Gripless shrug exercise

Gripless shrug

Exercise details

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

Starting position

  1. Stand inside the standing calf raise machine with your shoulders under the pads.
  2. Grasp the handles for stability, although this isn’t necessary.


  1. Exhale as you slowly elevate your shoulders as high as you can.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your shoulders to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back straight.
  • To protect your lower back, keep your core tight (squeeze your abs and glutes).
  • To protect your knees, keep them slightly bent.
  • Unlike the barbell and dumbbell shrugs, the gripless shrug obviously doesn’t strengthen your hand grip.
  • Since you use the same machine for both the standing calf raise and the gripless shrug, you can combine the exercises. At the top of each calf raise, just perform a shrug. To get the best results, keep the movements isolated. In other words, don’t merge the calf raise and the gripless shrug into a single, fluid movement.
  • Also known as the standing calf raise machine shrug or simply the machine shrug.
  • See also the Smith machine shrug and the cable shrug using pull-down bar.

Gripless shrug video


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