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How To Do the Dumbbell Shrug Exercise

The dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise is an exercise that helps to strengthen and develop the upper part of your back. The main muscle group is called the Trapezius and it is that “triangle” looking muscle that goes from the top of your shoulders to the base of your neck. The trapezius muscle group helps to rotate your shoulders up, down and front to back and helps to stabilize your arms and back. The dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise will help strengthen and develop the trapezius muscle.

How to do the dumbbell shrug exercise - Start position

How to do the dumbbell shrug exercise - Top position

Position for the dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise

Grab two pairs of dumbbells from the floor in both hands. Allow the dumbbells to hang at your sides. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Retract your shoulder blades back and down and puff your chest out. Keep your back straight and head level (keep your eyes looking forward).

Execution of dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise

Using your trapezius muscle, shrug your shoulders upwards towards your ears while keeping your arms straight (a slight bend is ok). Shrug as far as you can and pause for a second or two. Allow the dumbbells to descend back to the start position. Repeat as needed.


Breathe in as you shrug up and breathe our as you shrug down.  

Important points for the dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise

·         Don’t round your back. Retract your shoulders and keep your back straight, this will keep your shoulders in the proper position.

·         Don’t look down as this will round your back and move your shoulders forward.

 Video for the dumbbell shrug exercise

Related Exercises:

Dumbbell Bent Over Row Exercise

Dumbbell Shoulder Lateral Raise Exercise

Dumbbell Shoulder Front Raise Exercise

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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