Shrug Your Way to a Stronger Back.

Dear Davey,

Do you know of any good trapezius exercises? I’m having trouble finding any.


Dear Jeff,

The trapezius is a large superficial muscle that runs along your upper back, shoulder blades and neck. It performs a number of important functions in the body – but it is often overlooked in workouts.

Recently, I’ve incorporated a very simple but powerful trapezius exercise called “shrugs” into my workout. You can perform shrugs at home or at the gym – it just requires a set of dumbbells, a resistance band, barbell or two equally weighted items (you could use two large water jugs, for example).

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stand upright and hold the dumbbells at your side. Palms should be facing each other. Be careful not to move your head or bend your arms during the exercise.
  2. Keep your shoulders relaxed – and shrug them upwards as though you were trying to touch your shoulders to your ears.
  3. Hold here, then gradually lower to the starting position.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

If you’re looking to build your trapezius, you’d opt for heavier weights and lower reps. If you’re looking to maintain – or to increase strength and endurance – lighter weights with a higher number of reps is appropriate.

I hope that helps!


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I read some time ago that you should NOT rotate your shoulders while you’re raising them, but rather just raise them straight up only, so I’ve been doing them this way whenever I do shrugs. Any comments on that?

    Oh and I’ve done, and observed others doing these with a barbell also. But I think I prefer to do them with dumbells.

  2. noahb87 says:

    So I want to build size so I’d be do heavier. So would 20 reps be to low or to much?

  3. I was told by my trainer at the gym to roll my shoulders back before I started shrugging. Its a great workout, I do these with 12kg dumbbells 12reps x 3sets.

  4. Mr Wavey,
    Seems like shrugs will be effective only for the portion of trapezius that originates on the neck. (This is certainly apparent on men like yourself with well developed traps on the neck and shoulders.) The portion that originates on the thoracic spinal raphe will require another motion. I would suggest an inverted plank position, holding a horizontal bar while suspending slightly off the floor or a bench, then “shrugging” to lift the thorax from toward the bar.

    (I’m a veterinarian and therefore had to interpret the anatomy of the dog in view of the screwed-up evolution of hominids. Our arms weren’t originally designed to do the things we ask of them. That’s why we have so many shoulder injuries.)

  5. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people
    I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve
    got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

  6. This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Cheers!

  7. Hi, this weekend is nice for me, because this point in time i am reading this fantastic informative article here at my house.

  8. You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation however
    I find this topic to be really something that I think I would by
    no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me.
    I am having a look ahead on your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

  9. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your website.
    It seems like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen.

    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them
    as well? This might be a issue with my internet browser
    because I’ve had this happen previously. Kudos

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on back. Regards

  11. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.

    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

  12. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few
    months of hard work due to no backup. Do
    you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  13. It’s not my first time to visit this web page, i am visiting
    this web site dailly and obtain fastidious information from here every day.

  14. replica mido watches
    I simply couldn’t go away your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the
    standard info an individual supply for your visitors?

    Is gonna be again often in order to check up on new posts

  15. Thanks for finally talking about >Shrug Your Way to a Stronger Back.

    | Davey Wavey Fitness <Liked it!

  16. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain.

    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  17. This post offers clear idea for the new people
    of blogging, that genuinely how to do running a blog.

  18. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph i thought
    i could also create comment due to this sensible piece of writing.

  19. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account
    it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from
    you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  20. What i do not understood is in truth how you are now not actually much more smartly-liked than you may be now.
    You’re so intelligent. You recognize therefore significantly in relation to
    this topic, produced me personally imagine it from numerous various angles.
    Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga!
    Your personal stuffs excellent. At all times care for it up!

  21. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  22. Waʏ cool! Some very valid points! I apƿreciate you աriting thgis article plus the rest off the site iss also very good.

  23. Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and come with almost all vital infos.
    I would like to peer more posts like this .

  24. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem along with your web site
    in internet explorer, might test this? IE still is the market chief and a huge section of
    people will pass over your wonderful writing because of this problem.

  25. Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to search out a lot of helpful information here
    within the publish, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  26. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your
    next write ups thank you once again.

  27. If one of the joint tenants decides to convey his or her interest in the property to a new owner, the
    joint tenancy is broken, thus creating a tenancy in common. If
    you have many clients come to your company, you should
    make sure whether there is enough parking. Old Pier Beach – Initial Investment:
    $34,806; Starting Level: 1; Weekly Starting Profit: $1,650.

  28. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal.
    I must say you’ve done a amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog
    loads very fast for me on Opera. Superb Blog!

  29. Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website by chance,
    and I am surprised why this accident did not happened earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

  30. So if you update a post frequently, some of these services may blacklist your site, this handy plugin stops Word – Press
    from pinging these services when you edit a post, but allows it to ping them when you first
    add the post, removing the possibility of being blacklisted as a
    spammer on those services. Goggles So this is
    one of those cute but surprisingly practical applications of Google Labs.
    Integrated options panel helps to customize the template from font used to color theme.

  31. In the flip side, games which are entirely games of chance, where no or
    few choices are made, quickly become monotonous to most adults.
    With long sweeping curves, gyrating spirals and a sharp, stabbing counterbalance, Fire Dance is definitely informed
    by the complex, propulsive polyrhythms characteristic of jazz.
    They come in a variety of decorative colors and styles that are printed with eco-friendly inks.

  32. wonderful publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this
    sector don’t understand this. You must continue your writing.
    I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici

  33. Awesome! Its genuinely amazing post, I have got much clear
    idea about from this piece of writing.

  34. Hi to all, because I am in fact eager of readcing
    this webpage’s post to be updated daily. It consists of good data.

  35. You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the web for more info about the
    issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this
    web site.

  36. I every time emailed this website post page to all my associates,
    as if like to read it afterward my contacts will too.

  37. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and
    would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my subscribers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested,
    feel free to shoot me an email.

  38. These lenses allow you to change your eye color with ease, improve your eye color, add brightness
    tto your eyye color or prevent suns’ rays from damaging your eye.

    Stoop bby our site where you can find out all about gabor comfort shoes.
    Though it will not totally cure the normal color vision.

  39. MoreNiche offers new members totally free tutorials and websites on advertising,
    copywriting and editing, and they are assigned a known worker as a mentor who’ll provide extra suggestions on call.

  40. Either you pay for the coaching, put within the time to be taught, or pay with avoidable errors.

  41. Sell a down trending stock when the fast stochastic line crosses
    below 30 with the slow line pointing down. They don’t
    want to miss any oportunities to make money. This uses market parameters to create
    entry and exit points for major currency pairs.

  42. I visit day-to-day a few sites and information sites
    to read content, except this website gives feature based

  43. It’s in reality a great and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you
    just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.


  1. home buying says:

    home buying…

    Shrug Your Way to a Stronger Back. | Davey Wavey Fitness…