What is the trapezius?
When we talk about bodybuilding, we tend to think of abs, pectorals or glutes. However, the trapezius are muscles that should not be neglected. When they are muscular, they give an impression of power and help avoid back pain. So let’s take stock of these muscles that are too often neglected.
It is easy to locate the abdominal muscles or the pectoral muscles but much less so the trapezius muscles. Here, nothing to see with the accessory of the acrobats, obviously. Rather, we want to evoke the two muscles that allow you to raise your shoulders, to rotate your shoulders or to move your shoulder blades. They get their name from their shape.
Anatomically, the trapezius muscles extend from the lower neck to the upper back, from the shoulder to the spine, to the middle of the back. It is partly thanks to them that the back is toned and that the shoulders have a good position. These muscles are used throughout the day.
Why should you build up your trapezius muscles?
The good musculature of the trapezius gives an impression of power by being at the origin of the thickness of the upper back. Toned trapezius muscles help prevent back pain.
Thus, as soon as you work your back, you also act on the trapezius muscles, but it is possible to perform more targeted exercises. In this case, it is necessary to plan long series. In fact, the trapezius muscles are widely used on a daily basis. They are enduring muscles and sets that are too short will not be beneficial.
It is estimated that you need at least four series of 15 slow movements, with a large amplitude and without jerks. You can easily work your trapezius at home with dumbbells.
3 exercises to build trapezius muscles at home
Most of the exercises to build trapezius muscles at home can be done with dumbbells. If you don’t want to invest, water bottles can do the trick – yes, it is possible to build up your trapezius muscles with almost no equipment!
1. Shrug (or shrug of the shoulders)
You take a dumbbell (or a bottle) in each hand, standing with your feet a little wider apart than your pelvis and your arms straight. One raises the shoulders while inspiring and one brings them down while expiring. We keep the back straight and we make slow movements.
2. Chin pull (or chin rowing)
With only one (large) dumbbell or a dumbbell in each hand, one extends the arms along the chest. We then pull on the dumbbells to raise them to chest height, the elbows being then horizontal. then we go back down.
3. Lateral raise
A dumbbell in each hand, the arms along the body, one goes up laterally until the horizontal one then one goes down again.
For these 3 exercises, we start with series of 15 repetitions (at a rate of 4 series per session) then we gradually increase the weight and the number of series.
The essential accessory to build up your trapezius muscles
As we said, you don’t need any equipment or almost any equipment to build up your trapezius muscles. But if a water bottle can do the trick, dumbbells remain the ideal solution to carry out your exercises. Especially since you can recycle them for sessions dedicated to other muscle groups!
Yes, but here is a question: how to choose your dumbbells? This choice is mainly based on the weight of the machine and as such, there is no need to want to do the big arms and rush to the heaviest dumbbells.
Light weights can be just as effective for quick results: if you have an average level, a pair of 3 kilo dumbbells will already be very useful… and will seem heavy enough!
If not, you can also choose adjustable dumbbells, composed of a bar and discs of different weights, or even weighted weights to put on your wrist. Finally, in terms of the material of your accessory, smooth dumbbells coated with vinyl or neoprene are as pleasant to use as they are easy to maintain!
There you have it, you know everything you need to do to build up your back and shoulders and get your trapezius muscles in shape. So let’s warm up and get started, gentlemen. Right now!