Behind The Back Barbell Shrugs

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Traps
Secondary Muscle(s)
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Isolation
Type Pull

Behind The Back Barbell Shrugs Instructions

  • Position your feet just inside shoulder-width with your knees slightly bent.
  • A barbell positioned behind you.
  • The core is braced and engaged. Shoulders are pinned back and eyes fixed straight ahead.
    • Back is flat with a neutral spine.
  • Grip the barbell at shoulder-width, your palms facing away from you.
  • Make sure to keep your core braced and engaged.
    • Your low back is not arched.
    • Maintain an upright chest from start to finish. Don't let your shoulders round.
  • Lift (shrug) your shoulders straight up, think about bringing your traps to your ears. Quickly pause to hold the contraction.
    • Your arms are passive during the movement.
  • Release and lower the bar to the starting position.
    • Don't lose your strong posture as you lower the bar.


  • Focus on the isolation of the traps.
  • Keep the bar as close to your center-of-gravity as possible. 
  • Refrain from using your arms to pull the bar up. The arms are merely a lever for your traps. 
  • Don't use momentum or excess movement to elevate the bar. 
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