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Shoulder Shrugs, Dumbbell

Type: Shoulder
Shoulder shrugs with dumbbells develops the upper shoulders to build a broad strong sloping neckline. Can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, cables or any other suitable resistance equipment. Below you'll find a video guide and step by step instructions that describes the correct technique for the dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise.
Level :  Equipment : Yes
Upper Shoulders

Shoulder Shrugs, Dumbbell Steps:

Step 1:
Stand upright holding a pair of dumbbells in both hands.

Step 2:
Arms should be fully extended to the waist.

Step 3:
Feet shoulder width apart and head looking forwards.

Step 4:
Shrug the shoulders up as high as possible.

Step 5:
Pause at the top of the movement and then relax back down.

Step 6:
Repeat for the required number of repetitions.

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Shoulder Shrugs Dumbbell

Shoulder shrugs the black sheep of all routines. And in case it s the Atlas Shrugged, a book by Ayn Rand that crossed your mind after reading the title of this article, it means you are more into either reading, as it is a famous book title, or Pamela Geller s Atlas Shrugs blog or probably Taylor Schilling who s among the cast from a movie after this book released in 2011 or 2012 you should watch on this occasion. Or wait, maybe the computer game also inspired by it: BioShock. If at least one of the above cases left you with a gallic shrug, meaning that you surprised your shoulders shrugging, we incline to believe that you probably lack some rookie fitness general knowledge. Good for us, as this post is definitely for you.

It is usually underestimated and regarded as a sweet exercise, just like a plain shrug emoticon. But what you don t know about the shoulder shrugs db exercise is that it s more like a secret ingredient of all exercises that give the celebrities you admire their secret touch of charisma. Why do you think beautiful Angelina Jolie looked so incredibly hot in her wedding dress? Because she s got shoulders to kill. Nevertheless don t imagine that taking these up 1 week before your great event will have you looking like a shmoop in your bridal dress. Just like those memorable weddings, it takes time, patience and perseverance to get things right. So hopefully you still have time to show off some discreetly looking muscles. So let go of that hot chocolate, you ve got some full training coming your way. And wear your black chiffon bolero shrug in the meantime in order to not reveal your surprise beforehand.

What Muscles the Shoulder Shrugs Dumbbell Work On

The levator scapulae and the upper trapezius muscles are on top of the list. The first ones extend from the lateral side of your neck s first four vertebrae to the upper end on your scapula. They are more of a strip of muscles that lies beneath the upper trapezius. As far as the latter is concerned, it ranges from the lateral part of your clavicle, the back of your neck and the base of your skull. Both of them are responsible for lifting your shoulder blades towards the ears. For this reason the shoulder shrugs routine is more of a traps workout. They correspond to that part of your body we generally cover, probably out of shame with those pale velvet flower bolero, or the feather bolero shrugs you usually see at weddings.

The erector spinae and the rotator cuff muscles. The first group of muscles runs along your spine and is responsible for maintaining the stability of the spine. They also control the range of motion from for your shoulders. As far as the second group of muscles is concerned, their main role is to stabilize the shoulders and also help the larger muscles, such as the trapezius and deltoids to move properly. So when you have a great posture in that leather dress it s these muscles you have to thank.

The core muscles and your breathing muscles all get activated during the shoulder shrug movement. The first sustain tour posture, while the latter, located at the sides of your neck, inside the ribs expand your rib cage as you breathe and work out.

Being focused on the scapular elevation, the shoulder shrugs protocolis what is known as an isolation exercise.

How to Execute the Perfect Shoulder Shrugs Dumbbell Exercise

Step 1: Standing up, with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands. Your arms are beside you and the palms are facing your torso.

Step 2: Exhaling, start to elevate your shoulders as high as you can. Hold it there for two seconds.

Step 3: while exhaling, lower your shoulders back to the step 1 position. This was one rep.

Keep in mind the fact that your shoulders are the only ones doing this movement, not your biceps or anything else. Moreover, keep your arms extended throughout the whole exercise.

The most common trap people fall into is to roll their shoulders instead of lifting them. Now remember you are not the gym to show off your brown angora cardigan, so be serious, patient and determined.


Now depending on your wishes, there are multiple approaches regarding this exercise. If developing strength in your trapezius is what you are looking for, than it s better to perform multiple sets of maximum 6 repetitions, using a heavier weight. But on the other hand, if it s size you are looking for, it s recommended to not perform more than 6 sets of maximum 6 repetitions, using a lighter weight.

And remember once and for all: do not ever rotate your shoulders. Your holding a weight in your hands seriously increases the risk of injury.

Anti swaying tip: If you find yourself being out of balance while performing the dumbbell shoulder shrug, stagger your feet and place them one in front of the other, but not on the same line; in this way you ll get the extra balance you need.

Most Common Injuries from the Dumbbell Shrugs

If you don t keep your body straight, especially your back, this forces your middle back to hold against the forces of your weights instead of your trapezius muscles. This can lead to permanent back injuries. Moreover, you can also damage the rotator cuff by rotating the shoulders instead of moving them on a perfectly vertical direction. In this case, your trapezius muscles will no longer be the ones doing the move, but the dumbbells swaying.

3Similar Variations of the Shoulder Shrug Dumbbell Exercise

i. The Barbell Shrug

Step 1: With your feet at shoulder width, stand up holding a barbell in your hands, in front of you, your palms must face your thighs. Your hand width should be a little wider than your shoulder distance.

Step 2: Breathing out, raise your shoulders as if you were trying to touch your ears. Hold it there for 2 of seconds.

Step 3: Return to the starting position slowly, inhaling. This is your first rep.

Remember not to follow the instinct of lifting the barbell with your biceps. Your hand should be fully extended.

ii. The Barbell Shrug Behind the Back

Step 1: Standing up with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a barbell behind your back, with your palm facing backwards. The distance between your hands should be bigger than the one between your shoulders.

Step 2: Start raising your shoulders as far up as possible, while exhaling. Keep it still for a couple of seconds. Remember that your arms are perfectly straight.

Step 3: Release slowly. This was your first rep.

iii. Cable Shrugs

Step 1: Standing up in front of a low pulley machine, grab the bar with your palms facing down. Your body must be really straight, your arms included. Also you must keep the pulley close to your body with your arms shoulder width.

Step 2: Start lifting the bar, allowing your shoulders to conduct the move. Exhale while doing this.

Step 3: When you reach the peak of the movement, hold it for a couple of seconds. Take care not to involve your biceps in the move, but only your shoulders.

Step 4: Start lowering the bar to the starting position as you inhale. This is your first rep.

Bonus to the above three routines:

The Smith Machine Shrug

Step 1: The Smith Machine bar must be set at the middle of your thighs. Grab the bar with your palms facing you, at shoulder width. Grab the bar and keep it in a straight-arm position.

Step 2: Exhaling, start elevating the bar by lifting your shoulders towards your ears. Hold this contraction for a couple of seconds.

Step 3: Inhale as you lower the bar back to the step 1 position. This is one rep.

Hollywood Inspiration

Hollywood actors have always been the best muses when it comes to healthy looks. But just drooling in front of their imdb page won t make much of a difference. It will get you frustrated and sad. But as you probably know, as there s no such thing as a perfect pink cardigan or a perfect evening dress, there s no such thing as a perfect life. It s hard to take this idea for granted, as we ve been brainwashed to want more, and we end up thinking that just by owning that navy sweater you ve seen in that cool trailer will make all the difference in the world. But it s never like this. Change comes from the inside.

You ve heard this said so often that you probably stopped believing in it, but it s true. Sweating like a pig in search of the perfect meaning makes sense, but it depends what that meaning is.

Nevertheless once you realize you have the power to enhance your life you ll be hitting jackpotsas if you had a hammer hidden somewhere. A new chapter has begun, the one in which you stop comparing yourself to the others. Thus your life will get new meanings and you will be the one giving motivational quotes to any other baffled girl.


But let s solve some issues here, shall we? Among the benefits of working your shoulders, and in our case your traps, or any other part of your back, beside the ones regarding your health are the ones regarding some visual illusions that will literally make you look like you ve just come down from a movie poster. The thing is that a worked back makes womens waists look thinner than they actually are.

As for the men, there are 2 theories. One less easy look to achieve is the one with a thin waist, but wide shoulders and developed pecs. But their secret lies in their actually having very little body fat, so they just seem to have more muscular mass than real. There s a famous method you can buy, called Decembulk that promises to change your looks dramatically in just one month. It s got a whole package including a dvd, an audiobook, a diet plan book, an exercise ebook and a whole bunch of other stuff. They promise to help you achieve this trendy look we all see nowadays and it s got some pretty good reviews, too. Mind that it s not free.

The second look is a combination between more body fat and huge muscles. And because of this metallic combination, they look big without being overweight, thanks to the muscle mass. This is the easier alternative. It s true that not everybody looks good all bulked up, but it can be charming to remind all the ladies around who the bad guy really is. You can also shave your head to be like the hero-like characters Hollywood is currently offering. Plus having strength is sheer happiness for some.


Don t give me that skeptical Kanye West Shrug.Here s the gif. Put that faux rabbit fur, silver or gold sequin shrug to the rest and let s get going. Here are some more routines you can try so that you can forget about any new beaded purple-blue jackets or cashmere long sleeved sweaters that you might be dreaming of in secrecy. Get in that cotton tracksuit and turn that audio on and start doing some shoulder ballet.

The Reverse Shrugs

This routine is great for adding muscles to the trapezius muscles, which, by the way, develop pretty fast. So this should be encouraging enough for those of you who are looking for revealing their fake neck tattoo as soon as possible. Done with the barbell the reverse shrugs are the most efficient.

Step 1: After you ve made sure the bar is at waist height, stand up with your back to the barbell. Bending your knees slightly and with an underhand grip, grasp the bar; your arms are at shoulder width and the bar is slightly touching your body.

Step 2: Imagining your shoulders touching your ears, start lifting the bar slowly without using your biceps, therefore bending your arms.

Step 3: Stop when you can no longer lift your shoulders. Your back is still straight, and you have to inhale during this movement. Once you reach the peak, hold for a couple of seconds.

Step 4: Your shoulders are starting to descend slowly until you reach the step 1 position once again.

Remember to keep the bar close to your body throughout the entire protocol.

The Snatch Shrugs

Women can also start taking notes for this one, as it can easily be done by all of them with a weight-free barbell, for a light alternative. As far as the male population is concerned it does matter if you add up some extra weight there.

Step 1: Standing up with the bar to the waist height gripped in an overhand position, slightly bend your knees. The grip is wider than your shoulder distance.

Step 2: Start lifting the bar as if you wanted your shoulders to touch the ears. Keeping your back straight and your chest forward, hold it for a couple of seconds at the peak of the movement. Exhale while you do this.

Step 3: Inhaling, start lowering the bar until it reaches the step 1 position. Keep the bar close to your body all this time.

A starter s tip: try looking above you while you do this, so that the posture of your body remains straight, even if you forget about consciously controlling it.

Well, in case we haven t convinced you yet to take up working out properly, here s a site with free crochet knitted shrug patternsyou can consult for online training. Here you have hundreds of boleros, with short or long sleeves to wear on your not-so-slim girls dresses. Even if it s dark grey, or red, ivory or yellow, the prefect pattern will come your way. Moreover a lot of Epub reader posts provide tons of online knitting patterns you can choose from. Or to be safer, you can always find a hardcover book on amazon with simple sewing tutorials you can devour just like a novel.

Moreover, wiki also offers you many pieces of advice on how to take care of getting the perfect crocheted sleeved jacket. They ve got an accredited review on everything, so why should sweaters or cardigans make a difference? From wraps, such as some fine cover-ups wrap shrug, via cropped but formal dressy shrugs, lace sleeve cardigans and a wonderful cream shrug cardigan, they ve got it all. However when it comes to a satin wedding shrug promo bolero jacket, consulting amazon would probably be a better option. These are really popular


If after reading this post you are still into shrugs, we recommend the 2014 Atlas Shrugged Part III movie, Who is John Galt?As a reward for a good workout. In case you need to cultivate on a world s economy dying prophecy. Or maybe if you want to be ahead of the crowd you can visit the Cliff Notes website for a brief synopsis of the other side of the shrug universe, the one that involves no working out. Sparknotes is also another option. Moreover there s a scholarship offered by the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest that can finance your studies, in case you dream of becoming an intellectual. An Atlas Shrugged statue or a bracelet, both found on amazon can be a good stimulation for this one.

Or you can try a different shrug approach, by getting yourself a nice Japanese shrug emoticons key chain. It s a good opportunity to get familiarized with the ascii table routine and learn how they can easily be written.

Almost all the shoulder shrugs exercises out there no matter if they are available online or you can download them either in pdf,text format, or if you are more skillful, you may try to find a legal torrent. If such a thing exists. But basically they all underline the same definition we gave at the beginning of this post. And to read such a material can sometimes prove difficult. Working out doesn t have to be written, but done. It s like a date with destiny, if you want. But this time you are the author, you decide the plot. So be the character of this special edition you wrote.

It may be fun to appear on a movie poster with a famous quote on it, or be on the cover of a magazine, but trust us, their lives are not as glamorous as it is shown up there. They are more like a mesmerized baby wearing a sequined overall with a smiley face on its back.



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