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2 Exercises To Build Bigger Upper & Middle Traps FAST!

You Have To Try These!

Posted by Scott_Herman - August 15th, 2017

Today Mike from Anabolic Aliens and I are going to share with you two exercises to help you build bigger mid and upper traps. Now it should go without saying at this point that above the knee rack pulls should be a staple in your trap training if you want to see some serious growth, but what do you do after you finish those if you still want to hit your traps? Well, that’s where these two exercises come in.

Exercise #1: Cable Row-Shrug

With this exercise, you’re doing exactly what the name says. You’re going to row and shrug at the same time. However, you’re going to be keeping your arms straight. The only rowing you will do is ‘rowing’ your traps back. You’re not only going to be rowing back, you’re also going to be shrugging as well. So instead of just pulling back vertically, you’re also going to shrug up and contract your traps as hard as you can.

What’s great about this movement is you’re going to be able to use the foot pads on the rowing station to stabilize yourself, so you can put as much weight as possible on the stack as you’re doing your repetitions. Using a rope attachment, you’ll grip the rope with both hands and place one foot on a foot pad of the rowing station. The other leg will be bent on the seat (in a similar position that you would have a leg for a single-arm dumbbell row). Let your shoulders hang forward as much as possible to get a nice deep stretch, then row and shrug at the same time, pulling your shoulders as high as you can. Repeat for reps.

Now if you want to utilize cheat reps on this exercise, you can obviously put a lot more weight on the stack, and then you’ll have to find which side of your body gives you the best stabilization with either your left or right foot on a foot pad. The movement is more or less the same, the only difference here being that you can use a little momentum to rock backwards as you perform the rowing and shrugging movement. It may take some practice to get the movement down, especially if you have a hard time with your mind-muscle connection, but that’s why you do the cheat AND recover (C&R) reps, so that you get a mix of heavy weight AND proper form.

Exercise #2: Landmine Single-Arm Shrug

The reason this exercise is so good is because it allows you to put a lot of weight behind your trap training, which is a must if you have a hard time growing your traps. If you want to see maximal growth, you have to overload the exercise, and a lot of gyms won’t have dumbbells that go high enough to achieve this when doing trap training one side at a time. With the barbell, you can put as much weight on it as you want. I suggest you use a wrist strap as well, simply because you don’t want to be worrying about if or when your grip strength will give out. This enables you to place all of the emphasis on your traps.

To get into the starting position, you should ideally strap up right next to the weight plates on the barbell. You’ll then stand in an upright position, not leaning forward, not leaning too far back. Your spine should be neutral, and the weight should be at your side, just as it would be for a dumbbell shrug. Shrug the barbell up, and pause for a second at the top while really focusing on squeezing your traps. Return to the starting position, and repeat for reps.

When you’re doing these single-arm exercises, it’s extremely important that you match both the weight and reps on both arms. This will ensure you build your body as symmetrically as possible.


Simple as that, two more exercises to add to your arsenal for your trap training, and it’s really easy if you want to incorporate these into your current trap workout. Try adding 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per exercise to your workout, going as heavy as you can and maybe even incorporating my C&R technique to get some extra load placed on the negative of every single repetition.

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