Dumbbell Shrug

Exercise / Traps

Dumbbell Shrug overview

The Dumbbell Shrug is a fundamental exercise designed to target the trapezius muscles, specifically the upper traps. This movement involves lifting dumbbells to elevate the shoulders, emphasizing the contraction of the upper traps. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Dumbbell Shrug in your trap and upper body training routine.

The Dumbbell Shrug primarily targets the trapezius muscles, with a focus on the upper traps.

Decline Barbell Bench Press how to perform

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, arms fully extended.
  • Step 2: Inhale and lift your shoulders toward your ears, emphasizing the contraction of the upper traps.
  • Step 3: Elevate your shoulders as high as possible, keeping the arms straight.
  • Step 4: Hold the contracted position for a brief moment, feeling the engagement in the upper traps.
  • Step 5: Exhale and lower the shoulders back down to the starting position, fully extending your arms.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on the contraction of the trapezius muscles.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Maintain a straight back and engaged core throughout the movement.
  • Keep the dumbbells close to your body to target the upper traps effectively.
  • Lift the shoulders directly upward, avoiding excessive forward or backward movement.
  • Use a weight that challenges you while allowing for proper form.


  1. Barbell Shrug: Perform the exercise using a barbell for a different grip and muscle activation.
  2. Behind-the-Back Barbell Shrug: Lift the barbell behind your back for a unique variation.
  3. Smith Machine Shrug: Utilize a Smith Machine for added stability and control.
  4. Cable Shrug: Use a cable machine with a straight bar attachment for constant tension.