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  1. #1
    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    Does it exist? Question about rack pulls and deadlifts

    So I like to use a one compound one isolation per muscle group pattern in my routine, looking for a safe compound to specifically narrow in on traps. Cleans seem to be causing so much fatigue that it interferes with my recovery on following days, upright rows i've never been terribly fond of, and farmer's walks i'm using in my forearm section - which leaves me looking towards rack pulls. I don't want to involve too much lower body because that's the area I hit the day after an upper one(I am using an upper lower routine). Anyways, I use squat stands which will eventually cap out on capacity somewhere around 450lb, and I also don't wanna wreck my bar up whenever I actually reach that point. I wanted to know if I could use an above knee "deadlift" done from a hang position, instead of supported by a rack, like with rack pulls. Anyway, does this exercise exist, have a name(hang pulls? hang deadlifts?), and do you still get the same trap and upper back focus with lower body being lessened by using it? Or would it be best to forget the hang type and stick with rack pulls instead?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    You are essentially describing a hang clean pull from above the knees, but generally that is done with the lighter weight to work more so on hip extension while also doing the sugar movement and rising up on the toes.

    Have you considered simply doing power shrugs? You essentially do a standing calf raise while also shrugging, without bending at the hips. Alternatively you can do shrugs where you bend forward a little bit, so you hit the mid and lower traps more. If you do these while also including shoulder protraction and retraction, then this will hit the rhomboids well and be a really good complimentary movement to typical shrugs.
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  3. #3
    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    Hmm, power shrugs.. Never really tried those before, in looking them up they appear to be a compound, so they would work with my dumbbell shrugs I use as an isolation for that area. Those could really work for my goals, i'll probably do the slight bend version, because I want to hit the whole trap if possible. Do they have minimal lower body involvement?
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  4. #4
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Yeah, they just hit calves well.

    If you do not do face pulls or cable Y raises consider making one of those your compound movement.
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    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    Those would be good if I had access to a cable system, for sure. The power shrugs are a safe movement? I just wondered cause the explosive nature of it jerks my shoulders a bit. Would that beat em down over time? They feel good though, and I like the extra calf bonus effects.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Yeah, they just hit calves well.

    If you do not do face pulls or cable Y raises consider making one of those your compound movement.
    An isolation for which part of the traps?

    Upper: literally and kind of shrug where your shoulders are brought to your ears

    Mid: wide grip seated cable shrugs, squeezing the scraps hard

    Lower: overhead bb shrugs

    Imo, just row. Rack pulls (or better yet, block pulls or high handle trap bar deadlifts) are good too. I’ve come to love Dorian deadlifts but that is more of an advanced exercise.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 07-28-2021 at 03:39 PM.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Hugely in efficient setup but OK.

    Remember that.
    Most standing (vert shrugs) are more lev Scap than upper trap...
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  8. #8
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    An isolation for which part of the traps?

    Upper: literally and kind of shrug where your shoulders are brought to your ears

    Mid: wide grip seated cable shrugs, squeezing the scraps hard

    Lower: overhead bb shrugs

    Imo, just row. Rack pulls (or better yet, block pulls or high handle trap bar deadlifts) are good too. I’ve come to love Dorian deadlifts but that is more of an advanced exercise.
    I agree with your point; I don't think the idea of doing one compound and one isolation per body part makes much sense partly for this reason. However I don't think overhead barbell shrugs will hit the lower traps well. I think they still focus on the upper traps while negating much input from the levator scapulae. Here's a good video explaining the actions of the different portions of the traps for those curious:



    So my understanding is that any exercise where you retract/depress the shoulder blades against resistance of some sort will use the middle/lower traps well. This would include pull-ups with scapular protraction/retraction, cable Y raises (if you purposefully keep your shoulder blades retracted/depressed), face pulls if the line of pull is above your head, and any high row movement if you actively depress your shoulder blades.

    I could be thinking about this incorrectly though, anyone can feel free to correct me if this doesn't seem logical.
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  9. #9
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Maybe do shrugs with your chest leaning at 45°.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    I agree with your point; I don't think the idea of doing one compound and one isolation per body part makes much sense partly for this reason. However I don't think overhead barbell shrugs will hit the lower traps well. I think they still focus on the upper traps while negating much input from the levator scapulae. Here's a good video explaining the actions of the different portions of the traps for those curious:



    So my understanding is that any exercise where you retract/depress the shoulder blades against resistance of some sort will use the middle/lower traps well. This would include pull-ups with scapular protraction/retraction, cable Y raises (if you purposefully keep your shoulder blades retracted/depressed), face pulls if the line of pull is above your head, and any high row movement if you actively depress your shoulder blades.

    I could be thinking about this incorrectly though, anyone can feel free to correct me if this doesn't seem logical.
    I concur (although I didn't watch video). Overhead shrugs hit primarily upper traps with some attention to mid/lower, but something like scapular pullups will hit mid/lower much better.
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    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    In testing power shrugs out for my upper day, they actually feel pretty good. I did the one where you go into a hang position with the bar, accelerate up and end in a shrug at the top. It's the compound for this area I was looking for, and I did not feel other lower body muscles being taxed out either. Love how it lets me load a bit more up than normal too. I think i'll adopt these as a mainstay for this area.
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