Hardcore Trap Training For Bodybuilders

hardcore trap training for bodybuilders

Traps aren’t a body part most newbies work or worry about, but why is that? The traps are a great tie-in between delts, upper back, and neck, after all, so why wouldn’t you begin working them immediately upon embarking upon a workout routine as a regular part of life?

There is no answer to that question other than: Exactly.

Then again, though it’s an obvious area that might benefit from an early start, it also takes time with other body parts to get a feel for what it means to “connect” to muscles. And besides, accidentally engaging the traps is just far too easy – it’s a mistake newbies make time and again when they train their delts back and even chest, to some degree. They shrug up the shoulders when doing lateral raises and build traps rather than deltoids.

The result is, that newbies see their traps get bigger and think, “Oh, this is something that just happens as a matter of course. For awhile, it does, until that person sees that their delts aren’t anything to write home about. That’s when they learn to disengage their traps, actually work their shoulders, and fail to include trap workouts in their routines.

It’s an easy fix though. Including trap workouts even once a week – whether in with forearms or other incidental body parts, is a great way to ensure that they continue growing past the mistake stage.

Upright Rows:

Take a barbell into your hands and hold it by your upper thighs with palms facing you and your thumbs about six inches apart. Slowly raise the bar toward your chin as you squeeze your traps and roll backward. You want your elbows to rise above the level of the bar. Hold during the contraction for a beat, and then slowly lower traps to the starting position. As you lower, stretch your neck upward so your traps are worked during the negative.

Dumbbell Shrugs:

Find a pair of dumbbells of considerable weight and hold them down at your sides with your palms facing inward. Find a good posture, back straight, with your feet close together and perhaps a slight bend in the knees. Dip your shoulders downward, then pull them straight up to shrug. Let your shoulders drop slowly, resist the weight a bit on the negative portion of the motion. Do not rotate your shoulders as this could result in injury and does not add any additional impact on muscle formation.

Calf Machine Shrug Raises:

Take about 70% of the normal dumbbell weight you might use for shrugs, go to the standing calf-raise machine and lower the shoulder pads as low as they can possibly go. Hold the dumbbells in each hand like you would for normal shrugs. While standing with feet flat on the ground, move shoulders just under the pads as you would normally do for standing calf raises. Using about 75-80% of your normal weight for shrugs, adjust the calf machine to this amount of weight. Perform a normal set of shrugs while the calf machine is pressing down on your shoulders. Because you are not having to hold all of the weight you’re using (about 150% more than you might be able to hold) it makes adding extra weight easy and is a great boon to size.