Do you know the trapezius is a very huge and flat muscle that has often been overlooked by trainers?
Widely referred to as the traps, you have the upper, middle, and lower trap muscles.
Wondered how the bodybuilders ever have those well-toned, strong, sculpted, and curve traps?
In this post, we are going to discuss 5 exercises to target your traps at home.
Are Traps Referred to As Shoulders or Back?
The traps are the muscles that start from the bottom of your neck (the back of your head), then extend until the middle of your back, and across both sides of your shoulders.
The traps are important acting as a posture stabilizer for your spine, pulling your shoulders up or to the back, and turning your neck to the side. When you are shrugging, you are actually pulling your shoulders up.
Do you know the traps are the key muscle groups of your upper body helping you carry heavy stuff or even when doing deadlift training?
How Can You Do Traps Exercise Without Weights?
The good news is you can build and strengthen your trap muscles at home without any weights.
Working out on the three major parts of the traps will give you a completely toned upper body.
Try these 4 simple home workouts to slowly build up your trap muscles.
1. Push-ups are great workouts to help strengthen and tone the upper body and core. When you do pushups, the major muscles in the upper body such as the chest, back, shoulders, traps, triceps, and biceps do all the work.
For beginners wishes to build strength and muscles in the upper body such as the chest and traps, and shoulders, you can start with wall push-ups, then modified push-ups, and later wide push-ups which is a more challenging workout.
2. Shoulder shrug is the heart of all traps exercise and helps to tone and tighten your trap muscles.
What you’ll do is lift up your shoulders as high as possible until almost the shoulders touch your ears. Then, roll your shoulders back to the original position in a circular movement. Fitness experts suggested this fully extending range of motion is an effective movement during a shrugging exercise.
3. Pull-up is also one of the simplest ways to build muscles on the entire upper back body including the traps. It is not easy to do for beginners but no worries, practicing pull-ups regularly will gradually gain more strength and a stronger upper body including traps, arms, shoulders, chest, and core.
You can do lats pulldowns using resistance bands or with a pull-up bar for working on lats pulldowns, chin-ups, pull-up shrugs, or assisted pull-ups (suit for beginners to start).
My advice is if you want to master this upper body strength workout using a pull-up bar, start by pulling up as high as you can or at least in a hanging position. Even just by hanging from the bar, imagine the amount of strength needed! Practice makes perfect!
Getting a door frame pull-up bar is ideal to start compared to a standing pull-up bar due to the cost factor! It also doesn’t require a hell of a lot of space in your room.
4. Arm circles are an excellent exercise work to strengthen your traps, shoulders, and forearms muscles.
With your arms on the sides, extend them out to the side at shoulder height. Now, slowly rotate your arms in a clockwise position for 20 rotations. Then, repeat for another 20 rotations in the reverse direction in a standing position. You can increase the intensity by rotating your arms faster.
Can You Train Your Traps Every Day?
Like any other muscle group in your body, you are advised not to overtrain them.
In general, every muscle only needs to be trained 2 -3 times a week. They need time to recover especially the major muscles.
Trying to overdo or overwork your muscles will not bring you any bigger muscles or strength. In fact, your overtrained muscles will be getting more fatigued and very prone to injury. The result can be catastrophic.
For example, when you train your traps on a Wednesday, then take a rest for a day or two with other targeted muscle groups such as the shoulders or the back exercise.
In terms of the repetitions during training, depending on the type of muscle workouts, it is suggested to do no more than ten times per rep with a minute or two rest in between the 2 – 3 sets. If you need to increase the strength, then you need to decrease the number of reps to maybe 5 – 6 reps per set.
How To Target Your Traps At Home?
Try my favorite 5 picks trap exercises targeting to build strength and bigger traps from your home.
1. Face pull is considered an effective exercise for your lower trap muscles and stronger shoulders.
You can use a resistance band, to begin with. Make sure the band is roughly on the eye’s level height or slightly higher the better. Squeeze your shoulder blade, then pull the band as far as you can towards your ears. Pause for a second and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps with 2 to 3 sets.
Don’t forget to maintain the elbows high and stand straight throughout. Resist leaning forward when pulling the band towards the ears.
2. Farmers’ carry workout helps you develop both strength and endurance. You can use dumbbells or bottled water by holding them on each side while standing straight with an upright posture.
Take 4 to 5 steps ahead while maintaining the weight on both sides at the same time. Pause, turn around, and return to the original point. Repeat the whole steps for about 5 minutes will do. Simple isn’t it?
3. Single dumbbell upright row‘s movement starts from both your elbows doing the workout. Again, you can use dumbbells or bottled water that equals the weight of the dumbbells.
Standing straight upright and slowly raising each of your hands at a time until reaching eye level height, pause and return to the starting position. Remember, when you lift up the hand, the elbow should be working on the lifting.
You can complete 2 to 3 sets with 10 reps each for the left hand and then repeat for the right hand. Or you can do alternate left and then right hand per set. Rest in between if you are feeling tired.
4. Dumbbell lateral raise is the perfect workout for strengthening the smaller muscles such as your traps and shoulders muscles.
It works well with dumbbells and is also my preferred workout for the upper body muscles. A versatile exercise to improve shoulder mobility and help to develop traps and deltoid muscles.
Standing straight with holding dumbbells on both sides. With slightly bend elbows, lift your arms to the side up to shoulders level. You can complete 2 to 3 sets with 6 to 7 reps each. Don’t overdo it when you first started.
5. Military press using a pair of dumbbells is another classic trap and shoulder builder exercise.
You begin in a firm standing position and the elbows slightly in front for easy and safe lifting. Squeeze your shoulder and press the weight up slowly in a control motion. Then, slowly return to the starting position. Do this for 3 sets with 8 to 10 reps each.
Speak with your personal trainer if you have any questions or doubts about these trap home exercises.
Why Are Your Traps Aren’t Growing Much?
You are not working out on the trap muscles correctly or doing the wrong trap exercises.
Instead of high reps without weight or resistance, fitness experts suggested focusing on low reps with heavier weight or resistance to grow the trap and shoulders muscles.
Sometimes, too-hard or frequent cardio exercises may decrease the overall muscle mass of the body.
You also may not be progressing to overload your workout regularly. So, you need to add more weight or resistance in your workout to challenge the targeted muscle group (in this case the trap muscles). Include 2 to 3 times a week of trap exercises to grow this muscle group.
Another reason is insufficient important nutrients such as protein to support and maximize your trapezius growth may also be the cause of not getting firmer and bigger traps. Speak with your nutritionist for more nutrient guidelines.
How long does it need to grow your traps bigger?
To be honest, it takes quite a lot of time and endurance to grow the trapezius as they respond much better with higher repetitions.
Although they are large muscles and have more capacity to grow, they also need to be engaged frequently and consistently during the movements and may take from 6 to 12 months just to build the foundation of the trap muscles.
All you need if you are a beginner is to concentrate on the shrugging exercise to gain strength and endurance. From here, you can stimulate and target the traps to grow more effectively by engaging in a maximum range of motion.
Which is better for the upper traps – Shrugs or Face Pulls?
So, do you need to do a face pull on top of a shrugging shoulder exercise for upper trap development?
The best is not just to concentrate on one trap exercise.
Do you know both the lower and upper traps plus the scapulae need to get activated in a horizontal motion beside vertical shrugs which hit mostly the upper traps?
You mustn’t just do either shrug or face pull exercise only, but both for your shoulder and back workouts! If you are currently doing shrug shoulder exercise, do the face pull workout for the lower traps too on an alternate day of the week.
If you are using a resistance band for doing face pull for traps exercise, be sure the band is within the eye level or a little higher so can minimize the upper trap movement.
My Overall Verdicts: How To Target Your Traps At Home?
Every movement of the trap exercises helps you to build muscles and gain strength more effectively like any other conventional fitness training.
Traps exercise training is for everyone, doesn’t matter what is your fitness level. It can increase your exercise intensity with just slight changes to your body position.
Don’t forget to warm up your traps and shoulders for about five minutes before beginning your traps exercise. You can do stretching exercises to get warm up before or after your exercise.
Do leave me a comment below if you have and I will speed back within 24 hours.
To your awesome Home Exercise success!
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