How To Do Barbell Shrugs

Barbell Shrugs Exercise

Barbell Shrugs is a great exercise for developing the traps, shoulders, upper back, biceps and forearms.

It also engages the core muscles in order to support the lower back.

Barbell Shrugs is an exercise that allows you to carry heavy weight but some use it as a warm up for the shoulders as it primes the rotator cuff for the workload.

Barbell Shrugs How To

  • Take a shoulder width overhand grip on a barbell and lift it to thigh level.
  • Assume a shoulder width stance. Tighten your core; slightly arch your lower back and push your chest out.
  • Contract the traps and upper back and pull the barbell as high as you can. Think about pushing your traps up to touch your ears.
  • At the top position, contract your traps hard and hold the position for a count of “one”.
  • Resist the weight as you return to the starting position. Get a good stretch at the bottom.
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

With Barbell Shrugs, do not rotate the shoulders forward and backward. Just follow a straight up and down motion and try to touch your ears with your traps.

Don’t bend over at the trunk to pull the barbell higher. Only your shoulders should be moving in this exercise.

Variations: Smith Machine Shrugs, Behind the Back Shrug

Routine for Strength: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains: 4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Barbell Shrugs