Standing dumbbell shrug

A lot of people feel tension in the trapezius muscle, caused by poor posture, stress, or carrying heavy objects. The trapezius helps to keep our shoulder up. When we hold something in our hand the trapezius is working. When we place a bag over our shoulder the trapezius is working. Also, the trapezius supports our head.
The trapezius only gets a break when we lie down. So, it works for almost the entire day. This is why so many people feel tension in this muscle. Strengthening the trapezius is one way to decrease the tension and support these muscles. The purpose of strengthening your traps is not to hold more stress; it is to stabilize your shoulder blades.

Hold your dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing your body. The dumbbells should be alongside your thighs with your elbows straight. Stand in split stance position and pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head should be aligned with your spine.
Exhale and slowly shrug your shoulders upward. Do not allow any shoulder rotation. Keep the elbows straight. Do not allow the back to arch or the wrists to bend.
Inhale and back to your starting position.

32 thoughts on “Standing dumbbell shrug”

  1. This could be great for me after I have been on the computer for hours on end, I don’t tend to take the breaks that I should, so this might just be perfect for me, I’ll let you know how I go on, thank you for this very usefull information


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, dear! If you don´t rest often, you can do a set when you finally take a break from your computer 🙂
      Yes, please, let me know how you go.
      Big hug, David


  2. Most people over utilize their trap muscles throughout the day weakening them creating cervical and upper back instability. Most aren’t even aware. “Stress” has a tendency to make us shrug our shoulders unconsciously. Strengthening these muscles is an important task. The exercises you recommend will do just that. Wonderful recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!
      It´s the modern way of life 🙂 The good news is we can do something about it, easy exercises, stretch, visiting a chiropractor…
      Big hug, David

      Liked by 1 person

  3. IN five minutes I am entering the Gym. I am clutching various notes on the posts of yours that I have read and taken to heart. I will report back and let you know how it goes ….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post! Good reminder for me.
    In Pilates, we are constantly striving for less use of the upper traps and more use from the lats. So it is easy to overlook the importance of strengthening the traps.
    All about balance. Thank you for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Alison.
      Yes, it´s all about balance 🙂 Too many hours sitting in front of our computers tend to round our shoulders, even when we are aware of our posture. In the other hand, we use the wrong muscles to perform the simpliest movements, so we should practice Pilates to reeducate our bodies and avoid aches and pains 🙂
      Big hug, David!

      Liked by 1 person

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