Cable shrug using pull-down bar exercise

Cable shrug using pull-down bar

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Upper Trapezius
  • Synergists: Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Attach a pull-down bar to a low cable pulley.
  2. Face the pulley with your feet hip-width apart and grasp the bar using an overhand grip. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and in front of your thighs.


  1. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, exhale as you elevate your shoulders straight up as high as possible.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your trapezius.
  3. Inhale as you lower your shoulders back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Only your shoulders should be moving. Your torso should be still and your back neutral.
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent to prevent locking out your elbows. Do not bend your elbows any further than a slight bend since this would recruit your elbow flexor muscles, which would lessen the load on your trapezius.
  • The cable shrug can also be done using a straight bar, handles or rope.
  • Stand close to the pulley so that the angle of pull is directly upwards.
  • Do not roll your shoulders. You only need to elevate and lower your shoulders in this exercise.
  • See also the dumbbell shrug and the barbell shrug.

Cable shrug using pull-down bar video

Sources, Shoulder Articulations

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