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6 Solid Exercises To Add Size & Definition To Your Back

Madhura Mohan

Posted on April 27 2021


 re you training with the objective to grow a bigger-muscular physique, then which part of the body are you training? I am sure, most of you are trying to sink in all your muscle-building efforts into building biceps, shoulder, chest, and core. Guys, you are missing out on an important muscle group you should give particular focus to…you are paying less attention to your trapezius muscle…


What Is Trapezius?

Trapezius muscles, aka traps are long, quadrilateral-shaped muscles located at the top center of your back. The three-part muscle composed of the superior, middle, and inferior muscle attaches at the base of your skull and continues down to the middle of your spine. Training your upper, middle and lower trapezius will allow you to have a fully developed and functional back, help improve your posture and help prevent shoulder injuries. Upper traps allow upward scapular rotation, provide shoulder stability. Middle traps support retraction of the scapula, and lower traps assist in external rotation of the scapula. Having weak, stretched or tight traps will compensate for your poor overhead mobility, limit your shoulder and neck mobility, which may lead to a shoulder injury.


This article presents 6 solid movements that increase the size and strength of your trap muscles, while also working the other back muscles.

Note: The dumbbell or barbell weight you choose for the exercise should be suitable for you. Choosing to lift too heavyweight will make you feel exhausted before you finish the routine. Choosing weight too light won’t create enough tension. Lifting proper weights suitable to your body type can make your workout more challenging. Rest for 30-45 seconds between each set.



1. Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand and arms hanging down by your sides.

2. Now, raise the dumbbells by shrugging your shoulders. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can.

3. Contract your traps when you bring your shoulders up and slightly back at the same time.

4. Pause for a moment when you are in a shrug position and then return back to the resting position.

5. Repeat this motion 10 times of 2 reps.




1. The cable face pull needs to be performed with a cable machine or with a resistance band.

2. Set the cable machine at a roughly eye-level height.

3. Using an overhand grip, grab the rope handles in each hand. Keep the elbow positioned down below your shoulders.

4. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you pull the cable toward your face, keeping your elbows high. Get a full extension of arms. Bring the ropes as close to your face as you can. Pause once you pull back as far as you can.

5. Then slowly lower the cable back to the starting position.

6. Do 10-12 repetitions per set.



1. Use a barbell machine for an effective workout. You can perform this exercise either by sitting on a chair or standing.

2. Set the barbell to a height above your head on the barbell machine.

3. If you perform this by sitting on a chair in the center of the barbell machine, set the bar high above your head.

4. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down). With eyes facing forward, pick the barbell and lift up straight from the back of the neck. Lower the barbell down slowly and rest the bar on your neck.

5. Pause for 3 seconds to feel the tension in traps and then slowly raise the barbell back to the starting position.

6. Repeat this for 8 counts of 2 reps.



1. Stand tall, holding a barbell in an overhand grip with your hands just outside your thighs.

2. Lift your shoulders straight up, contract your trapezius, and hold for 2 seconds.

3. Lower the barbell back to the starting position.

4. Don’t use too much of your forearm strength to pull the barbell upwards, use your shoulders and traps to lift the weight.

5. You can perform this exercise holding the barbell behind your back too.

6. Perform this exercise for 10 counts of 2 reps.



1. Use a bench or a sturdy thigh-high platform to lean on while doing this exercise.

2. The dumbbell should be placed on the floor.

3. Rest your one knee on the bench and another leg out to the side. Use your hand as a hook to grip the dumbbell on floor and pull it back by lifting your elbows back. Drive the elbows behind your body while retracting the shoulder blades.

4. Allow yourself to extend the dumbbell up towards your body and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position under control.

5. At the top of the movement, contract your trap muscles when you pull the dumbbell up.

6. Make sure you are going to lock the leg that is outside the bench and you are not going to move it.

7. Repeat this motion on the other side of the body.

8. Perform for 5 counts on each arm.



1. This movement combines a pull-up and a shrug.

2. Start by hanging from the pull-up bar. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip.

3. Your body should be straight and legs above the ground.

4. You should note here that you aren’t pulling your entire body up but you’re moving only your head and neck.

5. Shrug your shoulders while you contract your traps and lift your shoulder high.

6. Pause for 2 seconds, depress your shoulder blades when you drive your elbows down back to the starting position.


Master the 6 solid workouts to achieve a more commanding upper body…

Do let us know which exercise you liked the most in the comment section below…


Also read: 5 Best Chest Exercises To Achieve Impressive Chest

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