Last Updated on January 7, 2021
Yes, it’s easy to notice the guy with big arms, but huge traps are even more impressive. When it comes to building the upper body, the trapezius muscles are often neglected – even though they can make a HUGE difference to your overall physique.
The best workouts for your traps focus on sculpting the shape of these muscles, as well as packing on a good amount of size.
This combination of definition AND mass is a sure-fire winner, but it’s important not to overdevelop the traps if your chest and shoulders are lacking. It’s all about striking the right balance.
By the end of this article, you’re going to have a clearer understanding on the best exercises that will transform your traps from scrawny to super-size. Read on to find out what my top 4 traps workouts are for Crafting The Perfect Shoulder muscles…
Is bigger really better?
Good traps aren’t too bulky and have a good cut where they meet your shoulders. When combined with the lats, the traps should help to create a kite-like shape – the perfect balance of lean mass and definition that we talked about earlier.
Why definition is important
When looking at the back, you will want to see a good amount of definition from the bottom of the head to the outer shoulders, and the traps should extend to the middle of the back.
The top part of the traps – which is also the most visible – is often the hardest to develop. But if you’re up for a challenge, I’ll tell you how to do it…
Workouts for Bigger Traps
Say ‘traps workout’ to any bodybuilder, and they’ll probably recommend doing lots of shrugs.
Yes, these are effective exercises for building up this part of the body, but there are even better workouts that will really give you the mass and definition that you need.
If you’re wanting to build ‘tall’ traps that have a slight hanging look, you’re going to have to do more than shrugs.
Here are some of the best exercises you can do for taller, more defined traps.
1. The shrug (3 sets of 50 reps)
The classic shrug is pretty self-explanatory and once you’ve mastered it with proper form, you’ll be good to go. Perform with a dumbbell, straight Olympic bar, trap bar, hex bar, or even cables – it’s up to you.
It’s not about how much weight you use but how you perform the exercise.
What’s the correct weight to use, I hear you ask? It should be heavy enough for you to struggle on the 11th rep, and then you can use that last bit of strength to push out the 12th.
If you get to the 12th rep and could probably do a couple more, the weight you’re using is too light.
2. Single arm dumbbell upright rows (3 sets)
Ever heard of the weight-to-rep concept? This is basically when you match the number of reps to your chosen amount of weight. For example, if you can use a 50 pound dumbbell, you’ll do 50 reps with it.
Remember – start from the elbow and focus on your form – even when you get tired.
3. Low cable face pulls (3 sets)
Attach a rope to the bottom part of a vertical cable rack – you know, the ones that you can adjust yourself. Next, stand a couple of feet from the rope to position yourself properly.
This exercise can be tough, but it’s definitely one that will sort out the men from the boys. Try not to pause at the top of each rep, and keep the movement steady.
4. Upright row (3 sets)
A great exercise for building traps – even if you’ve probably done it before. Just concentrate on pulling up – placing a slight pressure on the traps – and don’t cheat by leaning backward or forward.
Customize your workout
The truth is this: the traps can be difficult to build so you’ll need some patience. But you’ll soon notice a difference if you continue with these exercises.
The best workouts for your traps focus on both size and definition, and although heavy weight is good, you’ll get more out of it if you focus on form.
Complete the following 4 traps workouts:
- 4 sets of 5-8 reps of shrugs
- 4 sets of 5-8 reps of single arm dumbbell upright rows
- 4 sets of 5-8 reps of low cable face pulls
- 4 sets of 5-8 reps of upright rows
One last thing…
keep safe at all times, and don’t overdo it! You’ll soon build impressive traps that will make you stand out from the crowd. Good luck!