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The development of the trapezius muscle is very important both for the appearance and for the development of strength, protecting joints from injuries. Basic back training does not load the trapeze enough; additional isolated exercises are required to pump it. Consider how to pump up the trapezoid, basic exercises and training principles that allow you to achieve a rapid increase in the volume and strength of this muscle.

How to pump up a trapeze

A well-pumped trapezoid gives a powerful look and completeness to the upper torso. But this applies only to the male figure. Girls and women do not decorate the inflated trapeze, they may need to pump the trapezius muscle only in preparation for serious bodybuilding competitions.

Trapezoid functions

The trapezius muscle diverges symmetrically on both sides of the upper part of the spinal column, attaching at the top to the cervical vertebrae and the occipital bone. The muscle fibers of the middle part of the trapezoid are attached to the outer edges of the clavicles and scapular bones, and the fibers of the lower part – to the shoulder blades.

Since different parts of this large superficial muscle are attached to different bones, then, accordingly, the function of the trapezius muscle is determined by the combination of functions of each part of it. The upper section of the trapezoid is responsible for lifting the shoulder girdle upward and is involved in the lifting of the hands. The lower area of the trapezius muscle is responsible for lowering the shoulder girdle and is involved in lowering the hands. And the middle zone of the trapezoid provides the reduction of the shoulder blades.

Training Features

Since the functions of different parts of the trapezius muscle are different, different exercises are needed to train each of them. The middle and lower area of the trapezoid is well worked out when pumping back muscles – any kind of pulls in the slope, bench presses (lifting the weight above the head).

But the upper part of the trapeze during basic back exercises is not worked out enough. Therefore, for her there are special types of exercises – shrags. These are exercises for lifting shoulders with weights in lowered hands.

Purposeful pumping of the trapezoid is performed on the days of back training, after performing basic exercises. It is enough to perform 2-3 exercises in 4-5 approaches with minute pauses. To avoid getting used to, exercises should be changed. With an increase in strength, working weights must be increased, maintaining the number of repetitions to muscle failure in the range of 7-10 times.

How to properly perform shrags

Lifting shoulders with weights in the hands (shrugs) allows you to pump a strong volumetric trapezoid, only if you perform them correctly. Therefore, before starting training, you should familiarize yourself with the advice of leading sports physiologists.

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Dumbbells instead of barbell

Shrugs with dumbbells pump the trapeze much more efficiently than shrugs with a barbell, so they should be preferred. This is due to the fact that when performing a shrag with a barbell, the position of the hands is limited – they are in front of the hips, which the bar rests on, and it is impossible to take them even a little back. Because of this, shrugs with a bar are performed strictly in a vertical plane – the shoulders move up and down.

But in addition to raising the shoulders up, the trapezoid also performs the function of reducing the shoulder blades, which requires movement in the horizontal plane. And in order to pump the trapeze well, it is necessary to use this movement too. This becomes possible only if, instead of the barbell, dumbbells are taken to perform the shrag.

Execution technique

Performing a shrag with dumbbells that hang freely in the hands on the sides of the body does not limit the necessary movements of the shoulders for efficient pumping of the trapezoid. Here are the highlights of the rules for performing a shrag:

  • Before starting the exercise, the muscles should be well warmed up.
  • You can inflate the trapezoid only with little repetitive training, the weight of the dumbbells should be selected so that muscle failure occurs at 7-10 repetitions.
  • Straighten your back, keep your head straight, straightened legs shoulder width apart, dumbbells in lowered hands on the sides of the hips.
  • Bring the shoulder blades as you inhale, and then, without spreading them (this is important), slowly pull the shoulders to the ears to the highest possible height. The head should be kept straight, the chin is forbidden to be brought closer to the chest, in order to avoid injuries of the cervical vertebrae.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds at the top point.
  • As you exhale, lower and relax your shoulders.
  • Perform shrags in 4 sets with pauses of 45-60 minutes.

It may happen that for a little repetition of training there will be insufficient available maximum weight of dumbbells. In this case, trapezoid training can be performed with a barbell, however, it is strictly forbidden to lean forward to make the blades flattened. This can lead to lower back injury. With a barbell, as with dumbbells, shrugs should be performed strictly holding the body straight, with a straightened back.

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Dumbbell Shrugs

Shrags are also good because this element can be introduced into the technique of already familiar basic exercises on the back, making them even more effective. Consider this as an example of a tilt dumbbell pull.

Tilted dumbbell shrugs

The draft of dumbbells in a slope works out all the muscles of the back, as well as the back deltas. By introducing shrugs into this basic exercise, we get, plus to everything, an increased emphasis on pumping the trapezoid. The classic tilt-dumbbell traction technique is well known to everyone:

  • Lean with one hand and foot on the support, giving the body an inclined position. Bend in the lower back, you should not round your back in any case.
  • Take a dumbbell in your free hand. Next, you must perform the dumbbell pull up, bending the elbow. The distribution of the load on the muscles will depend on the position of the elbow in relation to the body and on its trajectory of upward movement, so do the version of this exercise that suits your tasks.
  • However, do not forget that we decided to complicate this exercise by introducing such an element as shrugs. This is done as follows: before starting the dumbbell pull, pull the shoulder upward as much as possible and only then do the pull, maintaining this position of the shoulder during the entire cycle of movement.
  • Only after lowering the dumbbell down your shoulder and relax.

You will feel how much more efficiently the trapezoid is loaded with this traction. This option dumbbell traction in the slope allows you to work out the muscles involved in this exercise, and the bonus is to pump the trapezius muscle to the desired volume.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Despite the fact that the dumbbell bench press on the stomach is performed with light dumbbells, it allows you to perfectly pump the trapeze, especially its bottom. The order of its execution is as follows:

  • Take a pair of dumbbells weighing 1-2 kg.
  • Lie on the floor face down, do not bend your back, legs are straightened.
  • Bring your hands with dumbbells to your shoulders without touching the floor.
  • Do dumbbell presses above your head, stretching your arms horizontally forward and returning to the shoulders, while keeping them constantly on weight.

This exercise will check the status of your trapezoid. If you deprived her of the load during training, it will be very difficult to perform this bench press, and the next day you may feel severe pain in the trapezius muscle. But by including this bench press in a training program, you can gradually correct the situation.

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Bodyweight Exercises

Workout followers can pump up trapezoid with their own body weight. Consider how to do this on the horizontal bar, on the uneven bars, as well as in the absence of these shells.

Horizontal bar

To pump up the trapezoid on the horizontal bar, you need to be able to pull yourself up. Particularly effective for training the trapezius muscle upside down. They are performed as follows:

  • Take the position of the hang on the crossbar.
  • Give the body a horizontal position by lifting its bent legs up.
  • Do pull-ups in this position, reducing the shoulder blades and straining your back.

If pull-ups on the horizontal bar upside down are not yet obtained, they can be performed on the uneven bars. This is easy to do by hanging and at the same time placing your feet on the bars so that the body is parallel to the floor. Importantly, do not forget to pull the shoulder blades and pull up the trapezius muscle when pulling up.


You can pump up the trapeze with a simple exercise on the uneven bars. To do this, you need:

  • on the uneven bars go straight ahead with straight arms;
  • from this position, with all his strength, stretch the neck up, straining the back muscles, bringing the shoulder blades together, protruding the chest and arching in the lower back;
  • having fixed in this position for a couple of seconds, relax your shoulders and “immerse” the neck in them;
  • repeat stretching the neck with tension of the back muscles and subsequent relaxation until muscle failure occurs.

Do not forget that throughout the exercise you need to maintain the emphasis on straight arms.


You can pump up the trapeze without any shells, and the effect of the exercise will be no worse than with dumbbells and barbells. With this exercise, you can pump up a trapezoid at home. True, and it’s not easy to fulfill:

  • make a stand on straight arms, resting your feet on the wall;
  • stretch your whole body up, straining the trapezoid and bringing the shoulder blades;
  • having fixed for a couple of seconds in the extreme position, relax your shoulders and lower the body down vertically, without leaving the rack;
  • repeat the exercise until the muscles are completely tired.

Having set yourself the goal of pumping up the trapezoid, do not forget that attention must be paid to the study of all muscle groups. Only under this condition can a harmoniously developed and strong body be obtained.