Smith Machine Shrug: Muscle Worked, Benefits & Alternate

You’ll want to learn about smith machine shoulder shrug exercise and want to include it in your workouts for a stronger, better-looking traps. Then you are at the right place here we will discuss smith machine shrug, benefits of shrug exercises and how to do smith machine shrug exercises with the best variation and alternate of it.

If you neglect your traps and fail to strengthen them alongside the other muscles in your back, it can lead to poor posture, decreased performance, and even injury down the line.

However, if you use smith machine shoulder shrugs exercises to strengthen and balance the muscles in your traps, your overall performance will improve, and you’ll be able to lift even more weight.

Smith Machine Shrug

Smith Machine Shrugs Benefits

Here are the benefits of a smith machine shoulder shrug exercises :

  • Muscle strength & growth: Practicing smith shrug workouts is one of the most effective ways to increase hypertrophy in the back and shoulders.
  • Stability & conditioning: smith machine shoulder shrug activates all major areas of the shoulders, making it excellent for upper body stability and conditioning.
  • Builds Traps: Traps are tricky to build. There are only a handful of exercises that mainly target your traps.
  • Improve your posture. When practiced with proper form, behind the back shoulder shrug help build strength in your upper body stabilizer muscle groups, helping you stand up tall and keep your back straight.
  • Stronger traps can help reduce neck pain. Strengthening your traps increases the activation of your shoulder muscles, helping provide better support to your head and neck.

Smith Machine Shrug

The barbell shrug is perhaps the go-to movement when looking to tone or puts on mass on the trapezius muscle. There are several variations of the barbell shrug, smith machine shrug in one of them.

The Smith machine shrug is an upper-body exercise, targeting the traps (trapezius muscles). It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of shoulder or trap-focused training.

Smith Machine Shrug
Muscles Worked

Primary: Upper Trapezius

Secondary: Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae

Execution Technique
  1. Stand in a Smith machine holding the unlatched bar with an overhand grip in front of your thighs. Both your hands and your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your shoulders toward your ears as high as possible while keeping your arms straight.
  3. Hold the contraction for a second before lowering the bar back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Focus on lifting the weight with your traps, not by your biceps.
  • Pausing at the top of the barbell shrug makes the exercise more challenging and you’ll get more out of it.
  • Do not roll your shoulders, as this can lead to a shoulder injury.

Smith Machine Shrug Variation

Smith Machine Behind-the-Back Shrug

It is the variation of the smith machine shrug. The Smith machine behind-the-back shrug is an upper-body exercise targeting the traps (trapezius muscles).

It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of shoulder or trap-focused training.

Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug
Muscles Worked

Primary: Upper Trapezius

Secondary: Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae

Execution Technique
  1. Stand in a Smith machine holding the unlatched bar with an overhand grip in the back of your thighs. Both your hands and your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your shoulders toward your ears as high as possible while keeping your arms straight.
  3. Hold the contraction for a second before lowering the bar back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Focus on lifting the weight with your traps and not by your biceps.
  • Pausing at the top of the barbell shrug makes the exercise more challenging, and you’ll get more out of it.

Smith Machine Shrug Alternate

Barbell Shrug

Barbell Shrug is one of the best exercises to build bigger, stronger trapezius muscles. This exercise can be done extremely heavily to thicken the traps that really help you in doing back poses. Barbell Shrug is one of the best isolation exercises for trapezius muscle.

The barbell shoulder shrug exercise is one of the most simplistic and easy trap exercises to perform. You can do the shrug either using a dumbbell, Barbell, and smith machine. But barbell variation is the classic variation to build massive traps.

Traps, being a stubborn muscle group for many, can be trained with a fairly high frequency during the week.

Barbell Shrug
Muscles Worked

Primary: Upper Trapezius

Secondary: Middle Trapezius, Levator Scapulae

Execution Technique
  1. Stand with feet placed shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and core stable.
  2. Grip the barbell with your hands facing downwards in a pronated grip.
  3. Raise your shoulders without bending the elbows as far as possible, getting them closer to your ears.
  4. Hold the contraction and squeeze for a brief second. In a controlled and stable manner, lower the weight back down to the starting position.
Tips
  • Go as high as possible, but limit momentum and excessive jerking or bouncing of the weight.
  • Go full range. Move only the shoulders and keep the rest of the body steady.
18 Best Trap Workout: Exercises for Trapezius Muscles

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