Article written by Marshall White for LiftBigEatBig.com
One of the things people instantly notice on an athlete are traps. Massive traps are usually more noticeable and will draw more attention than the chest and biceps that the “squat rack curlers” are so obsessed with. The big difference between these “attention getting muscles” is that big traps will actually help you in your athletic endeavors.
I get asked all the time what my shrug routine looks like because my traps are so big. I usually just answer “I have good genetics” because anyone that thinks shrugs build big thick traps isn’t worth having a conversation with. Lucky for you very intelligent people reading Lift Big Eat Big (instead of some douchey fitness mag) I’m going to tell you the secret to big, powerful traps.
The secret to traps is EXPLOSIVE LIFTING!! It really is that simple. Olympic lifts are some of the best movements for building huge traps. Check out Klokov’s traps sometime, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t post up in the squat rack and shrug to his heart’s content. One or two max effort snatches or clean and jerks is worth multiple high rep sets of shrugs in my opinion. If you want big powerful traps you must do Olympic lifts.
The second thing that will build scary big traps is strongman movements. Heavy farmers walks, tire flip, stone loading, etc etc. all done explosively (is there any other way to do them?) will build trap thickness that will scare children and small dogs. Adding in strongman movements and oly lifts will build complete traps as well. Bodybuilders have big traps yes, but they often lack the trap thickness that extends down into the middle of their upper back. Strength athletes don’t lack this type of development.