Barbell Shrugs

The barbell shrug is the ultimate exercise for bigger traps and a thicker upper back, but sadly most guys perform this exercise wrong. This page is going to show you the perfect barbell shrug form for bigger traps as well as give you a few form cues so you can crush every set of barbell shrugs.

The biggest mistake guys make when performing a barbell shrug is the grip position. Contrary to popular belief, you don't want to place your hands too close on this exercise. If your hands are inside shoulder width position you are going to feel this move a lot more in your neck and a lot less in your traps.

Take your grip slightly wider than shoulder width and lighten the load and focus on the squeeze of your upper back and traps with each rep. Full form tips below step by step!

execution

  1. 1
    Grip position is everything. Make sure your grip is slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  2. 2
    Grip the bar with an overhand pronated grip and wear straps so the overload is off your grip and forearms
  3. 3
    Lift the bar off the rack and take 1-2 small steps back. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground
  4. 4
    Bend your knees slightly and keep a tight core to prevent back injury
  5. 5
    shrug the bar up as high as you can and squeeze your traps for 1 hard second at the top of each rep
  6. 6
    Lower the bar slow and controlled on the eccentric position
  7. 7
    Keep the traps under constant tension and don't rest
  8. 8
    I recommend in the 8-12 rep range on the barbell shrug

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