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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.

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