What does fact checked mean?
At SportsRec, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
The Best Kettlebell Trap Exercise
Kettlebells are versatile pieces of exercise equipment that can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the entire body or target individual muscles. The types of kettlebell exercises are seemingly endless, but when it comes to working the traps, there are only a handful that fall under the "best" category.
Shrug It Up
The shrug is the quintessential kettlebell trap exercise. It allows you to isolate the traps with heavy weights, the most effective way to build muscle tissue. Stand with a kettlebell in each hand with your arms extended at your sides. Lift your shoulders as high as possible, pause at the top of the movement, then relax. Avoid rolling your shoulders forward or back during the exercise.
Sumo Lift It
The sumo high pull hits not only your traps, but the rest your shoulders as well, which can help develop a strong upper body. Stand with a kettlebell resting between your feet, which should be shoulder-width apart. Squat down over the kettlebell, grab it with both hands using an overhand grip, straighten your back, then look straight ahead. From here, straighten your legs and pull the kettlebell up toward your chin, lifting your elbows as high as possible. Lower back to the starting position.
- ExRx.net: Trapezius (Upper Fibers)
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Shrug
- ShapeFit: High Pull
- Manocchia P, Spierer DK, Lufkin AK, Minichiello J, Castro J. Transference of kettlebell training to strength, power, and endurance. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(2):477-84. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825770fe
- Vancini RL, Andrade MS, Rufo-Tavares W, Zimerer C, Nikolaidis PT, de Lira CAB. Kettlebell exercise as an alternative to improve aerobic power and muscle strength. J Hum Kinet. 2019;66:5–6. Published 2019 Mar 27. doi:10.2478/hukin-2018-0062
- Greenwald S, Seger E, Nichols D, Ray AD, Rideout TC, Gosselin LE. Effect of an Acute Bout of Kettlebell Exercise on Glucose Tolerance in Sedentary Men: A Preliminary Study. Int J Exerc Sci. 2016;9(3):524–535. Published 2016 Oct 1.
- Meigh NJ, Keogh JWL, Schram B, Hing WA. Kettlebell training in clinical practice: a scoping review. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2019;11:19. Published 2019 Sep 3. doi:10.1186/s13102-019-0130-z
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.