Monday, April 11, 2011

How To Do Barbell Shoulder Shrugs



In a previous post I showed you how to do dumbbell shrugs. Once you've mastered the dumbbell shrug, it's time to ratchet things up. And that's exactly what you're going to do because now you're going to learn about the barbell variation of this exercise. Shrugs provide a lot of strength training benefits to the upper body. Using barbells provides more advantages because you can lift heavier weights than with dumbbells which could speed up your progress.  

How To Do Barbell Shrugs

You'll need a barbell for this exercise (choose fixed barbells or the Olympic bar). To get a feel for the shrugs, you need to do a warm up set. Stand up straight. Hold the bar in front of you with your palms facing toward you. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Now use your shoulder muscles to pull the bar upward. In other words shrug. Hold position for a one count then lower it to starting position. Do ten reps of the exercise then stop. It's now time to add weight. If you've been training with dumbbells you should be used to heavy weights by now. The only to increase strength and size of the shoulders is to workout with heavy weights. Grip the bar exactly as you did during the warm up set. Go for seven to ten reps of the exercise then stop. Then do four more sets of barbell shrugs.

You'll find it more difficult to keep up the same number of reps with each subsequent set and that's okay. Just decrease the number of reps. You're going for size and strength, high reps make your muscles grow. As you progress with barbell shrugs you must increase the amount of weight you lift. To build strength you will do less reps per set, in this case your muscles are working harder to perform the movement. By that time you should be lifting four to six times in a set. Your shoulders will become more defined and powerful if you perform the shrugs on a regular basis. This strength will carry over to other exercises including the bench and overhead press. So make barbell shrugs part of your regular workout routine. You'll be glad you did.

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