How To Work Out The Trapezius

Need to know how to work out the trapezius? The trapezius muscles of the back (just below the base of the neck, across the top of the shoulder blades and down the center of the back) are difficult to sculpt using traditional workout techniques, but there is an easy way to build up the muscle strength and sculpt this part of your back and shoulders. Knowing how to work out the trapezius muscles correctly can help relieve the head and neck, strengthen the shoulder blades and even assist in better breathing. This exercise is simple to learn but difficult on the trapezius muscles. It lends itself to rapidly increasing the strength and function of the trapezius muscles in only a few workouts. 

To work out the trapezius muscles, you will need:

  • Two hand weights or dumbbells of equal weight
  • A wide open space, enough to accommodate your full arm span
  • A stop watch
  • A paper and pencil to record data
  1. To begin, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold your weights in each hand. Slowly raise your arms to their full extension, at shoulder height.
  2. Hold the weights in this position for as long as possible while still engaging the correct muscle group. Some people are prone to switching muscle groups and using their biceps or shoulder muscles to hold their arms in the correct position, but this doesn’t help work out the trapezius muscles. Make sure you can feel the muscles at the base of the neck and shoulders engaged the whole time.
  3. When you can’t hold your arms up any longer, slowly drop them to your side, then kneel to place the weights on the floor. Don’t drop the weights or drop or swing your arms too quickly as this can cause damage to the muscle tissue you’ve just worked.
  4. Record your time on your data sheet. Each day you do it, your will be able to hold out longer, meaning your muscle group is getting stronger. The data sheets give you a visual representation of your results, so make sure to fill them out accurately each time.
  5. Rest for four to five minutes before continuing to give the muscles a better chance of recovery. The second attempt will likely be around half the time, due to lactic acid build-up, but it's important to perform the motions slowly and rest in between.

Many trainers recommend only using this type of workout two to three times per week to give the muscles a day or two in between to rest and recover. Drinks with added electrolytes or protein will go a long way toward helping the muscles recover faster after each set, meaning you can see and feel results more quickly and be able to perform to the best of your ability each time.

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