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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

    Brooke

    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. Excellent exercise. Always loved a shoulder shrug!

    1. Thank you! I love it too 🙂 I don´t know, it´s funny!

      1. 🙂

  3. This reminded me of my physical therapt exercises. You know I had surgery on my spine (cervical). So, right now they have me doing weighltess shrugs.

    1. Ouch! I wish you a good and fast recovery!! Hugs 🙂

      1. Thanks my friend. I had to wait several months to start physical therapy. Hopefully, in a few months I will be able to start some of the exercises you post. Have a great day.

      2. Surgery is no joke 🙂
        Take it easy and follow your doctor´s advice. I´m telling you because nobody does it 😀 have a great one too!

      3. You are welcome 🙂

  4. I’ve been feeling a knot on my right shoulder blade due to sitting in front of a computer. I can definitely try this out.

    1. Also, stretch your neck. It will help 🙂 Usually, our posture in front of the computer goes from bad to awful 😉

      1. Great tip. sshh, but I also get on the floor and do yoga poses to stretch my back.

      2. That´s great! You can do yoga poses for shoulders and neck. Don´t forget Savasana to finish the session 🙂
        Big hug, David

  5. 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!

    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

  6. Very useful exercise. I will be doing this in future.

    1. Thank you!
      Let me know how you go with it 🙂

      1. I will do.

      2. Great!

  7. Definitely going to do this. I suffer terribly with neck and shoulder tension, sometimes it feels like my head is to heavy for my neck lol. Thanks so much for this. Tracee 🙂

    1. Tracee you are really positive 🙂
      I know how it feels like my head weights a lot!! It´s not funny LOL
      You are most welcome. Big hug, David

  8. 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 ….

    1. Thank you! That sounds better than great 🙂 I´m looking forward to reading your report!

  9. Perfect needed that advice sorely!

    1. Telepathy 🙂

  10. 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!

    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!

  11. […] That’s another thing I’ve learned when on the receiving end of a friendly lecture regarding my overzealous attempt to dramatically reduce my calorie intake which resulted in the ‘nacho incident’. Why didn’t I just exercise harder, instead of eating less? Wow, logic, who would’ve actually thought about that?! Well played David… […]

    1. Thank you 😉

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