"How to" videos on how to exercise and strengthen your traps (trapezius)

Use the list of how to exercise videos to strengthen, tone and build your trapezius muscles. All of the exercises below are direct resistance exercises for your traps. When the traps workouts below are performed correctly they will become stronger and more visually pleasing.

At-Home Exercises to grow your traps

Shrug Rolls to work your traps

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms straight by your sides
  • Slowly bring your shoulders up towards your ears, as high as they will go
  • Hold this position for a moment, keeping arms straight by your sides throughout
  • Slowly roll your shoulders back, squeezing your shoulder blades together
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat exercise as desired
  • To add extra resistance, hold a tin of baked beans in each hand while performing the shrug rolls

Seated Row With Resistance Band to strengthen your traps

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you
  • Secure the resistance band around your feet and grip with both hands
  • Bend your knees
  • Position your hands at knee level, making sure that the band is taut
  • Slowly pull on the band, bringing your elbows back as far as they will go
  • Hold this position for a moment
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat as desired
  • Do not bend your back or legs at any point during the exercise

Bent Over Fly to train your traps

  • Stand with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart
  • Grasp weights, such as tins of beans, in your hands palms downwards
  • Extend your arms out to the side at a right angle to your body, bending your elbows slightly for a 'wing' effect
  • Bend at your waist so you are bent at around a 45 degree angle (half a right angle.)
  • Position your arms so that your slightly bent elbows point upwards
  • Keeping your arms at the exact same extension, bring them down so your closed hands meet under your head
  • Raise your arms back so they are at a right angle with your body
  • Repeat until you have completed your desired set of repetitions

Bent Over Row to work your traps

  • Select weights, such as two tins of baked beans, and place them on the floor in front of you. They should be about half an arm's length in front of your feet
  • Stand with legs slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart
  • Bend over your weights with your back straight
  • Grasp your weights with palms facing downwards
  • Pull the weights to your upper waist
  • Extend your arms until they are fully extended
  • Complete your desired set of repetitions

Intermediate exercises that will strengthen and build your traps

How to do the reverse fly with dumbbells to work your traps

  • As you lie down on an incline bench, your chest and stomach should press against that incline
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other
  • Extend your arms in front until they are perpendicular to the angle of your incline bench
  • Your legs should not move as you use the balls of your feet to apply pressure
  • Keeping your elbows slightly bent, and with your shoulders slightly squeezed together, move the dumbbells in an arc that takes them out to the side and away from each other – exhaling as you do so
  • Maintain this motion until your arms are parallel to the floor
  • Hold for a moment, then slowly lower the weights back to your starting point as you inhale
  • Complete for your chosen number of repetitions

How to do shrugs to train your traps

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Choose two dumbbells in an appropriate weight. Both dumbbells should weigh the same
  • Bend your knees and lift the dumbbells, then raise yourself into a standing position
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with your arms straight down by your sides
  • Arch your back slightly to engage your upper back muscles
  • Slowly raise your shoulders up as high as you can
  • Hold the position for a moment
  • Slowly bring your shoulders back down into the starting position
  • Repeat the exercise

How to do an inverted bodyweight row to exercise your traps

  • Set a bar on a rack at about the height of your waist
  • Grip the bar with your hands set further apart than your shoulders
  • Use your arms to hang down underneath the bar
  • Your arms and body should be straight and your heels should be flat on the ground
  • Bend your elbows and pull your torso up towards the bar
  • Pause when your chest is against the bar, then gently lower your body back down until your arms are straight again

How to do a reverse fly on a bench to work train your traps

  • Lie down on an incline bench with your torso pressed against the incline
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inwards
  • Straighten your arms in front of you so that they stand at a 90 degree angle to the bench
  • Keep your legs still and straight, with your toes against the floor
  • While keeping your elbows just slightly bent, lift your arms upwards and outwards
  • Steady your arms when they are parallel to the floor
  • Pause for a second, and then gently lower your arms back so that they rest at either side of the bench

Advanced exercises to build your traps

How to do handstand press ups to work train your traps

  • Kick yourself into a handstand against the wall
  • You should be strong enough to hold yourself in this position for at least 15-20 seconds
  • Your back should be facing towards the wall
  • Your arms and elbows should be straight
  • Slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself towards the ground
  • Push yourself back up until your arms are once again straight

How to do a bent over row to work your traps

  • Hold a barbell with your palms facing downwards
  • Bend at the knees just slightly and start bringing your chest forwards by bending at the waist
  • Keep your back upright and bend until your chest is almost parallel with the floor
  • Your arms should hang straight down towards the floor
  • Lift the barbell up to your chest while keeping your torso still
  • Your elbows should always be tucked close to your bod
  • Pause for a second with the barbell near your chest, and gently lower it back down