Workout Routines

The traps-focused workout to build a more intimidating physique

Add a second tier to your trapezius muscles with this targeted routine.

Man lifting heavy barbell at gym
Georgijevic / Getty
Georgijevic / Getty
Duration 35
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

When guys talk about achieving that "dominant" physique, they usually focus on the typical bodybuilding muscle groups: chest, back, arms, and shoulders. They're not wrong, of course—a powerfully built chest and a "V-taper" back are certainly hallmarks of a well-built guy.

But when it comes to looking bigger than you really are, one muscle group is especially important: the trapezius, aka the "traps." These muscles are ultra-noticeable, and training them hard definitely produces results. The only question: Finding the right exercises.

This workout targets the traps hard, helping you develop the "dominant" physique you crave.


Perform the exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next. You can finish the workout with exercises focused on training your calves, abs, grip strength, or neck strength.

Perform this workout once per week and do no other back workout, with the exception of a few sets of chinups one other day per week. Follow this program for four to six weeks and add weight as often as you can, as long as you maintain perfect form.

Build a more intimidating physique The trapezius muscle workout

Exercise 1.

Hang Clean You'll need: Barbell How to
Hang Clean thumbnail
2 sets
5-6 reps
90 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

High Pull You'll need: Barbell How to
High Pull  thumbnail
2 sets
5-6 reps
90 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Shrug thumbnail
2 sets
5-6 reps
90 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
3 sets
7, 7, 11 reps
120 sec. rest