Shoulder Shrugs Are Great For Building Your Traps
If there is one shoulder workout I really like doing, it is the shoulder shrugs. When I use to go to the gym I would do shoulder shrugs a few times per week to build my traps up and shoulders. Shoulder shrugs, if done right are the best way to totally isolate your traps and target the trapezius muscle solely. Shoulder shrugs can also build your grip strength if you are using heavy weight. There is a correct way to do shoulder shrugs, and a way that will will almost certainly get you injured. And which is better, using dumbbells or barbell for shoulder shrugs? Lets get into how to do shoulder shrugs to eliminate injury and to get the most results.
How Do You Perform Proper Shoulder Shrugs?
I have to say, shoulder shrugs are not exactly useful only using your body weight. Shoulder shrugs require weight if you want results. I have seen many people over the years do shoulder shrugs completely wrong and injure themselves in the process. Many people when they do shoulder shrugs roll their shoulders back or forward as the come up. If you are using heavy weight and doing this, you will injure your rotator cuff at some point. I have also seen people do the rolling shoulder shrugs with a barbell as well. This is adding more likelihood that you will injure yourself. To do proper shoulder shrugs, go straight up with your shoulders and hold for three seconds then back down. This limits your rotator cuff use and solely targets your trap muscles and grip strength.
Which Is Better For Shoulder Shrugs, Barbell Or Dumbbell Weight?
I have done both methods many times and from what I have experienced, dumbbell shoulder shrugs are better than barbell. The reason why I think that dumbbell shoulder shrugs are better is because you are allowed a little bit more free motion while doing the shrugs. Barbell shrugs, although very effective, increase the risk of back injury. Barbell shoulder shrugs put the weight in front of your body, which your back has to compensate for. The weighted imbalance puts additional stress on your back which increases your risk for back injury. With dumbbell shrugs, you have the weight on your sides, which proportionally distributes the weight so your back or other body parts do not have to offset a weight imbalance. Recently, I have been using resistance bands for shoulder shrugs. The trick with this is to get heavy resistance bands to actually be effective. Resistance bands are not exactly on par with dumbbell shoulder shrugs, but are a substitute with a home gym like I have.
To get the best out of shoulder shrugs, use dumbbells that are placed on each side of you, shrug up and hold for 3 to 5 seconds then come back down. When I was going to the gym, I would do a pyramid style shoulder shrugs workout. I would start off with about 50lbs, then go up to 120lbs, then back down to 50lbs. I would increase and decrease the weights by 10lbs. This got me great results. Check out the video below on how to do proper shoulder shrugs.
[He has good form and uses a hold at the top of the shrug]