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  1. #1
    Registered User Dominator3214's Avatar
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    Need advice on overactive traps

    My traps are overdeveloped compared to the rest of my shoulders and back muscles, and because of this I have a really bad habit of shrugging during exercises like cable rows and face pulls. Can I get some help or cues on keeping my shoulder blades relaxed during these lifts?
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Don't shrug (unless you're supposed to for the exercise).

    Lighten the weights so you don't need to shrug to move the weight.

    Pick variations (or other exercises targeting the same muscle groups) where you feel less inclined to shrug.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Don't shrug (unless you're supposed to for the exercise).

    Lighten the weights so you don't need to shrug to move the weight.

    Pick variations (or other exercises targeting the same muscle groups) where you feel less inclined to shrug.
    EDIT:

    This plus good job on having big enough traps where this is even a problem.
    Bench: 315
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    Deadlift: 475

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    I had this problem a lot. It was really due to some poor posture issues and then in the gym exacerbating the problems. I found scapular pull ups and single armed KB pressed with heavily "packed" shoulders to be the best "fix." Additionally, exercises like heavy goblets or KB front squats that force your body to re-align are good options. Pack the shoulders, proud chest up, and drive your pulls with the elbows.
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    Originally Posted by SuicideGripMe View Post
    I had this problem a lot. It was really due to some poor posture issues and then in the gym exacerbating the problems. I found scapular pull ups and single armed KB pressed with heavily "packed" shoulders to be the best "fix." Additionally, exercises like heavy goblets or KB front squats that force your body to re-align are good options. Pack the shoulders, proud chest up, and drive your pulls with the elbows.
    Definitely the posture thing. Things just fell in place once I fixed my standing/sitting posture. Besides that I would suggest stretching or foam rolling the traps before working out? Could help.
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    Registered User Dominator3214's Avatar
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    Also, my upper trap gets really super tight after push day. I think doing dips/incline bench caused it. I need to learn how to depress my scapula on these movements.
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    Originally Posted by Dominator3214 View Post
    Also, my upper trap gets really super tight after push day.
    Buy a super slim foam pillow if it ever keeps you awake at night.
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    Avoid over usage of upper traps by engaging lower fibers of the traps and the other back muscles.

    Proper external rotation of the shoulder + scapula, effecting a more secure grip on the weight involving arms and torso, along with proper core bracing, balances out the function of the upper traps.

    The lower traps feel like they bridge the posterior section of the arms together for me. It's something I focus on concurrently while the upper back works with the core.
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