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How To Build Huge Traps – 3 Simple Exercises To Blow Up Your Traps !

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Everyone that is serious about lifting probably wants huge traps because it helps make you look much more bigger and muscular than you actually are. For example, when you’re looking at somebody the first place you’ll look at will be their face and the muscles surrounding the face. So your shoulders, traps and neck are the muscles that people are gonna see and look at. On the other hand if you don’t train your traps, but all your other muscles look great you’re gonna end up with a pencil neck looking physique and no one wants that, right ? Additionally, it is very important that you know what muscles are included within the traps because when you are training them you will know what part of the traps the exercise traps anatomyis hitting. This will greatly improve your mind to muscle connection when performing any exercise and that will always result in more muscle gains.

The Traps

The trapezius is a large superficial muscle that extends from the back of the skull along the neck and all the way to the thorax. It contains 3 distinct smaller muscle groups and these are the upper traps which run from your neck to your clavicle, the middle trapezius that runs across from the upper/middle back area attaching directly to your scapula and the lower trapezius which goes from the lower/middle back area and then it runs upwards also attaching to your scapula.

Now that you understand what muscles make up the traps here is a brilliant routine for you to try that will hit all three distinct parts of your traps, but remember you must also have good nutrition and enough sleep to allow the muscle to repair/grow bigger. Ensure you choose the right weight to use when performing these exercises so that you actually feel the traps working or else you’re just wasting your time.

Barbell Upright Rows

This exercise targets the upper traps and all 3 heads of your deltoids. Grab the bar shoulder width apart and retract your shoulder blades. Now bring the barbell up to your nipple line and back down. Depending on your mobility it is extremely important that you don’t go above your nipple as that will put unnecessary stress on the wrists and shoulder joints.

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

barbell upright rows


Barbell Shrugs

Go to a squat rack, grab the bar a little bit wider than shoulder width apart then simply shrug your shoulders all the way up and back down. Make sure you do not move your neck while doing the shrugs, just keep it nice and straight or else you can injure yourself really badly. This will hit the middle part of your traps and the rhomboids. When you start to use heavier weights your grip may suffer if you don’t train your forearms and grip strength often. So using gym straps and wrist wraps will help prevent the bar from slipping out of your hands.

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

barbell shrugs

Dumbbell Shrugs

Start by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and bringing your shoulder blades together, now just like the barbell shrugs maintain a straight neck while doing this exercise. The difference between dumbbell and barbell shrugs is that when you’re shrugging with the barbell your shoulders tend to come forward especially when you start to use heavier weight loads, this normally results in you not being able to contract the traps with a full range of motion, but the pro is that you get to use a lot more weight. So this is why you are ending this trap workout with dumbbell shrugs to ensure you hit as many muscle fibres in your traps as possible since it allows for a much better range of motion.

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

dumbbell shrugs

Do this routine twice a week to get those monster sized traps and if you have any other questions about your traps leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “How To Build Huge Traps – 3 Simple Exercises To Blow Up Your Traps !

  1. Hi Andrew, I am a big fan of squats and do them almost everyday, I just enjoy the idea of working my legs, reading your article makes me wonder what do you think about squats and if you recommend combining them with exercises for traps.

    Do they require too much energy? I dont have to much time to go to a gym, so I exercise at home.

    1. Squats do use a lot energy and also work the traps, but if you want your traps to grow you need to hit them directly. If you want to combine your leg workout with this trap workout that’s not a bad combination and if you enjoy it then why not Javier.

  2. I want to thank you for the effort you’ve put into your informative article. You see, I went to a new Osteopath the other day and he told me that my traps were severely underdeveloped. I thought I was a mutated being when he said it to me. However, he later explained that they were this way because I never do exercises that are designed to strengthen them so tomorrow when I attend the gym I will be using your advice to create the strength that my traps so badly need.

  3. Hey Andrew,
    Nice article. It’d be great if you could advise what weight one should start lifting at. I think with weight-lifting, there’s a tendency for people to overtrain themselves by lifting weights every day and most of the time, I hear them tell me they have suffered neck/arm/shoulder injuries etc. Are you going to be writing more on this topic such as how often to train, what weight to start off at etc? If you are, I’ll definitely be looking forward to it!

    1. Depending on the persons height, weight, genetics and lifestyle it would be inaccurate for me to judge how often someone should train and what weight to start off with. That’s why online coaching is needed if you want to prevent injuries and save time. Although, generally the first 1-2 weeks you should perform each movement with little or no weight to ensure your form is perfect. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Thank you for the informative article. Understanding what muscles make up a trapezius is important before you work out.
    Training is a bit hard because most people never get what they expect. Why is it that most people complain about having pains after doing exercises? For you said only twice in the week doing the routine can get you the traps, but some people do the exercise every day. Could this be the reason for the pains and failure to getting expected results?
    Thank you for your reply.

    1. For those people that have pains and don’t see the results from their training it’s because they probably have terrible form when performing the exercises, don’t eat enough of the right foods or don’t sleep enough.

  5. What other muscle groups should this be paired to to make a bigger workout? Or is ok to use this as just a trap workout ? Good to read a bit about the muscles and not just straight into the exercises. Do you have any more than these three? Or are these just the best in your opinion?

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