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Best Exercises For Traps

Unlock the potential of your traps with a curated list of the best exercises! From the iconic shrugs to deadlifts, upright rows, rack pulls, and transformative face pulls, these exercises are your gateway to sculpting strong and defined trap muscles.

  • 24 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read

The trapezius muscles, also called the "traps," receive much attention from those looking to build a well-balanced and muscular upper body. These muscles run from the skull base to the shoulders and spine. In addition to creating a visually appealing V-shaped back, well-developed traps are essential for maintaining appropriate posture and assisting other upper body movements. The following sections offer insights into the most effective exercises for traps. From classic shrugs to dynamic pulls, discover the secrets of building powerful traps that command attention and signify a commitment to fitness excellence.

List of best exercises for traps


Some of the best exercises for traps to help you develop thick and substantial trap muscles are:


  • Shrugs


  • Barbell deadlifts


  • Rack pulls


  • Upright rows


  • Face pulls


1. Shrugs


When we talk traps, shrugs steal the spotlight. They are synonymous with trap training for a reason. Shrugs activate upper and middle traps, building muscle mass, strength and endurance.

Suitable for all, they adapt to dumbbells, barbells, cables, or a trap bar – ideal if gear is limited or you are short on time. Shrugs are a stellar upper-body finisher, isolating traps uniquely. Choose your weight, target 3 sets of 15-20 reps, and embrace the controlled burn.


Shrugs are more than an exercise; they are the cornerstone of dynamic trap development.


2. Barbell deadlift


Deadlifts take the top rank with one of the best exercises for traps when building a muscular physique. Deadlifting is a superb complex exercise that, when performed correctly, challenges several different athletic groups. This back-centred motion engages three trapezius muscles. Start strong with deadlifts and finish with shrugs to benefit from two powerful exercises on your traps. Your upper body will appreciate this muscle-building combination!

3. Rack pulls


Rack pulls are a secret treasure gaining popularity in the strength and muscle training world. If you are unfamiliar with them, consider it the upper portion of a deadlift in which the barbell gets raised from a rack positioned at knee level without first being lifted off the ground. Rack pulls take over as the star player for trap development, while leg day takes a backseat. Unquestionably, these exercises have a place among the best workouts for traps, even though they may not have the same full-body strength as regular deadlifts. So, to develop a more robust, more defined set of traps, consider including rack pulls in your routine.

4. Upright rows


Not using upright rows in your trap muscle workout regimen? It is time to start! Vertical rows are a terrific exercise to add to your routine. They aid with trap strength and mass development. You must do the upright row correctly to prevent problems because it is associated with shoulder pain and causes impingement on the shoulder. Start slowly and perfect the motion while concentrating on the muscular contraction throughout a higher rep range. Get ready for more powerful traps and an improved upper body game!

5. Face pulls


Have you ever tried face pulls? More than just toning muscles, they fix posture and keep your shoulders happy. Face pulls are a dual-purpose exercise that targets the shoulders and traps, like upright rows. Keep in mind that power is everything. To avoid shoulder issues, properly load those muscles. Face pulls are a challenging but effective way to complete your trap session. End your workout with face pulls. Feel the burn – your traps are getting more robust, and your upper body is thanking you.

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Try these exceptional exercises for traps to boost your upper body game. Each motion shapes your traps and improves overall strength, from traditional shrugs to creative face pulls. Always keep in mind that persistence pays rewards. These workouts foster confidence and overall well-being in addition to muscle development. These methods will direct you toward a more substantial, defined upper body, regardless of your experience with exercise. Prepare to exude power and pride.

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