Barbell Shurgs are one of the best trapezius exercises.
The trapezius is a trapezoid shaped muscle that runs from the base of your head and all the way down your cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid-back) spine over to your shoulder blades.
Its muscle fibers run in three different directions, and so it can pull your shoulder blades in many directions. The upper fibers pull your shoulder blades up. The middle fibers pull your shoulder blades back, and the lower fibers pull your shoulder blades down.
Barbell Shrugs focus on the upper part of the trapezius muscle. When you strenghten your upper trapezius, your neck and shoulder blade will be more stable. When your trapezius is strong it can support better posture and improve shoulder function.
Men and women often do weight training exercises for different reasons. Many men want to develop as much muscle as possible, and many women simply want to lose weight and have toned muscles.
Every exercise can help to achieve both goals depending on how you use the exercise. If you lift really heavy weights and perform 3-6 sets per exercise, that's more conducive to building maximum strength and maximum muscle. If you lift moderate to light weights, with 1-3 sets per exercise, that's more conducive to improving general fitness, strengthening, endurance, and toning.
Strong Trapezius Muscles are Important for Everyone!
Many people feel tension in the trapezius from poor posture, stress, or carrying heavy objects. The trapezius muscle helps to keep your shoulder up, so every time you hold something in your hands the trapezius muscle is stressed.
Whenever you place a bag over your shoulders the trapezius muscle is stressed. And because the trapezius muscle attaches to and supports your head, every time you are upright your trapezius muscle is stress.
The trapezius muscle only gets a break when we lie down, so it works for almost the entire day. This is why so many people feel tension in this muscle. Strengthening the trapezius is one way to decrease the tension and support this muscle.
Below is one of the simplest trapezius exercises.
Starting Position: Begin by simply grabbing a barbell with an overhand grip.
Form: Exhale and shrug your shoulders straight in the air. Hold for a brief second at the top and then slowly return to the starting position.
Personal Trainer Tips: If this is a new exercise for you, begin with a light weight and build up slowly.
Move in a slow and controlled manner.
Be mindful of your neck position throughout the movement. If you turn your head to the side while doing this exercise, additional pressure will be placed on the joints in your neck, so do your best to keep your neck in good posture throughout.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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