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You Expect More If You Have A Big Trap

The Bear Trap Routine

Having a cause, having a reason and delivering the appropriate messages are all part of coaching athletics.  A strength training program has a greater perceived worth and outcome if the athlete understands why and what to expect.  Simply writing up a workout and asking your athletes to do it is much different than presenting the routine and discussing the anatomy and its value.  The athlete looks forward to attacking it.

Doug Scott, Strength Coach of the Pingry School takes it a step further, not only does he deliver the message verbally, but includes it in his school newsletter.  Doug explains in his own words his Bear Trap Routine below…

The Trapezius muscle, or “Traps” is a large diamond shaped muscle that spans from the base of the skull to the middle of the upper back, and it’s divided into three areas upper, middle, and lower.  The strength potential for this muscle is tremendous and given the job it has, that’s a good thing.  Unfortunately, training the traps is usually an afterthought to shoulder or back training and is often relegated to a few sets of shrugs and maybe a set of upright rows.

Pendulum Workout

 Shrugs on the Pendulum 5 Way Neck

From an injury prevention side of things, the traps help dissipate some of the forces associated with concussions.  From a performance standpoint, stronger traps mean a more stable scapula (shoulder blade).  Your upper body strength is proportionate to how well you maintain a “strong” and “fixed” shoulder girdle.  In fact, the scapula serves as the foundation for all pressing movements.  So, if you want your bench press poundage to go up, take your Trapezius training seriously and progressively lift heavier weight and get this vital area strong!

Pendulum Workout

Bear Trap Routine
4-way neck
Second set of neck extension
1– arm shrug
2- arm shrug
“Kelso” shrug
Seated Row
Train hard and train smart and Get Strong!


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A morning workout on the Pendulum Rack System at the College Strength and Conditioning Show in Fort Worth, Texas. The strength coaches are Staying Strong. The Pendulum Rack System