Barbell Shrug

Primary Muscle

Shoulders (Traps)

Secondary Muscle

Upper Back

Equipment Needed

Barbell, Power Rack

Mechanics Type


Proper Exercise Technique

Position the bar on the power rack so that you can easily un-rack it into the starting position. Grip the bar with your palms facing in, slightly narrower than shoulder-width. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart and fully extend your arms. Keeping your abs and lower back tight, shrug the weight up towards your ears as high as you possibly can. Squeeze your traps at the top of the movement, pause briefly, and then lower the bar back into the starting position.

Tip: Don’t make the mistake of rolling your shoulders back as you shrug the weight up, as this could lead to an injury. Instead, you should simply shrug the weight straight up and down. Also avoid cheating by keeping your arms completely straight rather than bending your elbows.

Starting Barbell Shrugs Exercise

Finishing Barbell Shrugs Exercise