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Tip 5: Supersets and Dropsets Mean Super Traps

Just as most people never do anything else but shrugs for traps, they also tend to stick with standard straight sets. If this approach has been delivering the gains for you, wonderful! If not, it’s time to shock your traps with something they aren’t expecting.

Supersets are a great way to provide new stimulation to your trapezius muscles. The best combination I’ve found is to follow shrugs immediately with narrow-grip barbell upright rows.  This is a classic pre-exhaust superset: Shrugs isolate and fatigue the traps, and upright rows bring in the shoulders and arms to really torch your traps.

Three or four rounds of 10-15 reps each of this superset and your traps should have all the stimulation they need for a sweet little growth spurt.

Dropsets are another good technique. However, unless you have a training partner to help you strip plates, dumbbell shrugs are a better option than a barbell or plate-loading machine. Warm up to using your heaviest weight, then immediately rack those and pick up a lighter pair. If you’re really in a masochistic mood, do yet another, lighter set right after that. Your traps will be screaming—and on their way to growing.

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