The trapezium is a tricky muscle group. Train it too much, and your upper body loses its V-shape and aesthetics. Train it too little, and you look like a pencil neck. Some bodybuilders don’t train it at all. Others dedicate 8 to 12 sets per week to it. You’ll find both top bodybuilders, and stark neophytes, who swear by the need to train it. You’ll also find veterans of the game and brand new trainers who believe it’s a mistake to hit them. Whoever you believe, the traps are an interesting and important muscle group. Here are a few ways to make them shine.
Shock Them With Frequency
Spend a few bucks and purchase a pair of 60-pouind dumbbells. Place them at your computer desk at home. Each night, make yourself complete a few sets of dumbbell shrugs. Shock the traps by stimulating them way more frequently than they are used to. After 6 or 7 days of this nonstop training, give them a break.
Vary Your Rep Scheme
Many trainers are notorious for training extremely heavy on trap day. This might feel great for the ego and look quite impressive to be throwing around all that weight, but the truth of the matter is that the traps don’t receive a great deal of stimulation when the weight is too heavy and lifted too sloppily. If you have been training heavy with low reps, cut the weight by 1/3 and complete some high-rep sets. The blood flowing to previously untouched muscle fibers will stimulate new growth. Plus it will keep things interesting!
Try the “U” Bar
Many gyms have a bar with a “U” shape bent out of it. Barrel-chested power lifters often use this bar for bench-pressing past their belly. However, bodybuilders can use it to keep the bar from crashing into the body as shrugs are completed, a common complaint of lifters.
Get Behind It
Give behind-the-back barbell shrugs a try. They’re completed using an overhand grip, behind the back. The effect is a burning and stimulation in an area of the traps commonly neglected.
If your trap muscles are lagging, you must make them grow. Play with the tips above to see if you can find a way to spurn some growth. A well-developed set of traps can make a body look thick, strong, and can be the difference between 1st and 5th place at a show. Train yours frequently and intelligently.