Small movements will give you significant gains in the longer run. Barbell shrug exercise is a classic example of achieving a mountain-sized trap. It is also commonly referred to as the shoulder shrugs barbell as it targets the shoulder muscles the most. The movement involved here is relatively small, but you can load heavy weight on the bar. Greater the weight, greater power, and strength you will gain on your upper back. So, if you aspire, a monster upper back barbell workout is the one that will quicken the pursuit. But this move is more nuanced than you think. Let us analyze the workout from all angles.

What Are The Muscles Worked By The Barbell Shrug?

The rhomboids and trapezius are the muscles that are primarily worked by a bb shrug. The muscles work together to pull back the shoulders by stabilizing them. Then it engages the core abdominal muscles and activates them. The forearms strength is improved as the brachioradialis is worked on every time the barbell is secured with proper grip. Eventually, the barbell shrug form stabilizes the whole upper body.

Benefits Of Barbell Shrug

  • The barbell shrugs workout is a premium exercise to develop trap strength. It acts as the muscle fibers in the upper back of the body. As the trapezius is worked on, it offers a broader physical appearance with more strength to that area. The strength gains achieved through this workout will help while performing the other compound exercises like a deadlift and squat. People concentrate more on their pecs and lats at times, but if you haven’t worked on your traps for a while, consider doing it now with an effective barbell shrug exercise.
  • It gives better posture as it targets the upper back muscles like the traps and rhomboids, which are responsible for keeping the shoulders high and preventing hunchbacks or a slouched neck. Regular practice of bb shrug will provide you with a thicker band of upper muscles, which will effortlessly help you maintain your posture correctly.
  • Barbell shoulder shrugs are a great isolation exercise. It targets one muscle group and can effectively sculpt the traps than any other compound exercise.

How To Perform A Barbell Shrug?

Barbell shrug exercise steps are discussed below to perform it in proper form efficiently. 

You will need a barbell shrug and some weights to perform this exercise. Start by doing it lightly and keep adding weight with time. 

How will you set up and put into action a barbell shrugs workout? The barbell on the rack must be below the waist level.

  • Stand in a position right in front of the barbell.
  • Tighten your abs and grasp the barbell firmly. 
  • Contract the traps and raise the shoulders. With an overhand grip, contract your back slightly along with the move.
  • Now bring the barbell back to the standing position and keep repeating the motion for any number of repetitions until you get exhausted. 

When doing this exercise for beginners, take care not to stack plates or heavy loads. Instead, choose lighter weights for 3 sets with 10 reps.

What Are The Barbell Shrug Variations?

There are many variations to the standard standing barbell shrugs.  

Perform any traditional barbell exercise by hinging forward and inhaling, thereby grabbing the bar well outside the shoulder width. Use both hands and stand up tall. Ensure that your spine is neutral throughout this snatch grip barbell shrug. Contract the trap to elevate the shoulder. You have to squeeze hard at the topmost position and lower the bar back to the starting position. Now let us discuss how the other variations are done in detail.


Reverse Grip Standing Barbell Shrugs

It is a significant variation wherein the hands are gripping the bar well with the palms facing forwards. The traditional barbell shrug is performed with just a variation in the grip in the reverse direction.

Barbell Shoulder Shrugs Behind The Back

This variation activates the middle back of the traps and is very effective. Hold the bar behind your back with the palms facing the backward direction and perform the same as any regular standing barbell shrugs.

Dumbbell Snatch Grip Shoulder Shrug

Shrug with the dumbbells on both your hands in a deeper range of motion. It is similar to the standing barbell shrugs, except that it uses dumbbells instead of a barbell. Therefore, this is an effective workout at home option as you can effectively do it with dumbbells that occupy less space.

Overhead Barbell Shrug

Hold a barbell above your head with the hands twice the shoulder-width apart. Take care to have the arms straight throughout the workout. Shrug the shoulders as high as possible and pause for a few seconds at the top position. Reverse this overhead barbell shrug, and go back to the starting position.

Barbell Shrug Alternative Exercise

By now, you would have gained comprehensive knowledge about the barbell shrug. Check out the barbell shrug alternative exercise mentioned below to see how it improves upper back training.

  • Close Grip Upright Row – This is an alternative to any barbell shrug form workout done with a resistance band. Let the palms face inwards, and all you have to do is raise your hands upwards to activate the traps. Take care to maintain your elbows above your waist level.
  • Lying Superman Raise – Place your forehead on the floor and activate the traps to raise your upper body. Keep the abs tight throughout the exercise, and it sculpts the upper body effectively.
  • Resistance Band Side Shrugs – This alternating exercise makes use of a resistance band to shrug upwards and offers the same output as the shoulder shrugs barbell.

Summing It Up

Follow the barbell shrug exercise steps as per the instructions given in the article above to prevent and reduce the risk of injury. Most importantly, doing it correctly will help you achieve your results faster. Try doing the above types and variations in a rotation instead of working on the same muscle groups with the same move every day. This will give sufficient time for the body to recover. Slay the workout and develop those monster traps effortlessly right away!


Top Search Terms For Yoga

facts of meditation | ardha siddhasana | jnana yoga basic concepts | shanmukhi mudra | chit shakti for health | flat belly yoga | beginning hatha yoga |chakrasana steps | meditation for peace | navasana benefits | parsvottanasana steps | how to do raja yoga | salabasana benefits | meaning of naukasana | how to do vajrasana | uttanpadasana | benefits of veerasana | reclined eagle pose | the yoga sleep pose | how to draw dhanurasana | ardha chandrasana steps |


Top Search Terms For Exercises 

dumbell pullover | back superset workout | bicycle ab workout | cable fly high to low | middle chest workout | free hand excercise | hand fat loss exercise | bunny jump exercise | what is leg curl | standing exercises for weight loss | How to Perform Sumo Squat | daily stretches for splits | 

Top Search Terms Fitness

foods that burn belly fat |  benefits of parivrtta trikonasana |  Lotus Pose follow-up poses | trapezitis physiotherapy treatment | parsva upavistha konasana benefits | back exercises dumbbell at home | best exercises for knock knees | inner chest workout at gym | cardio exercises for belly fat |  jumping jack for weight loss | lateral lunges muscles worked | books to read to develop reading habit | how to grow a beard faster for teenagers naturally | baddha padmasana benefits in english | asanas to reduce buttocks and thighs |  benefits of anulom vilom yoga |  what is trikonasana and its benefits | how to increase beard growth |


December 30, 2021

More from 



View All
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.