Advanced Dumbbell Trap Exercises
You will find that It’s more challenging to isolate your traps on some exercises compared to others. For example, making your traps fail on an exercise like upright rows is hard.
But you can use some simple strategies to ensure that you’re overloading your traps for maximum size and strength gains.
A superset is when you perform two exercises back-to-back, with the goal being to do more work in less time. And it’s an excellent method to increase workout intensity and stimulate new muscle growth.
Additionally, you can use pre-exhaust supersets to target a specific muscle. This technique involves supersetting a compound movement immediately after an isolation movement to make the target muscle fail first.
To illustrate, you could do a set of dumbbell shrugs, then immediately go into a dumbbell upright row. This way, your traps are already tired after shrugs and are more likely to fail first on upright rows.
Giant sets are another high-intensity training technique where you do 3 or more exercises back-to-back with minimal to no rest period. Again, the idea is to increase time under tension and total workout volume.
An example of giant sets for traps would be incline shrugs, immediately followed by incline front raises, immediately followed by incline dumbbell rows.
In this example, I chose a group of dumbbell trap exercises that all utilize the incline bench. This way, you can switch from one exercise to the next with no break.
Drop sets involve completing two or more sets to failure back-to-back. With each successive set, you lower the weight to enable the muscle to keep working.
It’s easy to do drop sets with dumbbell trap exercises if you have two or more pairs of dumbbells. Just perform one set with the heavier pair, then immediately perform a second set with the lighter pair.
For example, you might do a set of dumbbell shrugs with 75 lb dumbbells to failure. Then immediately pick up a pair of 50 lb dumbbells and go to failure again.
You can even keep going for a double or triple drop set to really burn out the trap muscles.