Building big traps is a necessity for a symmetrically sculpted upper torso, and most guys usually give these muscles attention at the end of their shoulder workout. But to really build some shirt stretching traps you’ve got to isolate this area with a variety of exercises that target the upper, middle and lower section of these muscles. Jeff from ATHLEAN-X shows us 2 killer moves for bigger traps.
Big thick traps are a sign of a well developed, muscular physique on a man. To build big traps, guys will often resort to classic barbell shrugs as their main exercise to achieve this. The problem is, this exercise alone will not cut it especially if you have wider shoulders and a longer neck. If you want to develop the traps and get them to stand up more you will have to train them with more direct work that places the traps in their proper alignment.
In this video, I show you a traps exercise you can use to build bigger, thicker traps with either a cable machine or a resistance band if you are training at home. Traps workouts can all be made instantly better by incorporating this move into your trap exercise options.
To perform this first traps exercise you want to anchor a resistance band low to something sturdy or grab hold of a cable handle that is positioned low to the ground. Position your body at a ninety degree angle to the machine or band. Allow the weight to pull your arm away from the side of your body forty five degrees (you may have to take a few steps away from the machine to get this to happen). From here, you want to simultaneously pull your shoulder towards your ear and then back as you turn your torso towards the machine.
The middle traps will retract your shoulder blades together as they should while still elevating your shoulders via the upper traps. Hold for a tight contraction or squeeze at the top and then slowly lower back down. Repeat for as many reps as you can to failure, making sure to load up the weight so that you can’t do more than 20 or 30 reps in any one set.
The next move will help you to build your lower traps more. Lower trap development is key to providing stability to your shoulder girdle. When the lower traps become weak, you lose control of your scapula and lack stability needed for proper scapulothoracic stability during overhead arm elevation. This can lead to lots of injuries or issues with performing other overhead lifts like the shoulder press and snatch.