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A High Shrug To Get Strong

The one arm dumbbell shrug or high shrug.

When we talk about training the neck what we are talking about is strengthening the musculature of the head, neck and traps that protect the cervical spine.

Thomas Morris Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Indiana demonstrates the one arm dumbbell shrug.

High ShrugAn important part of protecting the cervical spine with  muscle tissue is  the upper trapezius. Development of the upper trap is done by doing neck extension on your neck machine with your hands fixated and by doing a one arm shrug.

The two arm shrug or high pull does not effectively exercise  the upper portion of the trapezius

If you do not have a neck machine that allows you to shrug with one arm use a dumbbell.

High ShrugSit on a flat bench and fixate the musculature of your neck by grasping the bottom of the bench. Grasping the bench allows the  neck muscles not being exercised to hold the opposite side of the cervical spine in place, while the opposing muscles shorten and lengthen each repetition.

The lifter should use a dumbbell that allows them to do about 10-12 repetitions. The key is that on every single repetition the shoulder must reach the exact same height to count.

A spotter should stand in back of the lifter and  assure the lifter  raises the weight to the same height each rep. The spotter can easily do this by having the lifter touch his shoulder to the spotters hand.

High ShrugNotice how Tom’s head begins to turn in the opposite direction as the lift become difficult. This is exactly what occurs to the head if hard powerful contractions are made in the last few repetitions of the movement and you are engaging the upper trapezius.

A great exercise to Get the upper trapezius Strong.




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