Upper and Middle Trapezius

Dumbbell Shrug


Dumbbell shrugs are an excellent exercise to develop strong shoulders and upper trapezius muscles. There are many ways to target your trap muscles – which are the muscles that protrude up around your shoulders and neck – with back exercises, but the dumbbell shrug is straightforward and effective.

Start Position

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
Grasp dumbbell’s in each hand, hands hanging at your sides with a neutral grip
Keeping your arms straight
All repetitions begin from this position

Movement Phases

shrug your shoulders upward as high as possible
Pause for a second at the top of the movement
The elbows will bend slightly
Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position


Primary: Upper and middle trapezius
Secondary: Levator scapulae, deltoid, erector spinae (iliocostalis, longissimus,
spinalis), forearms (wrist flexors, finger flexors)

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