What is a trap?
A trap is an important muscle for people because it helps in the maintenance of the shoulder and arm joints. It can also affect your posture. The word “trap” comes from the Latin word “Trapus”, which means breastplate, cuirass, or gorget
- Its job is to move our shoulders around by helping to raise them up or even shrug them. To get into anatomical position, start by placing your palms on the front of your thighs then lift your arms up until they’re parallel with the floor like you’re making a T with your body.
- This forms an imaginary triangle between your neck, arms, and torso; this is where we will find our traps or trapezius muscles.
The trapezius is a flat triangular-shaped muscle that lies on either side of the neck and laterally to the back of your spine. It arises from the spinous processes of C7 and T1 all the way down to your mid-back (thoracic vertebrae) and the posterior superior iliac crest (hip bone), where it inserts (attaches) onto the clavicle (collarbone). The portion above the shoulder joint is called “descending,” while when it dips behind, it is called “ascending”.
Different Types of Trap Exercises:
There are different types of trap exercises that you can do for your traps. Trap exercises are important because they help you strengthen your shoulder girdle and scapular area by working out the muscles in this specific region. These traps can also affect other small muscle groups throughout the body, so it’s best to give yourself a good stretch before you begin exercising your traps to prevent any unnecessary ancillary injuries.
The first trap exercise is called shrugs
To perform shrugs, stand with your feet hip-distance apart or slightly closer. Place a dumbbell on each side of a shrug bar – either have someone hand them to you or place the bar on a rack at about waist height. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with elbows bent and palms facing forward toward thighs.
Now raise your shoulders up toward your ears. Make sure not to lift your shoulders toward the ceiling, because this will actually work different muscles. The key is to curl them upward, not forward or sideways.
Also, be careful that you are only using the traps to raise your shoulders. This isn’t an exercise for posture – you’re not trying to tighten your lower back or straighten out your neck – all you want are those traps working! Do 3 sets of 10, resting about 30 seconds between each set at a medium resistance level.
Moving on, the next trap exercise uses cables and pulls downward toward thighs so it works both shoulder extension and elbow flexion simultaneously. To do upright rows with cables at hip height, stand in front of a cable station with feet hip-width apart, holding the cable in each hand with palms facing thighs. Pull up your arms into a 90-degree angle as you lift them until they meet at chest height. This should be a fluid motion that feels smooth and controlled from start to finish as you return back to 90 degrees after each rep.
Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps, resting 30 seconds between each set at a medium resistance level. Increase weight as needed. If using cables isn’t an option for you or if upright rows don’t feel challenging enough, try dumbbell shrugs instead by standing with a light dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and palms facing thighs. Raise your shoulders up toward your ears while keeping your neck straight so it doesn’t get pulled forward as you shrug. Then, lower the weights back down as far as possible. Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps, resting 30 seconds between each set at a light to the medium resistance level. Increase weight as needed.
Finally, let’s work traps with TRX straps. The TRX is very versatile because you can do tons of different exercises with it to target various muscle groups all over your body, even muscles hard to reach like your glutes or upper back.