5 Best Exercises for Traps [Get Bigger Traps!]

The Trapezius muscles in short, the traps are the muscles groups that are often overlooked by most of the gym-goers and athletes. But, do you know? These triangular shaped muscles helps to assist your shoulder and back in a proper stability. They also help to maintain your posture. A strong and muscular set of traps will not only help you in performing various back and shoulder exercises but also contribute your body building a great upper back and rear deltoids. These are the primary reasons you should build a strong and muscular set of traps. Here are the 5 best exercises for traps you should not miss if you want big, muscular and strong traps. Let’s get started.

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug is one of the best exercises for traps and there are two main reason why this is such a great exercise. It is beginner-friendly that means even a newbie can start doing dumbbell shrugs. All he/she needs to do is to take a pair of lightweight dumbbells and maintain proper form. So, along with effectiveness, it’s an easy and safe exercise that can easily be performed even by the beginners.

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And, speaking about easiness and safety, dumbbell shrug is safer compared to most other exercises for traps. There are many traps exercises which are just unsafe and put unnecessary pressure on your shoulder blades like barbell upright rows. But, this exercise is both beginner-friendly and safe to perform so you should not miss this staple exercise which can give you muscular and strong set of traps.


Deadlift is a very popular staple compound exercise for back, glutes and hamstrings, right? No, let me say it again in the right way. Deadlift is a very popular staple compound exercise for back, traps, glutes and hamstrings. Now, that sounds correct, doesn’t it? Yes, you can build your traps with deadlifts too. Actually, deadlift is one of the best exercises for traps because you have to lift all the weight with the strength of mainly your lower back and traps.

If you already perform deadlift in workout sessions in right form, you must have noticed how effective if is for the traps but if you don’t do deadlifts, I suggest you to start performing deadlifts and see how effective it is for not only your overall back but also your traps. Deadlift is not as easy or beginner-friendly as it looks like so ask your trainer to help you master the form first.

Also Read: 8 Best Deadlift Variations You Should Try!

Face Pull

Face pull is a very effective exercise for the rear deltoids and the middle as well as lower traps. The middle and lower traps which lie on your upper back is the group of muscle which makes your upper back thick and strong so you need to focus these area of the traps properly.

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To put extra emphasis on middle and lower traps, face pull is the best exercise out there. It is safe, easy-to-perform, beginner-friendly and very effective so I can’t see no reason to miss this amazing exercise especially if you want to build big, muscular and strong traps mainly in those 2 portions.

Barbell Shrug

Barbell shrug is the evolved version of dumbbell shrug. The 2 key differences between the barbell version and the dumbbell version of this exercise are that dumbbell shrugs are beginner-friendly as you can use very lightweight dumbbells to start the exercise initially whereas in barbell shrugs, as a starter, you need to at least hold the empty bar which is twice the weight than the smallest dumbbells. So, yes, dumbbell shrugs are more beginner-friendly. Then, where do barbell shrugs shine? Well, the only thing that holds this exercise back from being a beginner-friendly exercise is its actual advantage in the long run.

That means, you can lift way heavier weight in barbell shrugs so when you will be habituated enough with light weights, you can progressively overload in this exercise with ease to keep targeting your traps more and more in order to make them even stronger and muscular. But, that’s not the case for dumbbell shrugs because there is a limit of how much weight you can lift in this exercise because dumbbells are available in limited weights in most of the gyms whereas in a bar, you can attach massive amount of weights. That’s why, barbell shrug is also one of the best exercises for traps which you should perform especially if you are already habituated with the dumbbell shrugs.

Rack Pull

The last traps exercise in our list of best exercises for traps is rack pull. Rack pull is somewhat similar to deadlift but the only big difference is that you have to lift the weight not from the same floor you are standing but from a higher platform. So, it’s kind of a semi-deadlift. But just like deadlift, rack pull also is a compound strength building exercise that targets several muscle groups including the traps.

Since rack pull is easier to perform than deadlift, you can lift more weight in this exercise and that heavy weight will put more pressure on your traps to make them grow bigger, stronger and muscular. So, if you are not comfortable with deadlift than you can perform rack pulls instead because it is easier to learn and perform especially for the beginners.


Therefore, these are the 5 best exercises for traps which you should include in your workout sessions to get bigger, stronger and muscular traps which will help you to get better posture and make you stable during shoulder and back exercises. You don’t need to include all these 5 exercises in your routine because that would be too much rather include 3 of them wisely. For example: include the deadlift or rack pull to get strength and size, include barbell or dumbbell shrug for overall muscle growth and include the face pull for the growth of middle and lower traps. That should be enough for the perfect muscle and strength growth in your traps. Anyway, hope you have found this article about best exercises for traps helpful enough. If it really so then don’t hesitate to express your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.

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