Shrugs with a barbell behind your back


Shrugs with a barbell behind your back are a great exercise to improve your posture, and besides, their implementation prevents the development of «round» shoulders.

Benefit exercises

Shrugs with a barbell behind the back, like their classic version, primarily affect the muscles of the upper back and neck. Their regular performance develops primarily the trapezius, and also, but to a lesser extent, the rhomboid and levator scapula muscles and forearms.

The amplitude of movement in this version of the shrugs is less than in the traditional one, which means that the muscles contract less during execution. But on the other hand, shrugs with a barbell behind your back are much more effective for improving posture. In addition, they prevent the appearance of «round» shoulders (when the shoulders do not stand out against the background of the back).

Shrugs develop your upper back and neck muscles, which is great insurance for heavy basic exercises, especially squats and overhead presses. In addition, shrugs with a barbell behind the back perfectly develop the muscles involved in lifting the arm, which will improve results in sports such as tennis, volleyball, handball, baseball, football, basketball and many others.

Technique for performing shrugs with a barbell behind the back

Correct exercise technique:

1. Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend them at the knees. Grab the barbell from the racks or have a partner pass it from behind. Grasp the barbell with your arms fully extended so that your palms are facing back and the distance between them is slightly wider than your shoulders. Straighten up, take your shoulders back, pull in your stomach and bend a little in the lower back. Keep your chin parallel to the ground and look straight ahead. This is the starting position.

2. Inhale, hold your breath, lift your shoulders as high as possible. At the top of the movement, pause for 1-2 seconds, feeling the tension of the trapezium, and then slowly return to the starting position as you exhale.

3. Perform the intended number of repetitions.

It is important:

Throughout the exercise, maintain the correct posture: the back is even, the lower back is slightly arched, the chest is protruded forward, and the shoulders are laid back.

Try to raise your shoulders as high as possible, thereby reducing the trapezium as much as possible.

Do not bend your arms or elbows while the bar is moving, this takes some of the load off the trapezium.

Do not rush to increase the weight of the bar, being too heavy, it will further reduce the amplitude of the exercise.

Do not tilt your head to the sides or down, keep your chin parallel to the floor, otherwise you risk spinal injury.

Implementation options exercises

Shrugs with a barbell

Working muscles when performing shrugs with a barbell behind your back

  • trapeze
  • upper back
  • forearms

Alternative exercises

  • Shrugs with dumbbells
  • Shrugs on an incline bench

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