Barbell shrugs


Major muscles used

  • Trapezius

Performing barbell shrugs

  • Standing upright, hold a barbell across your thighs, hands just outside hips with palms facing your body.
  • Your feet should be hip-width apart, with shoulders back and drooped down as far as they will naturally go.
  • Your chest should be out and your back should be straight, with a slight forward lean.
  • Raise your shoulders as high as possible towards your ears, lifting the barbell with your arms still straight and palms facing your body. Hold at the highest point for a brief second while flexing your trapezius muscle.
  • Return to the starting position by lowering your shoulders down in a slow, controlled manner.

Be careful

  • Don't bend at the elbows and lift with your arms in an attempt to raise the weight. You must lift the weight with your trapezius muscles by raising your shoulders only.
  • Don't let the weights simply drop to the starting position. Lower the weight by slowly resisting the weights downward force.

Alternative exercises to barbell shrugs

 Courtesy of, your Online Personal Trainer


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