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- Target muscle: Upper Trapezius
- Synergists: Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Force: Pull
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Exhale as you elevate your shoulders straight up as high as possible.
- Hold for a count of two and squeeze your trapezius.
- Inhale as you lower your shoulders to the starting position.
Comments and tips
- Keep your arms slightly bent.
- Do not move your arms. Only your shoulders should move.
- Do not roll your shoulders.
- The dumbbell shrug is great for building the size and strength of your upper and middle trapezius, which will help you with many other key lifts and movements.
- Bodybuilders from the golden era, such as Frank Zane, are said to have avoided building the upper trapezius because a big upper trapezius makes your shoulders look less broad.
- See also the barbell shrug, the Smith machine shrug, and the cable shrug using pull-down bar.
Dumbbell shrug video