Do the Hex Bar Shrugs For Bigger Traps
A set of bulky traps makes your body look more in strong-build shape. The workout that you need to perform to build such traps is known as shrugs. This workout involves an exclusive shoulder movement to lift a weight. The two most commonly used shrug techniques are dumbbell shrugs and barbell shrugs. Dumbbell shrugs only use a pair of dumbbells, while barbell shrugs either use a straight barbell or a hex barbell, also known as a trap barbell.
This blog post explicitly describes what shoulder shrugs are and how to perform shrugs with a hex bar, a dedicated piece of equipment to build traps.
Muscles Worked By Shoulder Shrugs
The primary muscles targeted by shoulder shrugs are trapezius muscles, located on the neck’s either side. The purpose of these muscles is to control the movement of your shoulder blades, neck, and upper back.
Shoulder shrugs generally help a person maintain an ideal back posture mainly characterized by a pulled-back look of your shoulders. As a result, your neck and upper back are more stabilized. Moreover, strengthened trapezius muscles help you go the extra mile when pulling, lifting, and bending, all of which are vital actions and movements in a gym as well as a daily routine. For instance, you will be able to perform a deadlift more conveniently with stronger trapezius muscles and add more weight to increase workout intensity.
Trap Bar For Shoulder Shrugs
A trap bar or hex bar is a hexagon metal structure that allows you to get in the middle of the bar frame and hold the handles in such a way that your arms remain vertically down. Unlike traditional barbell shrugs, hex bar shrugs do not require you to situate the bar on the front or backside of the body.
Advantages Of Hex Bar Shrugs
Here are the benefits of performing shrugs with hex bars.
You can lift more weight.
While shoulder shrugs and deadlifts with hex bars are not quite widely performed, research shows that hex bars allow you to carry more weight than dumbbells and barbells. While this difference might seem meager at first, factoring in the number of reps and sets would make you realize how convenient your shrugs will get after incorporating a hex bar. The primary reason for this is the weight staying close to your body when lifting a loaded hex bar. Moreover, there will be no so-called uncomfortable arc position you have to get into when performing this exercise.
You can work your traps differently.
You can perform shrugs with a hex bar differently and more accurately than doing so with other equipment, thanks to widely spaced arms and a more neutral grip. While you can use a neutral grip with dumbbells, your arms will not remain as wide as required with shoulder shrugs. On the other hand, traditional barbell shrugs allow you to keep your arms adequately apart, but you will not have a neutral grip. Using hex bar for shoulder shrugs lets you get the benefits of dumbbells and barbells while avoiding pitfalls of both.
The bar never touches your body.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of using a hex bar for shrugs is that the bar never touches your body. As a result, moving the bar up or down will not cause the dragging of weight against your body. On top of that, the design of the bar helps keep the weight centered, working your both trapezius muscles equally. This advantage makes the hex bar a better choice than dumbbells, which tend to make your target muscles get out of sync during shrugs.
Steps Involved In Hex Bar Shrugs
The steps involved in hex bar shrugs are simple and easy, thanks to the bar’s frame designed to keep the weight centered and balanced. Here is a brief overview of the steps involved in hex bar shrugs.
- Load weights on both sides of the bar in equal amounts.
- Step into the bar frame after loading up weights, and make sure that its handles are on both sides of your body. The neutral grip with this bar is identical to that with dumbbells. Hence, your hands will essentially face each other when working your traps with a hex bar.
- Then, straighten your back in such a way that your hips get pushed back. Squat down by bending your knees and grabbing the handles.
- Push the floor with your heels and straighten your knees and hips to stand up. Make sure that your arms extend fully with the bar handles in your hands. The bar should rest around your thigh area between the hips and knees.
The Shrug Workout
- As you stand up with the hex bar in your hands, exhale and start elevating your shoulders. Make sure they reach the level of the bottom tip of your ears. Raise your shoulders until their further upward movement is impossible.
- Maintain this posture for a moment, inhale, and then lower your shoulders slowly. Drop your shoulders to the lower possible point. At this point, you may feel like the weight hangs on your traps.
Other Tips On Hex Bar Shrugs
Keep in mind the following points while performing hex bar shrugs.
- Keep your head straight during this entire workout. Make sure it doesn’t tilt in any direction. Moreover, avoid chin movement and bending your elbows.
- When performing shrugs, make sure not to roll your shoulders forward or backward. The only movement they should engage in is upward or downward.
- Make sure to raise your shoulders as high as you can. This upward movement should be as if you are trying to touch your shoulders with your ears.
- While lowering the hex bar, drop your shoulders down to the lowest point possible. This way, your traps will stretch, and the range of motion will increase.
- Make sure to keep your chest high and head up to remain in a stabilized position. Your spine should be in a neutral position, and your knees and hips slightly bent.
Choosing A Hex Bar
Here is a list of what to look for when buying a hex bar.
- First off, you want to be sure about the dimensions suitable for you. Hex bars are available in different sizes and dimensions. Some bars can be large, while some can be relatively compact.
- Look for the right sleeve length. If you want to use bumper plates, you have to choose a hex bar with a bit longer sleeves to avoid running out of space before you will max out with the weight.
- If you are a big guy, you may want to choose a hex bar with a distance of 25-26 inches between both its handles. That will allow you to get into the bar’s frame more easily.
- Hex bar handles can be with or without knurling. Choose the type that fits your requirements. Generally, handles with knurling are more preferred as they aid gripping.
If you want to get the best hex bar at a discounted price, you can consider buying from ISF. We sell high-quality standardized gym equipment at highly reasonable prices. The hex bar we offer is ISF Trap Hex Bar. It costs just $150, which is a pretty low price for a high-quality bar to power up your shrugs.