Behind the Back Barbell Shrugs

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Reverse barbell shrug, rear barbell shrug
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Trapezius
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 15-20 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Dumbbell shrug, cable shrug

Behind the back barbell shrugs, as the name suggests, is a variation performed by holding the barbell behind your thighs. It helps build thicker traps by targeting the middle portion of the muscle. For overall development of your traps, include both the front and the reverse versions in your training regimen.

Behind the Back Barbell Shrugs Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Reverse barbell shrug, rear barbell shrug
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Trapezius
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 15-20 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Dumbbell shrug, cable shrug

How to do

Stand straight with your feet placed at shoulder width distance, while holding the barbell (weighing about 80-90 lbs) behind your back with a wider-than-shoulder-width, pronated grip. While keeping the arms straight, contract your shoulders and raise them toward the ears as high as you can. Hold the point of maximum contraction for one second and then return to the initial position.

Behind the Back Barbell Shrugs

Reverse Barbell Shrugs Tips

  • Focus on raising the barbell by engaging your traps and not the biceps.
  • Make sure to raise the weight straight up and down in a straight line, without rolling the shoulders.

Alternative Exercises

  • Dumbbell Shrug
  • Cable Shrug

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