Watch the video below to see a demonstration of proper form and technique for the barbell shrug exercise. You can also check out some more traps exercise videos or find exercises for other muscle groups.

Instructions for Barbell Shrug

To perform a set of barbell shrug:

  1. Starting Position

    Stand holding a barbell with a pronated grip, shoulder width plus 1 fist length apart. Your arms should be straight and your trunk should be in a neutral position.

  2. Concentric (Upward) Motion

    Keeping your arms straight, shrug your shoulders up and in toward your ears. Be aware to keep your head and trunk stable.

  3. Top position

    Pause at the top position for a 2 sec count while squeezing your shoulders together.

  4. Eccentric (Lowering) Motion

    Relax your shoulders and let them come back down to a neutral position under control, keeping your arms straight throughout. Remember to breathe normally throughout the entire movement.

  5. End position

    Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you have completed the desired number of barbell shrug repetitions before resting.

This completes one set of barbell shrug.

Traps Exercise Videos

An image of a man performing the barbell shrug exercise.

Barbell Shrug

An image of a man performing the barbell upright row exercise.

Barbell Upright Row