The Very Best Back Workout for Huge Traps and Back Gains


Upper Back and Trap Thickness (2 KEY EXERCISES!)

Video taken from the channel: ATHLEAN-X™


Back Workout For Wider Lats & Bigger Traps

Video taken from the channel: Strength Team


Exercise for Huge Traps and Upper Back

Video taken from the channel: STRENGTH CAMP


Tom Hardy Traps Workout Secret for BIGGER TRAPS NOW!

Video taken from the channel: ATHLEAN-X™


9 Exercises For Upper Back & Trap Thickness

Video taken from the channel: Mike Thurston

Dumbbell Shrugs. Run the rack. 9 sets using a 20-15-12-10-8-10-12-15-AMRAP rep scheme.

To finish off this workout we started with 60-pound dumbbells for 20 reps and pyramided our way up to 100-pound dumbbells before reverse pyramiding back down to 60 pounds for AMRAP for our last set. The Best Traps Workout. Now you have five of the best trap exercises to increase the strength of your trap muscles and promote muscle growth; it’s time to put them together to create your next traps workout.

Combining the best traps exercises above will help target your traps muscles in different ways, challenging and stimulating the muscle to. Why: The true king of compound movements, the barbell deadlift is a full-body move — building stronger legs, back, shoulders and arms. The best exercise for building the lower back is, of course, the deadlift. The deadlift is a heavy compound exercise that will stimulate the release of growth hormones, and force the back (and whole body) to grow.

There are many different types of deadlifts, the two main. The deadlift is one of the best compound exercises you can do to add serious amounts of strength and muscle mass to the back (as well as the hips and hamstrings). The deadlift. The best back workouts that emphasize a “barn door back” and stimulates the maximum amount of muscle growth and anabolic hormone release will follow these principles: Compound exercises that work the lats and hit other components of the back.

Heavy training in the 5-8 repetition range that is 75-90 percent of your 1 rep max. Exercise 5: Rear delt flies – 3 sets of 15 reps. Do this on your back days, or as part of your pull routine. This workout was created to be as complete for your back development as possible but you can take exercises out to add to your own routine, or alter this one, as you wish.

When it’s done right, the deadlift is an excellent back exercise. As you pick up and put down the weight, your upper-back muscles—including your. A strong back is also vital to having a big squat and bench.

You can’t move huge weights in the squat without the back strength to support it, while in the bench strong lats are critical to being able to lower big weights in the proper groove and driving the bar off the chest. Keep your lower back arched, knees bent, and hips set back. The exercise starts when your elbows have a 45-degree angle to your shoulder joint.

Keep your arms in the same position and focus on driving that elbow up about 1-2 inches above your shoulder. Get a.

List of related literature:

But the traps also benefit from the Barbell Clean and Press and from heavy Deadlifts, which are also included in the Basic Program.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
Simon & Schuster, 2012

Most of these exercises target your upper traps and levator scapulae.

“The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!” by Adam Campbell
from The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
by Adam Campbell
Rodale, 2009

shoulders, pectorals, triceps, traps, core (1) Simply place your hands on the ground a few feet in front of your toes, and start crawling on your hands and feet.

“You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women” by Joshua Clark, Mark Lauren and, Clark Joshua, Lauren Mark
from You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women
by Joshua Clark, Mark Lauren and, Clark Joshua, Lauren Mark, Limited, 2010

To recap: place the feet and grip shoulder-width apart, grip the bar like the bench press, keep the back neutral, descend straight to the clavicles, tilt the head back while looking forward, raise the bar along the same path, shift the torso forward slightly, squeeze the glutes, and lock out.

“Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body” by Michael Matthews
from Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2019

For example, you could round your back excessively during deadlifts, let your knees cave during squats, skimp on squat depth or hip thrust lockout range of motion, or let your hips shoot up during lunges.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

The back con— tains a lot of muscles and you want maximal development of each muscle to function your best.

“Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy” by Bret Contreras
from Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy
by Bret Contreras
Human Kinetics, 2013

For traps, I superset barbell shrugs with seated cable rows to the neck using a rope attachment.

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

It’s not only the single best back exercise you can do, but it’s also one of the best weightlifting exercises ever invented because it trains just about every muscle in your body.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

The “core” exercises that work these muscle groups are the clean, snatch, and front, back, and jump squat.

“Complete Book of Throws” by L. Jay Silvester, Jay Silvester
from Complete Book of Throws
by L. Jay Silvester, Jay Silvester
Human Kinetics, 2003

WHAT ITWORKS: Upper back, core.

“REAL SIMPLE Find Your Balance: Creating a Calm and Happier Life” by The Editors of Real Simple
from REAL SIMPLE Find Your Balance: Creating a Calm and Happier Life
by The Editors of Real Simple
TI Incorporated Books, 2017

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • One thing I hate about the T-bar row it makes my back so fatigued that I end up workout out with that exercise with an arched back… I prefer setting the incline bench in an ans and lying face down while doing the row….

  • Es muy interesante y enriquecedor el metodo de enseñanza que propones estoy muy agradecido por tu grandioso trabajo muchas gracias Jeff

  • yo elliott, when doing split workouts, which muscles groups/body parts should i work together? i usually go to the gym 3-4 times a week and i was just wondering because i got a lot of cats who only do one workout a day. (i.e. chest day, biceps day, triceps day)

  • Great back and lat workout. I been doing sum back workouts to get mine bigger as well. I appreciate how you break it down and like you said not always bout just going heavy but having balance of doing reps and sets that will get you that pump and have your muscles pump up still long after your workout is done. Thanks again and I will be adding this into my workout as well. Today I did biceps, triceps, and little back but will do more with these. Thanks again……………..Gains Gains Gains all it will be.

  • Some people are just gifted in certain areas and lack in others. I’m a trap man and mine are massive and I just do 3 or 4 isolation sets on them per week. But my calfs are tiny and just won’t respond to anything!

  • So I had this natural traps already when I was in middle school. Probably the fact I used to lift and did more gymnastic bar when I was a kid. Or does it the fact I carried more backpack it made the arch on my shoulder.

  • very true elliot i found my traps to be at their biggest & strongest when i was performing at least one olympic lift with each workout. high high high high volume for upper back works, at least for me… never have to worry about overtraining it

  • Great video. Question: It appears that there is considerable redundancy across the exercises you demonstrate with regard to the muscles targeted. For those of us who must limit our time in the gym, which of these would you say offers the most ‘bang for buck’?

  • I figured out why my shoulder hurts working traps. Shoulder muscles are on the side of my arm and don’t go past the outside of my joint. Let’s see some gains now.

  • Hi bud, some great advice but I have a few questions.

    I am a forty five year old who many years ago used to enjoy bodybuilding and also spent fourteen years in martial arts and gymnastics, the result of which is that I am now diagnosed with spondylolithesis.
    I am wanting to get back to training slowly and hoping to strengthen my lower back, as well as build muscle overall but unsure which back program would best provide me with enough support and training.
    I would appreciate it if at some point you were able to do a video which might address this issues, as I know a few other people who also suffer with lower back problems but would like t get back in the gym.

    Many thanks mate.

  • I lucked out into doing this movement and what a difference. I do the movement whild doing farmer’s carry with flat weights. I love the FC but got bored with just carrying the weights. So I added the shrugs. Sometimes I also swing the weights to help stabalize the joints. God to find out I’m actually doing something right

  • Hey man was wondering. I usually do Monday and Thursday leg day and Tuesday and Friday upper body day. Wednesday I do light weight lift for technique. Is this a good plan? Hopefully you can respond, thanks

  • I did an involountary version of the trap raise at my summer job when i was 16. I was cleaning out the forest, cutting and gathering bushes and smaller trees to make room for bigger trees to grow. Loading it up on the trailer meant we had to lift it above our heads and since it was lightweight i did it with straight arms and eventually started doing it while walking back and forth aswell. Probably did 3-400 reps each day (lightweight) and when summer came to an end i had a fricking armoured plate between my shoulder blades

  • Tom Hardy, big traps, small penis. Lol. MensHealth voted Tom Hardy with smallest penis in Hollywood. I guess he is overcompensating with big traps.

  • Mike, I was wondering if you could talk about the male hour Glass figure. It’s something I’m struggling to fix but I’m at a loss to where I should start. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

  • Upright rows with a curling bar, and the secret is up explosively fast and down so slow, like really slow on the negative, you will feel ur traps burn, so fuck up Jeff

  • After reading all of the comments on this video and the many references to Athlean X/Jeff C and Scott Herman, I thinks it’s important to see the difference between Mike and Jeff (I agree that Scott basically copies other “gurus” and tries to use his fake accent to try to win some regional viewers). I feel that Mike is more of a bodybuilder while Jeff is a physical therapist/trainer focused on developing the athlete. I subscribe to both of them along with Naudi Aguillar at functionalpatterns (fantastic core videos!). I feel that I get a well-rounded workout by incorporating tips/techniques from all three of these channels, but use Jeff’s anatomical knowledge to grasp the “mind/muscle” relationship. I need to be able to see how the muscles and their attachments work and how specific exercises will benefit them the most.

  • Wonderful! Thanks for your work….
    Update: tried this today. Wonderful feel in upper back!
    Suggestion: glutes training video, and how to flex, please:)

  • can someone please tell me what ‘volume’ means? i goggled it and different people have different answers. actually…all of you would probably have different answers as well. go fuck yourselves!

  • That is good for 60 years old plus. I u are yang u will never get gains there if u don’t do dead lift, bentover rows and blandly rows with heavy weights and not that retarded people’s machines…

  • Excellent demos. A question please: there is much redundancy across these exercises insofar as they target much the same muscles. For time efficiency in the gym, which of these would you say gives you the most bang for your buck?

  • Sry improper face pulls on the machine. Keep your head forward and still at all times. Your neck should never be rolling around like that!

  • What a nice video. This guy is not the agressive-in-your-face-look-how-jacked-I-am type of bodybuilder and he’s not the pretentious look-how-scientific-I-am type too. Just a positive, light-hearted and efficient video. I might subscribe.

  • Jeff i do free weight excercise only….kindly note i have dumbells and barbells only….no band no cables……and today i noticed that my left lower pec is more lean than the right lower pac(it kinds of slags)…..and i am having a great upper trap….but scapular winging….and i am trying very hard to fix it…..i am getting depressed here man…..sir plzzz tell me how to thicken the area between shoulder blades…….and how to fix my pec problem with free weights only….sir plzzz i really need ur suggestion…i am totally depressed

  • When I barbell shrug I know I should pull my shoulders back and keep good posture but should I lean forward at the waist-hip to get more activation of the trap and range of motion?

  • I don’t know what the proper name for the exercise is but I like doing a deadlift and at the top of the movement pull the shoulder blades together, shrug it, and hold for a second each rep

  • Rewatching old videos. Damn Jeffyou’ve come a long way!!! What a great success story. Thank you for this channel and your videos!!

  • Hey Mike I got a question that I been wondering for a while but not sure how to explain it. So you know how the calorie deficit will determine if you lose weigh or not. So I know under eat macros while on deficit will lead muscle loss. But what if I over eat on macros but stay in calorie deficit? will I gain fat from over eating in macros but still in deficit.
    Sorry if i did int explain that well

  • As a woman I was intimidated to walk in to a gym full of Iron. Staying at it for 1 yr 2 mnth I have lost 35 lbs. I watch videos every day, take notes, apply it and lift heavy/light. AthleanX helped me get diet/macros under control, and I am seeing a leaner me with miscle. Thanks Jeff!

  • Really puts into perspective that shrugs are a pulling exercise. Question for ya… Would you say we should go heavy on this? 60-120 DB range and 8-6-reps or 45-60 lbs 12-10 reps?

  • If you are doing barbell shoulder srugs, the best way that helps me is to bend over a bit and hold the bar away from your body a few inches, not only does this give you a better range of motion, but it also hits the traps more.

  • Hello Mike, I have a question. The last exercise, the shrugs, you are bending a little bit your elbow and it kinda looks like you are using your arms to pull the weight. My question is: shouldn’t we be doing that exercise with arms full extended/elbows fixed?

  • I know it’s an older video but that make shift t-bar row with the attachments f#*king genius definitely doing that on my next back day….

  • fast forward 3 years and i just saw this video for the first time!! i love finding gems like this one, when i am on youtube watching any given video. i have a question about these 2 exercises. i am holding a lot of tension in my traps, will doing these exercises help work out that tension, or do i need to do something else to help me with the tension in my traps? thank you so much for sharing Jeff, with love from Wes!! hugs!!!

  • Well i have kinda Problem. My Back is the strongest muscle and best Developed muscle in my Body(next is legs, Chest is fucking Bad) but my Back rounds when i am leaning Forward. I am Strong at rows but dont know where the problem is

  • It’s crazy to see how far Jeff has come now! Heartwarming to see one of the best online fitness channels just getting better with time. You can see how much he’s worked on the campy intros and outtros and the massive change in his confidence. Jeff inspired me to get my ass outta bed and train and 2 years later, there’s no looking back. Massive respect my man!!

  • Tried setting up the t-bar row as shown in the video by using the two attachments but it wouldn’t fit. Mind showing how you set it up? Thanks

  • mike i have a pinched nerve in my upper spike/neck area, how can i prevent this from happening again when i lift weights and what exercises might of caused this?

  • First and foremost carry some heavy things around….one of Jeff’s words that I’ve kept with me for months now. Time to try some deadlifts ��

  • so many YouTube trainers (who are almost never big) talk about the importance of range of motion and how momentum is cheating and all that blah blah blah but farmer carries prove range of motion isn’t the most important thing.

  • I did face pulls for the first time and it was murder! I’ve never done them before and will definitely include them from now on! Thanks!

  • love the information I would like to know what we are great training split to become bigger and stronger from beginners to Advanced if that’s possible thank you

  • The “Yo Elliot” series was one of the greatest highlights of fitness youtube

    I just love the way he talks about gaining size. Haha. Just makes lifting sound so awesome. Gets me hyped up to do this shit.

  • Thanks for that mate it has worked well. I started with 80kg in each hand farmer walk and then 90kg cleans after and my traps have grown great.

  • This is a really super informative video. I appreciate this. As someone who is always looking to work the different sections of each muscle group with focus, this will help immensely.:)

  • Mike, you beast! I used this video to do my 2nd day back day with no lat pulldowns and it was amazing! Sunday’s are my new favorite gym days! Thank you!!

  • Darrell you done it again haha. Got a badass workout. Gonna do this tomorrow but alter the beginning. Gonna do weighted chin ups reverse pyramid training. Aiming for 70 lbs for 6 reps. Back gonna feel it tomorrow haha. Love this channel keep it up.

  • (hey JEFF does doing over head exercises block height from growing…I am 16 years old and I was doing bodyweight exercises for a year and from 6 months I have been training in gym..but I have never done any type of over head exercises I afraid that I will stay short I am (5.7) I have developed nice shoulders, thighs.. without doing a shoulder press or a squat..I want an answer from u does over head exercises block height)

  • Can you do one for Lower back?
    Ive noticed my lower back is much weaker and i have been keeping away from exercises that could hurt it, like deadlifts. I still, however have pains there

  • Long time watcher, first time commenter. Just wanted to say thank you for all the time and countless videos that you generously provided to the community at large. A big congrats on your achievements and success with StrengthCamp. You are one in a billion in my book sir. Thank you sir.

  • Shrugs… huge hater of shrugs.  I mean if you are doing shrugs you’ve run out of good ideas.  Problem with shrugs is how easy you can do them wrong and how easy that wrongness can lead to serious spinal alignment issues relative to how little gains they provide next to something like a rack pull, farmers carry, just about any upright row or lifting movement.  If you have room for shrugs in your routine you need to be doing more of something else, lol.  

    That nit pick aside, great video dude, love it. 

  • In this video he forgot to explain that the thoracic extensions of the rhomboidal extra abdominal thrombosis shrugs are important to move weights.

  • Tom Hardy just has naturally huge traps. Of course he worked hard, but his traps just grow well, they’re well developed even when he isn’t conditioning for a role

  • I look in the mirror and am glad I don’t have Tom Hardy’s traps or anything else on his body….. I would have to lose most of my muscle.

  • This strength team is going strong bro. I been rocking with you for almost a year and I have so many gains since this journey started. Thanks pimpin

  • Yo Elliot!! Respect your insight and knowledge. Would watch all your vids but the f-bombs and GD-s wear me out. Amazing to me that intelligent people feel it necessary to have to use that kind oflanguage. Takes from video, does not add to it.

  • MAIN:
    Farmer’s Carries (upper back, traps, rear delts, rhomboids)
    Front-loaded: tire flips, stone lifts, sandbags, kegs

    Bent-Over Rows
    Face pulls
    Seated rows
    Upright Rows

    The key to upper back hypertrophy is not only movements, BUT ALSO volume; training it basically every training day.

  • Ah I see. I started developing these weird lumps on my back when I started working at a warehouse loading trailers. So those are traps…

  • Aye Rell! I was wondering? Do you ever have deload weeks? If so when would you recommend applying them? �� Awesome vid btw as always!���������� Keep it up bro bro!

  • I’m sorry but he mentioned that heavy deadlifts train the upper back which is confusing because it’s only doing so isometrically. Your upper back is only trained isometrically in the deadlift so theres almost no hypertrophic benefit to your upper back from the deadlift is there?

  • I find these very hard to do for some reason…ohhhhh and I just figured out why lol I have the pulley cable system set at the bottom…I see Jeff has it set high

  • I can’t feel any burn on my upper back and rear delts. Been trying so hard with so many different exercises
    Don’t know what I’m doing wrong

  • the first one is my favourite, learnt from you, thanks for that! the second one is new, but surely will be my next favourite exercise!

  • Incuded these two exceises today and wow, felt it immediatley doing the reps and still feeling it in the lower and upeer traps. Thanks Jeff!

  • Here is the video Mike is talking about that he made about proper retraction of the back

  • I have only been able to do facepulls at home lately. I get sexually aroused just by thinking about the benefits of performing this exercise ��

  • Hi Mike!!
    just wanted to let u know that your videos are really helpgul to me. I’m starting to workout but I don’t have any routine, i do 1 day arms& shoulders next day chest&back and the next legs.
    i dont know if I’m doing it right but I would love for you to give me an advice to improve my routine!or if I should do one area per day! thanks

  • That moment when you realize you haven’t hit that like button after watching this video more than 5 times.. definitely liked this time around!

  • I usually do 10 reps and without rest go in to a farmers walk. I have one question though? Which is better? Doing the walk while you hold the shrug or walking after you let the traps relax?

  • Reverse chest flies with your head and arms aimed upward at a 70 degree angle like you’re looking at the 2nd story window of a house. 
    Some people call them pull downs.
    Much of the energy stays in the lats but about 40% nails the traps and if you do enough of them you’ll see what I mean. Moderate resistance, insanely high reps.
    If you’re just starting out you’ll set them on fire!

  • I have scapula wings and I’m trying to find a way to work on my upper back because supposedly I have weak upper back muscles, will this work?

  • This is 100% true from my experience. No matter how many shrugs or upright rows etc. I’ve done, nothing ever felt like my traps got worked as hard as when I worked at a foundry and had to carry 5gal buckets of sand all over the place. My traps would be sore as hell.

  • Overhead trap raise is amazing. Did it yesterday and i felt muscles around my upper back come to life that i’ve never noticed before.

  • @athleanx do i have to workout traps even im newbie
    Ps: thank you so much for sharing this whole informations for free much respect and love ����������

  • Hey, I love ur techniques to build muscle. Question? Does doing rack pulls above the knee, with Maximum weight and holding weight eccentrically for a few seconds then another.. does this type of training build huge traps. That is what alphadestiny preaches. What do you think???

  • Best and only site for safe fitness, l can’t thank you enough.
    Please never stop informing us about correct movements in fitness.
    Being a woman over 50’s,, l want to be the best l can. You guys are helping
    Thank you.

  • man your videos have really come a long way. if you ever make fun of jesse’s intros again just watch your old videos lol. the lighting in the old vids just give a “boring” tone lol but the knowledge is still there

  • The advert before this video was of some out of shape twerp saying something like “if you want to get in shape and have that perfect body, no need to stop watching youtube videos” lol. What a load of rubbish. Mike, maybe have a word with whoever is in charge of the adverts that are on your channel and say “hey, you’re welcome to put adverts on here just as long as it’s not going against what i’m promoting”:). Great vid by the way mate. I’m still noticing improvements in your composition. Wish i could say the same about myself haha. Xmas has taken it’s toll on my 6 pack:( lol

  • Do these hit the rear delts as hard as rear delt flys do? Because if so, I’d be happy to ditch the former as these feel amazing and also work other muscles of the upper back.

  • I hope you see this Jeff. Ive been doing a lot of shrugs on the smith machine. After seeing this variation I tried it and immediately felt activation in my traps. Not only the Upper traps but all 3! And I was worried about rounded shoulders! Once again you did it! Ive been following you for about a year now! Thanks Jeff

  • i did the facepulls today and an older man stopped me mid exercise to ask what i was trying to work and how it was ineffective/ will cause pain later on… funny how when someone sees a slightly unorthodox exercise they think i dont know what im doing

  • Love the Vids man keep them coming! Quick question I have heard people say that your wasting your time in the gym if your not training each muscle group twice a week… in your opinion how true is that? If it’s a lengthy answer maybe it would be worth doing a quick video on? Thanks again for the awesome GAIN CERTIFIED content!!

  • Thanx Jeff upper back workout was great I am happy today cuz The back training was great but I have noticed that training the traps will involve some shoulders try to do light weight but still same thing.