Best Traps Workout: 8 Achievable Ways For Stronger Wings

You might have spent a lot of time in the gym focusing on your abdomen and arms. So, you have massive arms and six pack abs. But didn’t you forget something? What about your traps?

Building huge and stronger traps is necessary for a symmetrical upper body. If you are not familiar with traps yet, they’re more commonly popular as the “wings” of bodybuilders. Aside from looking symmetrical, trapezius is also a vital muscle responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the shoulder blades.

Moreover, Inner Body adds that stronger and bigger traps are a requirement for people who usually carry weights on their shoulders. If you think your “wings” are not powerful enough, this article is for you. Grow stronger back muscles with these best traps workout you will ever encounter.

Read more: How To Get Bigger Forearms In 9 Doable Exercises

Prep Your Body

Just like any other workout plan that targets a specific group of muscles, exercising your traps needs preparation. I have known people who immediately jump into performing routines and end in hospital beds. To avoid this mistake, first of all, take these tips seriously before starting any routine.

See Your Doctor

See Your Doctor

Working out your trapezius involves intense weight lifting and explosive routines. For this reason, it is a no-brainer that seeing your MD is very important. Therefore, you should have your muscles, bones, and overall health checked. If you have a history of dislocated shoulder or arms, you need to obtain clearance from your physician and know the maximum weight you can lift.

Overdose Your Body With Protein

Overdose Your Body With Protein

To achieve massive traps, you need to have enough protein in your system. During the workout, you are tearing your muscles and eventually healing it. Protein is the best nutrient that can do both. Furthermore, according to the Australian Sports Commission, an active man involved in high-energy activities needs 1.2 to 2 grams of protein a day. Also, this requirement can be easily met by eating animal and plant based foods packed with protein.

Boost Endurance

Boost Endurance

I’m sure you’re aware that you cannot gain explosive traps by doing a single repetition alone. You need to be able to do several sets of every routine and be more frequent in the gym. But It’s very hard to do if your endurance is as short as your patience. Try the following tips and see a huge boost in your endurance:

  • Do daily strides with gradual increments
  • Perform plyometric routines
  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep

This Runner’s Recipes suggest that trying these simple activities can give your body a jump start before you enter into a more serious program of acquiring bigger traps as a result.

Welcome to the main event! Become an instant head turner by building traps for the big boys.

8 Best Traps Workout

Here are some of the exercises I’ve tried. If you could only see me, you will instantly agree that they work!

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug is probably the most effective traps movement of all time because this routine targets not only the upper traps but the lower portion as well. As a result, when performing this routine, you can literally feel your traps squeezing and contracting. Follow these simple steps in performing proper Dumbbell Shrug:

  • First of all, select a set of best adjustable dumbbells with a weight that suits your capacity
  • Secondly, stand erect holding the dumbbells on each hand on your sides. Ensure that your feet are slightly positioned apart
  • Next, carry the weight of the dumbbell by lifting your shoulders as high as you can
  • Then, slowly lower your shoulder back to the starting position
  • Finally, repeat the sets with 45 seconds of rest in between

If you want to be sure that you’re doing the right thing, click the link below to see a video tutorial on Dumbbell Shrugs:

Pro Tip: Most of all, your arms should be kept straight for the entire duration of the exercise. Also, avoid drawing strength from your biceps as it does not do any good for your traps.



Deadlift is a routine workout intended to build not only strong traps but other muscles as well. The secret for a more effective deadlift is your form. Furthermore, this workout puts a lot of strain on your back and shoulders. Therefore, keeping your body in the right position also keeps you safe from getting injured. I advise you to start with light barbells and climb your way up. Here are the steps in performing deadlifts:

  • First of all, start by setting the weights of the barbell to what you can handle
  • Approach the barbell making its bar the center of your feet. Keep the distance between your feet shoulder-width best traps workout
  • Next, bend down and grip the bar while keeping your chest and back slightly arched
  • Then, lift the bar until your spine has straightened up. Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Finally, return the barbell to the starting position

Pro Tip: Deadlift is also an effective workout for an explosive hamstring.

Bent Over Lateral Raise

Bent Over Lateral Raise

If there’s a traps-centered exercise that’s possible in multiple variations, it is the Bent Over Lateral Raise. This workout squeezes your shoulder blades while contracting your arms and shoulder muscles. Therefore, adding Bent Over Lateral Raise to your daily traps routines could guarantee proportional arms, chest, and shoulders. Simply follow these steps and perfect traps will soon become a reality:

  • First, begin by selecting a set of dumbbells that you can handle
  • Then, slightly bend your knees and position your torso forward while reaching for the dumbbell. Be sure to keep your back straight
  • Starting with the dumbbells in front of you, lift them straight to your sides until the weights are parallel to the floor
  • Next, hold that position for a few seconds to squeeze the affected muscles
  • Finally, return to your starting position and do required repetitions

Pro Tip: You can perform this exercise while sitting on a bench or standing. This adds variety to your routines, thereby minimizing “boredom” of muscles.

Barbell Upright Rows

Barbell Upright Rows

Barbell Upright Rows is one of those exercises that challenges your traps through a great variation of movements. It’s comparable to deadlifts only that you will be using a lighter barbell since you need to pull the bar up to your face. If you are a neophyte to this routine, I suggest starting with three sets of six to eight repetitions, with 60 seconds rest in between:

  • First of all, stand erect on the floor holding a barbell with both hands. Your arms straight, so your hips support the weight of the barbell
  • Next, using your shoulder muscles, lift the weight up by bending your elbows on both sides
  • Then, hold the position where the bar is at its highest for a maximum muscle contraction
  • Finally, lower the weight by straightening your arms. Do the necessary number repetitions

Pro Tip: Use an E-Z bar in performing Barbell Upright Rows to avoid shoulder pain.

Face Pull

If you want a workout that highly targets your traps without using a barbell or dumbbell, face pull might be the best option for you. This workout uses a cable or stretchable bands to work your back muscles with ease and efficiency.

No time to go to the gym? No worries. Face pull can be perfect at home with simple home workout equipment or even in front of a rigid tree. Here are the steps in performing Face pull:

  • First of all, start by attaching a rope to a cable machine or a stretchable band on the wall
  • Then, grab the rope with both hands
  • Next, Using the strength of your shoulders and arms, pull the rope towards your face while keeping your upper arms parallel to the ground
  • Finally, return the rope back to its original position and do the required number of repetitions

Pro Tip: In addition, if you want to increase the weight you’re pulling, you may place one foot forward or push it against the base of the cable machine.

Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrugs

You may have done various traps exercises for beginners, and you want to push yourself to higher limits. If you’re done being a traps workout newbie, move into a more explosive workout like Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrugs. For this routine, most of all you will need to use a Calf-Machine adjusted to your shoulder’s height.

What makes this exercise so effective and especially relevant is the fact that it concentrates all work to your upper traps ensuring a quick and visible result. Perform the Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrugs by following these instructions:

  • First, begin by positioning the Calf Machine so that the shoulder pads is just above your shoulders
  • Next, adjust the set of weights
  • Then, position yourself on the machine and keep your torso straight
  • Raise your shoulders towards your ears while you exhale. Hold this position for a few seconds for maximum contraction
  • Finally, slowly return to your starting position and perform the repetitions

Pro Tip: Start your first week with four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. For the succeeding weeks, you may increase the number of reps or lift heavier weights.

Kettlebell High Pull Ups

Kettlebell High Pull Ups

The use of kettlebell has revolutionized the way we work our traps out. Now, we can perform a variety of routines that do not involve either a dumbbell or a barbell. Kettlebell High Pull Up is one of them. Aside from making your wings stronger and bigger, this exercise also targets your arms, hamstrings, and shoulders.

The best part is it’s even possible for beginners with less supervision. Increase your traps mass by just following these steps in performing Kettlebell High Pull Ups:

  • First, start by standing with your legs apart. The distance between them must be wider than your shoulders
  • Next, place a kettlebell with a tolerable weight in between your legs
  • Then, lower your body by bending your knees until you can grab the kettlebell
  • Pull the kettlebell up using your arm and shoulder muscles. You need to make sure that your spine is straight on final positionFinally, reverse the movements and return to your starting position

Pro Tip: Don’t attempt to accomplish this exercise if you have a history of spine or back injury.

Scapular Pull Ups

Finally, Scapular Pull Ups is an essential exercise that makes your traps flexible and formidable because the actions in this routine promote the proper movement patterns ideal for healthier traps and scapula. Performing this workout on a regular basis will foster better kinesthetic awareness and helps mountain climbers reach the summit in perfect form.

Here are the simple yet effective steps in executing the Scapular Pull Ups:

  • First of all, begin by looking for a rigid bar that can carry your weight or use the regular pull up machine in the gym
  • Next, position yourself in the regular pull up position with your palms facing the direction away from you
  • Hang your body by bending your feet. Your grip must be strong enough to hold your weight
  • Then, using your arm and shoulder strength, pull yourself up without bending your arms. Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Finally, return to your initial position and complete the reps

Pro Tip: You might need to do two sets of 10 reps if you are just starting out this routine.


In conclusion, as a fitness enthusiast, you must understand that having a well-built body cannot be achieved by targeting the same sets of muscles because no workout plan will make every muscle grow at the same rate.

Thus, you must keep an eye to your proportions and work your traps more if you don’t want to look like a cartoon character (I guess you know who I am referring to).

How do you find this article? Was it helpful? Do you agree with our steps in achieving explosive traps? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Do share this article with your gym buddies. You might be the friendly reminder they need to start their traps workout plan.

Jake Tyler
Hi all, I’m Jake Tyler, over the past decade I’ve been working strong on my personal fitness levels. From the age of 16, I have been a kickboxer, and I’ve built up an incredible passion for fitness & self-improvement. This experience has led me to a career in personal training and health & fitness.

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