One of the guys i train has got genetically gifted traps (and he trains them continuously). I am quietly working on mine and am looking for tips from guys who have brought their traps up from good to spectacular. let's have specific techniques here not just a menu of exercises, we all know them.
I can't say they are specatular now, but I can tell you the best way to make them grow.
Power shrugs using a barbell and big weight. This is not an exercise to be performed strictly. I start with 135 and add a pair of 45s with each set until I get to 405, then I strip some off. I usually do 6-7 sets and that's is usually all I do.
Unilateral Shrugs (I prefer cable instead, as slowly and painful as you can handle), Farmer's Walk, Deadlifts, Upright Rowing with Dumbbells.
"The medals don't mean anything and the glory doesn't last. It's all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing" ~ Jackie Joyner Kersee.
The biggest my traps have ever been is when I was doing sl deads followed by heavy shrugs. I always do sl deads off the rack, so since the weight was already there and I already had straps on...
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HEAVY WEIGHT BABY ! 4-6 reps/set, no more than 3 sets.. deadlifts, front barbell shrugs, rear barbell shrugs.. not necessarily on the same day ! When I train traps, I usually do with back or shoulders depending on week.. and I'll just do barbell shrugs (2 sets front, 2 sets rear). Back days is deadlifting time!
" Go hard or go home !"
best work i have ever done was with DB's!! whatever weight you could hold and pull it up for a hold of five seconds. do about 4-6 reps and remember this is as heavy as you can go. When you do the last rep the weight should feel like a mack truck. After those go over to the pull up bar and get a super close grip and just pull up with your traps for as many as you can do. You should only be moving a few inches. <two cents hit the floor>
"SPES ET FIDES"
The most sore my traps have ever been is after doing power cleans after a period of say months after not doing them. You might not think so, but just try it and see for yourself.
"You still got the tools, but they're different" (Angelo Dundee => Muhammad Ali)
leaning out a bit
"One guy thinks he can, another guy thinks he can't. Both are right. Which one are you son?" (Nike commercial football coach)