The Overhead Shrug

The Overhead Shrug

If you are not happy with the way your upper body looks, especially your traps, you might want to change your exercise routine to include some overhead shrugs. Most weight lifters utilize the basic shrug method when exercising, but adding the overhead shrug is going to result in added mass, mobility, and better body posture in the uppermost part.

Although you may not see many people employing this exercise when you are working out at the gym, it will be worthwhile to add this specific method to your workout routine, especially if you want to add muscle mass to your upper body. Although most of the exercises utilized by weight lifters improve body and muscle mass, the overhead shrug will also have an impact on your shoulders. Postural issues can occur if you regularly employ the use of weights in deadlifts, regular shrugs, or pulldowns, resulting in what is known as “low shoulders.” Try standing in front of a mirror to see if you may have this issue.

This type of problem can be made worse just by what you do throughout a normal day. If your job requires you to sit for a long period of time, if you are a student who carries a loaded backpack, or even if you workout occasionally, you may find that your shoulders definitely are lacking in muscle mass. There are other health issues that may become problematic also. Tendons may become compressed, leading to decreased shoulder mobility. Overhead shrugs will help to avoid these issues, improve your shoulder health and build your traps.

Of course, you want to perform the overhead shrug correctly to avoid injury. Either barbells or dumbbells can be used effectively to achieve your goal. If dumbbells are what you choose, the following steps can ensure that you are doing the overhead shrug properly.

• Grip the weights and making sure they are several inches outside your shoulder width raise them above your head with your arms locked.
• Contract your abs and glutes while maintaining the “locked arm” position.
• Lift or elevate your scapula while you are pressing the weight overhead.
• After each rep, pause for a second or two at the top.
• Since the goal is focusing on an upward rotation, lower the weight to a comfortable position.

This particular exercise should always be started with care not to overdo it at first. It is going to feel slightly awkward at first, but getting used to it won’t take you very long. You will soon find yourself becoming familiar and comfortable the more you do. Slowly increase your overhead shrugs, beginning with 3 to 4 sets and 8 to 10 reps. Be very gradual when increasing the resistance, and always maintain proper form. By following these simple instructions you will be introducing your body to one of the best trapezius exercises you can add to your workout. Your upper body mass will show improvement and you will also see and feel positive changes in your posture, upper back, and increased mobility in your shoulders.