If your traps aren’t where you want them to be, I’ll tell you how to get them growing again.
Recently a reader commented on one of my videos that my traps had come along in recent times.
He was right!
Traps have always been a stubborn body part for me. But over the last year or so, I’ve had better growth than about the previous 5 years combined!
So how did I do it? What did I change? And how can you get your traps to grow again?
Well, there are 2 key points:
(1) Constant Tension
(2) Slowed Controlled Negatives
For constant tension to be applied, you need to ensure that your traps are doing all the work and that you take no pauses or breaks in the set until you reach muscular failure.
The negatives (lowering) of each rep should also be executed more slowly than the positives….AND…be carried out under full muscular control i.e. the traps are doing all the work.
Additionally, you want to lower the weight all the way to the bottom so that the load feels like it’s “hanging” off your arms. Basically your arms are like dead weight, like chains holding onto the bar, the bar then pulls the traps down creating a “stretched” feeling across the intended muscle. This is the proper “bottom” position for shrugging.
So all the way down, and all the way up ensuring the traps are doing the work.
There are also 2 exercises that I believe were predominantly responsible for this renewed growth. 2 movements that I had been neglecting, but I now swear by.
(1) Shrugs with dumbbells
(2) Upright Rows with an EZ bar
You’ve more freedom of movement with dumbbells than a barbell, which I believe allows for a fuller contraction of the traps.
Also, if executed properly, an upright row with an EZ bar is an extremely effective movement. I’ve taken a pic of where to hold the bar.
So, if it were me and you in the gym, here’s what I’d say to you…
- Whatever weight you are using, reduce it by 10% so I can make sure your traps are doing all the work (an example of “resetting“)
- Never let the tension leave your traps for a second
- Go all the way to the top
- Lower under full muscular control
- Lower all the way to the bottom and let the weight “hang” from the traps at the bottom
- Take each set to positive failure
Tomorrow you can call me complaining of severe trap pain, but you’ll thank me for it later 😉
If you want a more thorough explanation of constant tension, watch my video below.
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