How To Boost The Effectiveness Of Shrugs

For this months weight training tip, I’d like to pass on a little tip that will almost double the effectiveness of traditional shrugs.

I thought of this tip when I got an email from a reader of building muscle 101 who was wondering if he should lift his shoulders up and down or rotate his shoulders.

This got me thinking. What is the best way to do shrugs?

Well, I’m guessing some will say to rotate your shoulders or something like that but really, it’s not all that effective and if done improperly, this type of movement can be dangerous.

You can simply shrug your shoulders up and down, and this is effective enough but if find it’s still missing something.

Take a look at the image below:

As you can see, the regular motion of the shrug is to simply lift your shoulders up and down using your trapezius muscles. This is how we’ve all be thought to perform the shrug and it is very effective. However, there is another way to perform the shrug and really boost the effectiveness of this exercise.

Here’s what you need to do. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand as if your going to perform a shrug. Once you’re in position, look down at your feet and try and get a look at your shins. Can’t do it with a straight back? Try bending at the waist just a bit while keeping your back straight. You should be able to see your knees and shins. Once you can see your shins, do a shrug, nice and slow. In this position, you are exposing your entire trapezius muscles to stimulation, including the entire upper back area.

Doing your shrugs in this fashion may seem a little strange at first but after your first set, you’ll feel the difference immediately. I suggest you try and use light weight for your first session.

This is a great way to do the shrug and will really boost the results you get from doing this exercise in this fashion.

All the best,


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