Barbell Shrugs- How to Effectively Stimulate the Traps?

How high do you lift your traps when doing Barbell Shrugs?

How high is high enough to effectively stimulate the muscles? When explaining how to do them properly, this guy in my gym told me that I should try to “lift my traps up to my ears.” Do you have any helpful tips?

I’ve heard the same phrase used when people have told me how I should do shrugs throughout my years of training as well.

If you were to look at the trapezius muscles or “traps” on an anatomy chart, you’ll notice that the lower trapezius muscles attach to the spine a little lower than the middle of your back—not just at the top of your neck.

Here’s a training tip that I’ve discovered to be extremely helpful when doing Barbell Shrugs. In order to get a full range-of-motion when doing them, I find it more useful to visualize starting the exercise from the bottom of the trapezius—and not only on how high I lift my upper traps.

Try doing this the next time you work your traps. I feel this mind-muscle connection makes Barbell Shrugs much more effective.