The 3 Best Exercises to Grow Your Traps

The 3 Best Exercises to Grow Your Traps

The Trapezius muscles, or Traps, often play a minor part in a workout program. In this article, I will be explaining the Traps, why they are important for daily activities, why you should make them a major part of your overall workout, and the 3 best exercises to grow your traps!

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

The Issue

Your are lacking girth or muscle in your upper mid back area or you have rounded shoulders

What is a Trapezius Muscle, and what is it’s function?

“The trapezius is a large paired surface muscle that extends longitudinally from the occipital bone to the lower thoracic vertebrae of the spine and laterally to the spine of the scapula. It moves the scapula and supports the arm.

The trapezius has three functional parts:

  • An upper (descending) part which supports the weight of the arm
  • A middle region (transverse), which retracts the scapula
  • A lower (ascending) part which medially rotates and depresses the scapula.” Wikipedia

See the illustration below:

Trapezius Fitmanfitness

Follow The Fiber!

If you have read any of my other articles, you will notice that I constantly remind you to follow the muscle fibers. There is an origin and an insertion point of the Trapezius and it is vital that you understand and remember this when working out your muscle.

Once you have identified the origin and insertion point, you will bring those two points together when working out. This will ensure that you will get a full workout of the muscle fiber. Notice in the illustration below how the muscle fibers run in different directions from the Insertion point all along the spine to the origin.

Traps Fitmanfitness

Warm-up your Trapezius muscles

Warming up your muscles is essential to having a great workout. If you do not warm up your Trapezius muscles prior to applying resistance training, your muscles are more susceptible to muscle strains and pulls.

In addition, your “endurance will be compromised.” 1 Cramp and muscle fatigue can occur because you will experience a buildup of lactic acid more rapidly.

So, I usually advise my clients to get on the treadmill for 15 minutes. If you do not have a treadmill, do several sets of jumping jacks or high steps. This will help to get your heart rate up, which delivers more oxygen to the muscles and organs, and it opens up capillaries for additional blood flow.

Remember, stretching and warming up are two different things. Stretching refers to stretching the Trapezius muscles to prevent muscle strains and pulls, and warming-up refers to raising the temperature of the body.

Now, on to the exercises!

Exercises to grow your Traps

The Barbell Shrug

Step 1

Choose your desired weight and place it on a barbell. If you are new to bodybuilding, don’t put on a lot of heavy weight. I need you to understand the motion of the exercise and how to follow the fibers

Step 2

Place your feet under the barbell, squat down at your knees, and grab the barbell with your palms facing towards you. Position your hands just outside your knees.

Step 3

Push through your heels, extend your knees and hips, and stand up. Keep your upper body erect and chest high. Make sure you keep your abdominals tight. You want to isolate your traps muscles as much as you can.

Step 4

At this point, most people will tell you to bring your shoulders towards your ears. But, there is more to it than that. Look again at the way the fibers run on the trap muscles. Not only should you bring your shoulders up, but you are bringing them back as well. Squeeze those muscle fibers together. The illustration below shows how you need to perform the exercise.

Barbell Shrug Fitmanfitness

Dumbbell Shrug

Step 1

Choose your desired weight dumbbells and place the at your sides.

Step 2

While standing erect, keep your abdominals tights. Keep a slight bend in your knees.

Step 3

Pull the shoulders towards your ears. Like I said in the barbell shrug, you want to bring the dumbbells up and back. You want to follow the fibers. This is the only way you will maximize the growth of the muscle. Check out the illustration below; it shows the beginning and the end.

Remember to FOLLOW THE FIBERS!

Dumbbell shrug Fitmanfitness
Exercises to Grow Your Traps

Bent Over Reverse Flys – Focus on Traps

Step 1

Choose some mid to light dumbbells and put the weights to your sides

Step 2

Bend over at the waist, keep your back straight. The weights should now be out in front of you. Look at the illustration below.

Step 3

Pull the weights up to a horizontal position. I know, you may be thinking to yourself that this exercise is meant for your rear delts. Now, what I need you to do is focus on the mid traps. When you bring the weight up, focus on bringing the mid trap fibers towards your spine.

Reverse Flys Fitmanfitness

Conclusion

The Traps should be part of any workout that you do! I am a personal trainer, and I have created programs for many years. The Traps are an important muscle for posture and back strength. If you are a beginner, use light weights at 3 sets of 8 reps. Before you focus on heavyweights, you need to really maximize and stretch your muscles before working out. You can check out my website at Fitmanfitness.com.

3 Top Ways To Naturally Lose Weight Fast

3 Top Ways To Naturally Lose Weight Fast

1)Nutrition

2)Workout

3)Rest

During all my years of working out, and with all of my years of personal training experience, I have narrowed down the 3 top ways to naturally lose weight fast!

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

Now, these 3 ways might seem apparent, but you must understand that these are the most important things you can do. Once you have mastered these areas, you will most likely lose weight. I always condone doing things naturally. In order to grow lean muscle and lose weight, you must follow these 3 top ways to lose weight fast. I will break down the three areas so you can really hone down what you need to do

1st Top Way to Lose Weight Fast – Nutrition

Nutrition is by far the most important thing you can do to lose weight. Follow these steps, as outlined on my website Fitmanfitness.com.

Nutrition is one the top ways to lose weight fast

You might think that your nutrition is pretty good, but it has to be ON POINT in order for you to achieve your goals. So, here are some simple steps that I have developed over many years of experience. And remember, I am a certified personal trainer, and the information I am giving you is free. I want you to become a better you!

Step #1

First, create a MyFitnessPal.com, download the app, and begin inputting your information. Now, this process may take some time, but you need to do this in order to track your calories. This will help you find out how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis, and you may be really surprised at how many or how few calories you are consuming. You do not have to do weeks or months of inputting information. I would suggest at least three days of inputting your information. Once you have inputted your information, scroll down to the bottom of the day you are on, and look at the pie graph. You will not be able to see how many carbs, proteins, and fats you are consuming. 

Step #2

Input your information into the free calorie calculator below provided by Myplate.gov and you will find out how many calories your body needs to lose, maintain weight. Then the calculator will populate a caloric amount that you should shoot for daily.

Step #3

Eat Healthy food – this is not anything new. If you are serious about making a complete lifestyle change, then do it! Don’t have cheat meals. You have a goal, and you need to stick to it. Moreover, you need to be consuming lean meats, fresh vegetables, low fatty foods. The food does not need to be bland, instead season it up! Don’t be afraid of carbs; they have really got a bad rap over the last decade. Carbs and fats provide energy sources for your workouts.

2nd Top Way to Lose Weight Fast – Workout

When you first go to the gym, you might be nervous. Often people just roam around the gym doing random workouts because they just don’t know what to do. One word comes to mind. Structure. You must have some kind of structure and a routine to follow in order to feel confident about your workout. I am a personal trainer, and I have endlessly tried many routines, but I have finally come up with the workout splits that will anyone can follow. Please note, that I have not included the exercises to do within the split. For more articles on how to perform exercises, please visit my website at www.fitmanfitness.com.

Your workout is one of the top ways to lose weight fast

Follow the desired split depending on the amount of time you can spend working out.

3 Day split

  • Chest, shoulders(front and side), triceps
  • Back, biceps and rear delts
  • Legs
  • 4 days off – Active days off

This split is meant for those that do not have a lot of time to get into the gym but want to get a full-body workout.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off, so I recommend doing 2-3 exercises per body part. With this particular workout, you can take your days off in between each workout day. Also, on your days off, try to do some sort of cardio for about 30-40 minutes.

4 Day Split

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Shoulders – front, side, and rear
  • 3 Days off – Active days off

Like the 3 days split, this split is meant for those that do not have a lot of time to get into the gym but want to get a full-body workout.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off.  In addition, be sure to do some sort of cardio for 30-40 minutes on your days off.

5 Day Split

  • Shoulders – front and side delts (calves)
  • Back – Rear back, rear delts and traps
  • Chest – Chest and triceps
  • Legs – Quads, hamstrings, Lower Back, calves
  • Arms – Biceps and triceps
  • 2 days off – Active days off

This split is meant for those that have time to go to the gym 5 days a week. Furthermore, if you can go to the gym 5 days a week, you can focus more of your time on one particular body part. Last but not least, on your days off, do some sort of cardio for 30-40 minutes.

6 Day Split

  • Shoulders – front and side delts
  • Back – Rear back, rear delts and traps
  • Chest – Chest, and triceps
  • Legs – Quads, hamstrings, calves – heavy quads
  • Arms – Biceps and triceps
  • Legs – Hamstrings, quads, and calves
  • 1 day off – Active day off

This split is meant for those that do have a lot of time to get into the gym.  In order to make this split work well, you will have to continue to implement cardio on your days off.

3rd Top Way to Lose Weight Fast – Rest

Thirdly, resting is an important part of this entire equation. By taking rest days, your body will benefit in the following ways:

Rest is one of the top ways to lose weight fast. Fitmanfitness.com
  1. Prevents muscle fatigue
  2. Allows time for recovery
  3. Reduces risk of injury
  4. Improves performance
  5. Supports healthy sleep

So, when you work out and lift weights, you are actually making small tears in your muscles. When you rest, those muscle fibers repair and grow. And when you have more muscle, you’ll burn more calories at rest. That’s because muscle burns more energy than fat. (1)

Now, you may be asking yourself, how am I supposed to rest during a 5 or 6-day split? Well, I have constructed those splits to have at least a day of rest between body parts. Also, you want to be getting enough rest in the evening. Both your body and your muscles need rest.

Conclusion

Your nutrition, your workouts, and your rest are all the most important and top ways to lose weight fast. Above all, these principles all come down to keeping your everyday life simple yet structured. Additionally, Don’t fall for any unhealthy pills, substances, or gimmicks to make you lose weight. Keep your life STRUCTURED, and it will happen! Once you have mastered these areas, you WILL lose weight.

  1. Nunez, Kirsten https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/rest-day#doing-rest-right
3 Ways to Grow Stubborn Calves

3 Ways to Grow Stubborn Calves

Before getting into the ways of building bigger calves, it is first important to understand the calf muscle anatomy. This is necessary to building a great calf because you can visualize the muscle when you are working out. If you have read any of my other articles, you will know that I approach the muscle anatomically first, then find the best solution to working that muscle. After an explanation of the anatomy, I will give you the 3 ways to grow stubborn calves.

Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.

So, the calf muscle consists of two primary muscles: The Gastrocnemius and the Soleus. The Gastro is the larger muscle that most will see just directly under the skin. This muscle has two heads, the medial head and lateral head, that create a diamond shape. The Soleus is a flat smaller muscle that is underneath the Gastro. The Gastro’s insertion point is the Achilles Tendon and the origin is connected to the lower part of the thigh bone. ALWAYS keep this in mind when you are working out your calf muscle.

Here are 3 ways to grow stubborn calves

Step 1 – Increase Frequency

In order to make your calves grow, you need to train them more often and with higher reps. If you want your calves to get bigger, then you will have to train them more than just once a week. I would suggest a starting point of every other day. Eventually, you can work them 5 to 6 times a week. And, do 15-20 reps per set. The only way that you are going to make your calves bigger is by working them out more.

Step 2 – Increase the Weight

Progressing the weight each day or week will also help. If you find yourself doing 12-15 reps with ease, then start increasing the weight. Increase the weight in each set. But, only increase to the point to where you can still control the exercise. DO NOT load up the machine with 6 plates only to find that you have jeopardized the control of the exercise.

Step 3 – Full Range of Motion

In order to maximize growth of the calf muscles, you must be working it out to the full range of motion. Many people are seen at the gym bouncing the weight, and this is the worst motion you can do. As stated earlier about insertion point and origin, you must be visualizing the contraction of the muscle from beginning to end. So, when you are working out the calves, lower the weight all the way down until you feel a stretch, then raise it up as far as you can go. While doing calf raises, keep the front ball of your feet planted. Do NOT rush through the rep. Keep your motion in a slow controlled manner, and VISUALIZE the muscle fibers working.

Two of the best exercises to build your calves

Warm up The Muscle

You should always warm up and stretch the calf muscle prior to working out. This will ensure a safe and efficient workout. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle or tear a tendon

Standing calf raise

Stand on the calf raise machine platform or at the ground level with your toes pointed forwards and the balls of your feet on the platform. Keep your legs straight, activate your quads. Now, stretch your calves down, and slowly move them all the way up. Stop at the top of the rep and wait for 1 to 2 seconds.

Seated Calf Raise Fitmanfitness

Seated calf raises

You can use higher reps on this exercise. Sit on the seat and place calves on the platform. Similar to the standing calf raise, lower the heal of your foot down to stretch. Stop for 1-2 seconds and contract the muscle up to the very top

Now that you have these steps, make sure you take precaution when working out your calves. Warmup and stretch the muscle prior to exercising the muscle. This is not going to be easy. Just like any other body part, you will need to work hard to see results. You can do it, just put your mind to it.

You can find all the latest information on bodybuilding at www.fitmanfitness.com

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