Exercise Guide Video Instructions - Dumbbell Shrugs
Dumbbell shrugs, just like doing any trapezius exercise,
is only one of the many choices that you have when you want to specifically
isolate your traps. When using dumbbells you will have a slightly
different variation and angle on the area that gets stressed when
you are doing shrugs this way versus using a barbell.
The reason that doing dumbbell shrugs is slightly
different is because your hands are in a different position when
holding the weight compared to barbell shrugs, upright rows or some
other barbell movement. This means that you will be developing a
slightly different part of the rather complex set of muscle insertions
that are connected to your trapezius muscle group.
If you are a beginner just starting out and you have
never trained your traps directly before, then it is strongly recommended
that you start off with a weight that is very light so that you
can get accustomed to the movement. You need to be able to concentrate
to be able to specifically isolate the traps and using a weight
that you can easily handle is very important.
What that means is that you need to concentrate on
the "squeeze" and peak contraction at the very top of
this movement so that you can feel your traps contracting and tensing
up at the top position. Just like training any other body part,
the more you are able to isolate a muscle that you are working,
the better your results will be.
So in order to do the exercise correctly you need
to first stand with your legs around shoulder width apart. When
you hold the dumbbells, your palms will be facing each other or
rather facing towards your body before you even start the movement.
You then need to make sure that you hang the dumbbells at your sides
to make sure that your arms are fully extended.
The execution of this movement is basically pretty
simple as you will shrug your shoulders up while keeping both of
your arms completely straight. You should feel the weight on your
trapezius muscles as you shrug upwards. When you get to the very
top of the shrug, you should make sure that you pause for a brief
moment and stay in the top shrug position to maximize the tension
on the traps.
From the top position, you will lower the weight down
and return the dumbbells to the starting position to equal one full
repetition. Repeat this movement for the amount of repetitions that
you want to do for your set. It is always good to combine your trapezius
training along with either your back workout or your shoulder training.
Most people like to include their trapezius training at the very
end of their workout which is a good routine to follow since you
really want to keep all of your peak strength for big, compound
mass building exercises earlier on in your workout.
There are several different choices for exercises
that target your trapezius muscles. Be careful to make sure that
you are doing no more than 6-8 total sets when training your traps
since they are a relatively small muscle group and you do not need
a lot of sets to target the area for growth. Below is a list of
other trapezius exercises that you can do along with dumbbell shrugs: