When Lou Ferrigno flexed his huge green traps on TV as The Incredible Hulk back in the â70s, the trapezius craze among bodybuilders officially began. Since that time, massive traps running from the ears down to the shoulders has become the ultimate symbol of power and muscle mass. In fact, the illusion of a person having no neck when the traps are fully developed has resulted in the birth of the bodybuilding term âNo Neck.â
The good news for bodybuilders is that the mechanics for good trap workouts are easy enough, although they do require a lot of determination and involve a lot of weight to develop true mass. The large muscle known as traps is attached to your shoulder joints as well as the vertebrae of your neck. When flexed, the traps pull your shoulders and upper arms towards your ears. They can pull with great force and are highly responsible for stabilizing your shoulders and lifting them on the last part of an overhead lift.
Because of its primary function of pulling your shoulders towards your ears, weighted shrugs are said to be the best exercises for developing the traps. They should therefore be the cornerstone of your trap workouts. These exercises can be done using free weights, low pulley machines, cable machines, or even with static resistance. In performing weighted shrugs, it is important that you use a full range of motion when you lift the weights up towards your ears. This allows for a good stretch and complete contraction. It is also important to use weights as heavy as you can handle and to always maintain good form.
Even without separate trap workouts, the traps are usually worked when you perform your back workout. However, working on your traps separately right after a shoulder workout is still the best option for full traps development. Hereâs an example of what a good traps workout might be:
1. To warm up, do 10 repetitions of dead lifts followed by three more sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
2. Do two sets of barbell rows with ten repetitions, pulling the weight up towards your chest and then one more set, bringing the weight towards your stomach.
3. Do three sets of pull downs with 10 repetitions, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you bring the bar down.
4. Do four sets of shrugs with 10 to 15 repetitions, allowing a full stretch at the bottom and complete contraction at the top of the movement. Hold the contraction for two seconds and do two sets with the weight held in front of your body and two sets with the weight held at the back.
5. Do two sets of upright rows with 10 to 15 repetitions, making sure to pull the weight back and up.
The exercises, coupled with the work that your traps are getting from your back and shoulder workouts, are the most effective in promoting massive traps growth. Remember that the key to good trap workouts is the right exercises and the right amount of weights. So, follow the simple exercise guide above and then click through to the full Guide when your ready to take things to the next level. Dont delay: Start shrugging your way to explosive traps!
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