Trapezius Training - Exercises to Develop Lower Traps

Developing Lower Traps

There are Unlimited Possibilities to Exercise

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Take a good look at your entire workout plan and determine which other exercises make you uncomfortable. If you can name others, do yourself a favor: Don't do them any more. When you're not getting the full benefit of an exercise you are shortchanging yourself Building muscle is hard enough as it is. You want to get the most out of every workout you do in the gym. Early in my bodybuilding career I used to do a lot of free squats, and the only result from my workouts was a sore back. I tried everything I could to make free squats work for me: changing my foot position, putting a block of wood under my feet, and training with high and low numbers of reps. My legs did not grow. I even had an Olympic weightlifter help me with my squatting form and still I saw no change. Not until I switched to Smith-machine squats did I see real progress in my leg development.

What I want to convey to you is, not everyone experiences exactly the same benefit from a particular exercise. Finding the perfect combination of exercises that work for your body takes a lot of trial and error. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, had a hard time building his calves when he first started bodybuilding. Building them to match the rest of his physique took a long time. The good news was he found a training routine that worked. You will, too. Finding one just takes time and plenty of sweat and tears.

Because power-rack barbell shrugs aren't helping you achieve the trap development you seek, since you are not getting a full range of motion in this exercise you find awkward, I suggest you switch to doing dumbbell shrugs. Doing shrugs using dumbbells gives you more options with hand and body position. This type of shrug is the single best exercise for the lower traps. If you fear doing this shrug because having the dumbbells in front of your body will be just as un-comfortable as a barbell, note that using a dumbbell gives you the option of doing shrugs with a hammer grip, which allows you to hold dumbbells at the sides of your body and attain a greater range of motion. Dumbbells also allow you to shrug higher and to get a better overall contraction at the top of the movement.

You have other options when you train your traps using dumbbells. Shrugs can be done either seated or standing. The great advantage of shrugging with dumbbells is they allow you to change the angle of an exercise so that you can target the lower traps or any part of the traps you are specifically trying to hit. You can also do alternating dumbbell shrugs. Training your traps this way requires greater concentration and will help you focus on them to a greater extent. A connection between the mind and the muscle does exist during weight training, so if you want to achieve optimal results from your workout, make sure your brain and body are on the same page. Best of luck.




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