Are you looking to build your Traps? What guy isn’t? Trap gains give you the look that all men who lift weights want, which is a jacked mountain on top of the shoulders.
Women often neglect traps thinking it will make them look too bulky, which is not true. Women should absolutely focus on their traps too since it helps highlight the deltoids and gives women that lean shoulder look. Talk about “tank top shoulders!”
When you start thinking about trap training it is important to focus on a few trainings focuses:
1. Pause at the top of the shrug
2. Move heavy weight bi-weekly
3. Use straps to help with your grip
First, when you pause at the top of the shrug you have a better chance at isolating the muscle. The high trap is tough to isolate and exclusively hit, like most muscles, so the pause allows for a little extra time where you isometrically hit the muscle. Going back to hypertrophy of muscles 101, the more time under tension (up to a point, I usually base that point at 60 seconds) you can put a muscle under the more blood flow will get in there. This is how you build muscle size.
Second, traps are a fast twitch fiber and need to be loaded up!! No softness here!! Yes, I will admit, for my trap training I love moderate loads and controlled reps, specifically with the pause, but we still need to move heavier loads.
Third, using straps will allow you to complete all of your reps while still mentally focusing on the muscle you are working. Mind-body connection is a vital training skill that needs to be worked on constantly; if you want to activate that muscle then you need to put your attention on that muscle. Straps allow you to take focus off the weight, your grip, and put all of it on those traps!
Training is a mental game, a tough one, that pushes your limits while requiring discipline, courage and strength. Add these tips in to your training regimen ASAP and grow those mountains!!!
Disclaimer: if you are unfamiliar with the trap muscle group I highly suggest you look it up on an anatomy chart. Shrugs focus on the high traps while other movements like rows, reverse fly, and deadlifts can help the mid to low traps.