as well as lighter weight and high reps to activate all the muscle fibers and reach the maximum growth potential.
There is a saying which goes like – ‘Every skinny, weak guy has abs. Traps are the true sign of strength’.