5 Best Shoulder Shrug Exercises for Men

Soniya
Shoulder Shrugs are simple and effective exercises for the body. (Image via Unsplash/ Brad Neathery)
Shoulder Shrugs are simple and effective exercises for the body. (Image via Unsplash/ Brad Neathery)

Shoulder shrugs are a very popular exercise for strengthening the upper body. No matter where you go, you’re bound to find a few people working out with shoulder shrugs.

Shoulder shrugs are a simple exercise you can do almost anywhere. This workout is suitable for people of any fitness level and can be modified for different levels of strength.


Shoulder Shrug Exercises for Men

The trapezius, commonly known as your traps, is mostly known for its role in shrugging the shoulders. In reality, though, it plays a big role in posterior chain movement and contributes to posture and also the senses.

This muscle group is responsible for the strength needed in pushing exercises like chest presses and dips. Here are five variations of shoulder shrugs men can do as per their body type and fitness level:

1) Dumbbell Shrug Exercise

The dumbbell shrug is one of the best exercises for building bigger and stronger trapezius muscles. In fact, you can use dumbbell shrugs to build a wide, thick set of traps that can help you when doing back poses. This exercise isolates and builds the upper portion of the trapezius muscle.

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Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand straight, with your arms at your sides, and hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand.
  • Raise your shoulders as high as you can — as if you were trying to touch them to your ears.
  • Hold for a moment, and lower the weight. Breathe in when you lower the weight, and breathe out when you lift it.
  • You can also try pausing at the top of the movement to enhance your mind-muscle connection.

2) Incline Dumbbell Shrug

Incline Dumbbell Shrugs are a great way to build upper back strength, including the trapezius and neck region. They also help improve posture.

This shoulder shrug variation targets the upper traps and the upper portion of the middle traps. The fact that your chest is pressed on the bench makes it difficult to use momentum to drive the weight up.

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To do this move:

  • Set a pair of dumbbells on the floor, positioning them so that you can straddle an adjustable-incline bench, with your feet flat on the floor, or position them on the bench frame to support the body.
  • Holding the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing forward, lie chest down on an incline bench.
  • Slowly shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. Once you get to the top, pause for a second, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

3) Barbell Shrug

Barbell shrugs are one of the best exercises to build bigger, stronger trapezius muscles. They can be performed very heavily to thicken the traps, which are important for back poses, such as handstands. Shoulder shrugs are one of the best isolation exercises for the trapezius.

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Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with knees slightly bent and core stable.
  • Grasp the barbell with your hands facing down in a grip that's slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Raise your shoulders without bending your elbows as far as possible—getting them closer to your ears.
  • Hold this position for a brief second before slowly returning to the starting position.

4) Smith Machine Shrug

The barbell shrug is a favorite movement for many people looking to tone or add mass to their trapezius muscles. There are several variations of the barbell shrug, including Smith machine shrugs. A Smith machine shrug is an upper body exercise that targets the traps (the muscles of the upper back).

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To do a shoulder shrug in a Smith machine:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent, and hold a barbell in an overhand grip so that it rests on top of your thighs.
  • Try to raise your shoulders as high as possible while keeping your arms straight.
  • Hold this position for a second before lowering the bar back to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions.

5) Behind-the-back Barbell Shrug

The barbell behind-the-back shoulder shrug is an effective exercise for targeting the trapezius muscles. It's often performed on a shoulder day, when weights and reps are focused on muscle growth and strength.

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To do this move:

  • With your feet shoulder-width apart and a barbell behind your thighs, lift your shoulders as high as possible while keeping your arms straight.
  • Hold the contraction for a second before lowering the bar back to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions.

Takeaway

As with any exercise, shoulder shrugs also require judiciously applied common sense. Any exercise that involve the use of heavy weights must be performed under expert supervision and only after a very good warm-up with some lighter weights.

As always, use caution and good judgment when doing these exercises. If done correctly, they can greatly enhance your physique.

Poll : Have you tried any of these workouts?

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Edited by Bhargav