Exercises for the Trapezius Muscles Without Weights
Exercises for the trapezius muscles without weights are designed to build and strengthen your traps without using dumbbells or barbells. The trapezius muscle breaks down into three separate regions. While many people attempt to strengthen their upper trapezius muscle, working the middle and lower traps will help you get a more uniform and fully toned body.
This weightless exercise will help tighten and tone your trapezius muscles. Stand up straight with your knees bent and arms at your sides. Take a deep breath and lift up both of your shoulders in an effort to to touch your shoulders to your ears. As you lift up, roll your shoulders back at the same time. Once your shoulders are as high as possible, roll them backwards in a circular motion to return to your original position. Repeat eight to 10 times before going in the opposite direction.
Push-ups are designed to strengthen your pecks as well as your trapezius muscles. Lie down flat on your chest with your arms at your sides and legs extended. Place both of your hands on the ground in front of you at shoulder level. Push up onto your hands, keeping your back straight and your weight evenly distributed on your toes and hands. Bend at the elbows until your upper body is nearly touching the ground. Push back up until your arms are fully extended and repeat until fatigued.
This basic arm circle exercise will strengthen your forearms, shoulders and trapezius muscles. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent and arms at your sides. From here, extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. While holding this position, rotate your arms in a clockwise motion, trying to keep an even tempo and speed. After 20 rotations, reverse directions and perform 20 more rotations. If you want to increase the difficulty of the exercise, increase the individual speed of the rotations.
This weightless exercise will strengthen your trapezius muscles and your shoulder muscles. Stand directly under a pull-up bar and place both of your hands an equal distance away from each other with palms facing out. Jump up onto the bar and pull up with both arms until your neck touches the bar. Bring your head under the bar as your neck touches before lowering yourself to a hanging position. From the hanging position, pull yourself back up and repeat until fatigued.
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- Kamali F, Sinaei E, Morovati M. Comparison of Upper Trapezius and Infraspinatus Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy by Dry Needling in Overhead Athletes With Unilateral Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. J Sport Rehabil. 2019;28(3):243-249. doi:10.1123/jsr.2017-0207
- Kamali, F. Comparison of Upper Trapezius and Infraspinatus Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy by Dry Needling in Overhead Athletes With Unilateral Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. J Sport Rehabil. Jan 2018.
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Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.