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Is Direct Trap Training Necessary for Trap Training?


Is Direct Trap Training Necessary for Trap Training?

One of the most common vices among contemporary bodybuilders seems to be overtraining a specific body component without completely comprehending how it is intended to operate. And probably nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of trap training.

As you might imagine, the foundation of effective trap training is understanding how this muscle was designed to function and exercising it correctly. To build "boulders on the shoulders," the majority of guys out there, however, focus on completely pointless workouts like shrugs.

As to why we say this, Because shrugs significantly fall short of effectively engaging the traps, according to the fundamentals of human movement biomechanics. Furthermore, your traps won't require much direct training if you're completing the majority of compound barbell exercises, as they'll likely receive plenty of stimulation.

So let's examine how the traps are supposed to work and the most effective strategy for achieving well-balanced trap growth.

The Defense of Shrugs

As previously mentioned, performing lots of variations of the deadlift, rows, pull-downs, and overhead presses will provide your traps with just the right amount of work to encourage growth. In addition, the majority of dumbbell exercises for the shoulders or back will partially or fully engage the traps.

Therefore, for the majority of gym attendees, investing time and effort in traps isolation exercises is kind of futile, mainly because that time and effort would be better spent on multi-joint functional activities that guarantee higher anabolism and better overall growth.Of course, you could target the traps with direct training to increase definition once you have developed the muscle mass you want to develop, but in most circumstances, there isn't a need for that.

However, many bodybuilders who are concerned with increasing their upper body mass have a tendency to overstimulate their traps during high-volume, high-frequency shrug sessions, which ultimately prove to be ineffective. But even when it works, excessive direct trap training has drawbacks. In particular, if you have overdeveloped traps, they can easily overshadow your shoulders from the front, diminishing their width and giving you a sloped-shoulder appearance.

Huge traps may seem like a good thing, but they often fire when you're training your back and shoulders, preventing them from growing as they should. Furthermore, one of the four elements of the "upper cross syndrome," which causes back discomfort, postural concerns, and upper body mobility limitations, can be exacerbated by overactive traps.

Big traps are cool, but they don't necessarily make for an attractive build or improve performance. If you want to develop a well-balanced and proportionate physique, you should limit trap development rather than highlighting it even more.

In actuality, the monsters with huge traps you see at your gym have probably built them using the workouts you aren't performing because you are busy with an unending stream of shrugs.

How the trap muscles work

Huge traps won't really improve your athletic performance, other from looking strange on a person with an average level of development. However, this does not imply that they are useless. To help you better grasp how the trap works, here is a little anatomy lesson.

The majority of definitions state that the trapezius muscles are substantial, diamond-shaped surface muscles that run lateral to the scapular spine and longitudinally from the occipital bone to the lower thoracic vertebrae. Because you only see the traps from the front, you probably believe that they only rest on the shoulders. However, the traps actually travel down the back, giving them their diamond-shaped appearance.

The body uses the traps, which are postural and active-movement muscles, for a wide range of activities. They move the scapulae (shoulder blades) and support the arm, to put it briefly. More specifically, they are used to tilt and turn the neck, elevate, depress, rotate, and retract the scapula, stabilize the shoulders, twist and support the arms, and even help with breathing. For shoulder mobility and injury-free back conditioning, strong traps are crucial.

Generally speaking, the trapezius muscle is divided into three regions:

* superior or upper area, which is made up of the upper fibers

* the middle or intermediate area, which is made up of the middle fibers

* inferior or lower part, which contains the weaker fibers

The majority of the mass of the muscles, the upper traps, are in charge of twisting and pushing your shoulder blades upward when you shrug your shoulders. The lower traps are there to rotate the shoulder blades downward, for example during the overhead portion of front raises, whereas the middle traps are here to draw the shoulder blades together (think wide-grip seated rows).

In reality, no muscle works in isolation; instead, each muscle or group of muscle fibers works in synergy with others, operating as one big unit at all times, even though some parts may work harder than others during different movements. As a result, these definitions are far too simplistic and merely serve a descriptive purpose.

Having stated that, the function of any given muscle in terms of movement depends on not just where it originates and inserts, but also how the muscle fibers are oriented. According to research, it is now practically impossible for the trapezius muscle to produce any discernible elevation of the shoulder blades when the arm is in a neutral position due of the angle and orientation of its top fibers.

In order to raise the scapula, the top fibers actually need the coordinated help of the middle and lower fibers, but even then, they can't complete the task without coordinating their efforts with those of the serratus anterior muscle, which covers the side of your rib cage. Your traps cannot function in isolation, just like any other muscle. If this is the case, how can you expect to grow your traps properly if all you do is perform direct isolation exercises that don't fully engage these powerful muscles?

If you're simply employing shrugs, which only involve elevating and rotating the scapulae upward, you're ignoring a ton of available resources and choosing to build your muscles insufficiently. Therefore, if you've already made the decision to construct large traps, you should at the very least learn how to do it correctly rather than working out for hours without producing anything in return.

Instead of doing this, you can train the muscle with respect to its architecture and perform various exercises that make use of all of the traps' main functions.

How Actual Trap Training Appearance

Because they are rarely subjected to direct heavy load in regular life, traps respond exceptionally well to extremely heavy, brief ROM labor. To put it another way, how frequently do you discover yourself having to trigger a weighted shrug in casual, everyday circumstances?

In contrast to exercises like deadlifts, which are frequently utilized around the house, during outdoor activities, and particularly if you have a physically demanding profession, you should never. This makes doing heavy work in small ranges of motion a special stimulation for your traps that might result in significant muscular growth quickly.Here are a few simple exercises that you can easily add to your current back and shoulder program to build your traps completely.

Face Pull With Pause, first

You should also concentrate on exercises that enhance the capacity of the middle and lower trap fibers to stabilize the scapulae in order to guarantee the best possible health of your scapula-thoracic joint, which is a crucial prerequisite for size training. Face pulls can help you achieve this aim. Just make sure to employ halted reps and longer contractions.

Hold the peak contraction for three to five seconds for the optimum benefits. Additionally, to reduce upper trap participation, place the cable at the eye-lever or a little higher. Start each back and shoulder session for the next three to four weeks with 2-3 sets of face pulls for eight to ten repetitions, and you should notice significant gains in static strength, endurance, and stability.

Power Clean From Hang, #2

Working from the hang causes the upper body to engage more, and the traps to work harder to both complete the catch and burst the weight up.

Start with the bar right up against your kneecaps and your hips high enough to allow for a very shallow knee angle. Put your weight on your heels. Remember that you shouldn't feel comfortable in this posture; if it does, you're definitely doing it incorrectly. Additionally, be sure to contract your lats as hard as you can.

The bar will end up with a more horizontal trajectory than the required vertical one if your shoulders are not backward and behind the bar before you jump it above your head.

Snatch-Grip High Pull, third

You literally can't afford to skip this excellent Olympic lift variant because it targets the mid-back, rhombs, rear delts, traps, and builds the complete posterior chain. It can be compared to an upright row that has undergone every improvement imaginable.

Make sure your elbows are higher than the bar and at a 45-degree angle as you drag the bar close to your body using a broad snatch grip. Remember, the body should be extended upward in a straight line during the exercise, but it should also lean back slightly to maintain balance.

Keep the bar close to your body and concentrate on elevating your elbows rather than the bar. And make the motion with all the force you can muster!

Kroc Rows, No. 4

Kroc rows are essentially absurdly heavy, high-rep dumbbell rows that will utterly fatigue your forearms as well as your entire back and shoulder region. This underused exercise, when performed properly, may help you develop strength that translates effectively to your deadlift lockout and also enhance the size of your upper back unlike any other.

Focus on building up to a volume and weight that can push you above your comfort zone if you want to see these gains. Allow your lats to fully extend out at the bottom of each rep, and then, as you reach the top, squeeze your shoulder blades together for a solid contraction.

Never underestimate the power of information. And in the sport of bodybuilding, it is the men who comprehend the anatomy and biomechanics of the human body and modify their training regimen accordingly that ultimately succeed in reaching the pinnacle of excellence.