The traps workout that will shock your muscles into growth
So you wanna look like a pitbull, huh? Want that “no-neck” look, do ya? Well, this traps workout will grind your trapezius muscles into a ball of putty and make you cry like a sissy school girl. If you eat right and get your sleep to recover, you’re gonna see some serious trap growth!
We’ve posted a few traps workouts here before, including some tips on how to maximize traps growth and how to properly perform shrugs. That being said, we won’t delve into those tips in this article. Rather, we’ll get right to the meat and potatoes and explain the important parts of this workout and show you the exercises.
Tips for this traps workout
1. Focus on using the traps only.
We stress this in every workout we post: MIND-MUSCLE connection. If someone had told us about this secret when we were getting started, imagine the monsters we’d be now! We’re literally handing you the keys to the kingdom here. If you don’t know how to use the mind-muscle connection, we can show you how on a simple exercise like shrugs.
Have a friend stand behind you when you shrug. Have your training partner put his/her fingers right on the target muscle group. Just a light touch, a tapping, of simply holding your index finger and thumb on the targeted muscle will create an instant mind-muscle connection. In this case, you should instantly be aware of your trap muscles and exactly how much you either are or aren’t using them. Take the other muscle groups out of the equation and pull ONLY with the traps.
2. If you hit the reps and have more in you, DO MORE
The numbers here are guidelines for you to use. We base the total number of reps on what it takes for us to fully flood our muscle cells with blood. For you and the weight you selected, you may fly through the set without even really working your traps too hard. If that’s the case, slow down the tempo, hold the contraction at the top for at least a second, and do more reps until you reach failure.
Try only to think about the set at hand. If you think, “Oh crap, I’ve got 4 sets left on this still. I better save my energy”, you’ve already screwed yourself. The idea is to work the traps muscles as hard as possible for all of the sets.
3. THERE IS NO SHORTCUT
Piggybacking on that last paragraph, you HAVE to seek out the pain and the burn if you truly want to grow. If you’re just trying to survive the workout, then you aren’t pushing yourself. If you speed through the reps at a high tempo with poor form and not focusing the mind on the targeted muscle group, you’re just going through the motions and might as well do the standard 3 sets of 10 for everything – cause that’s basically what it is amounting to.
With every rep you do, on every set, you should be thinking, “How can I make this harder?” or “How can I contract that trapezius harder and force more blood into it?” – and not just on rep 20 but starting with rep number one.
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The Ultimate Traps Workout from Body Spartan John Foster
A tried and true traps builder. Review the video below for proper form.
|1 (warm up)||No||20||135 lbs||1 minute|
|2 (warm up 2)||No||20||225 lbs||1 minute|
|3||No||15-20||315 lbs||1 minute|
|4||No||15-20||365 lbs||1 minute|
|7||No||15-20+||135 lbs||1 minute to next exercise|
Seated Cable Face Pulls with Rope
Form is crucial on this traps exercise. Use an overhand grip on the rope and sit almost completely vertical. A very slight lean backwards is acceptable. Choose a weight that will allow you to get 20 reps and be approaching failure at that number of reps.
When you pull the rope towards your upper head, flare your elbows up and FOCUS on pulling with just the trap muscles. As you return the weight through the negative motion, stop the range of motion short of locking the elbows. This will keep constant tension on the traps muscles. As you begin to pull back towards your upper head again there should be no jerking. Isolate the movement to just pulling with the traps and don’t let your lower back sway.
|1||No||20||130 lbs||1 minute|
|2||No||15-20||145 lbs||1 minute|
|3||No||15-20||145 lbs||1 minute|
|4||Yes||20+||85 lbs||1 minute to next exercise|
Trap Flies (bent over flies)
This exercise is requires some serious thinking as you perform it. Grab the dumbbells and keep your palms facing in (supinated) the entire time. Then bending over at about a 30 degree angle, begin the movement by shrugging your traps rather than pulling with your rear delts. Control the negative motion for a solid two second return. You should feel the resistance directly in the upper/rear part of your traps, more towards the rhomboid muscle. This is how you’ll know you are performing the motion properly.
|1||No||20||45 lbs||1 minute|
|2||No||15||50 lbs||1 minute|
|3||No||15||50 lbs||1 minute|
|4||No||20+||35 lbs||1 minute to next exercise|
Rhomboid Pulls (close grip low cable row)
This exercise is a reduced range of motion for a close grip low row. You are literally going to be pulling the cable to your belly button area and feeling your scapula expand and roll forward as you begin to lower the weight. Once the tension starts to release from the rhomboid muscle, stop the negative motion and begin pulling back towards your abdomen. Be sure to pull your scapula together tight to make the positive motion happen.
|1||No||20+||145 lbs||1 minute|
|2||No||20+||205 lbs||1 minute|
|3||No||20+||220 lbs||1 minute|
No instructions here except keep the tension and pull your shoulders like you’re trying to touch your ears. DO NOT BOUNCE!
|1||No||20+||120 lbs||1 minute|
|2||No||20+||120 lbs||1 minute|
|3||No||20+||100 lbs||1 minute|
Traps Workout Summary
Use good form, hit your traps hard, and load the muscle cells with blood. When you’re done, pound a high-protein meal and start growin’!
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