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Thread: Power Shrugs

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    Power Shrugs

    I'm too lazy to look it up, but to the guy who suggested Power Shrugs as a great exercise for traps, to my suprise your right. This is the second week I've done them, and my traps were sore like never before, and I've already noticed a difference. I do them very controlled and hold the contraction for a count, as well as stop just slightly short of vertical because I like to shrug up and back. They're great!

    To everybody to bashed them, I really suggest you give them a good chance. They certainly aren't dangerous if you don't go too heavy, and the KILL your traps. The additional weight and partial deadlift movement is only beneficial.
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    Originally Posted by RippedGuitarist
    I'm too lazy to look it up, but to the guy who suggested Power Shrugs as a great exercise for traps, to my suprise your right. This is the second week I've done them, and my traps were sore like never before, and I've already noticed a difference. I do them very controlled and hold the contraction for a count, as well as stop just slightly short of vertical because I like to shrug up and back. They're great!

    To everybody to bashed them, I really suggest you give them a good chance. They certainly aren't dangerous if you don't go too heavy, and the KILL your traps. The additional weight and partial deadlift movement is only beneficial.

    so soreness is an indicator of growth is it???? ..inttteresting
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by RippedGuitarist
    I'm too lazy to look it up, but to the guy who suggested Power Shrugs as a great exercise for traps, to my suprise your right. This is the second week I've done them, and my traps were sore like never before, and I've already noticed a difference. I do them very controlled and hold the contraction for a count, as well as stop just slightly short of vertical because I like to shrug up and back. They're great!

    To everybody to bashed them, I really suggest you give them a good chance. They certainly aren't dangerous if you don't go too heavy, and the KILL your traps. The additional weight and partial deadlift movement is only beneficial.

    Definetly a great exercise not just for soreness but mainly for strength , power and muscle growth !
    5'11 @ 220lbs.
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    I don't know. I've always found a set of rack pulls with 535 on the bar does the job on the traps quite nicely. I've never had a problem with growth there. I guess they'd be worth trying though
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    Originally Posted by RACKITUP
    so soreness is an indicator of growth is it???? ..inttteresting
    haha. That's not what I meant, all I meant is my traps got hit hard. If I thought that was the case I would have did 10 sets for traps. 3 sets of Power Shrugs a week and they're responding well. Its just a suggestion to anybody who hasn't tried them and was weary about them. IMO a very good exercise.
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    Ive always been interested in power shrugs, but i can never find a video of proper form, and ive never seen anyone doing them either at my gym. Anyone got any links?
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    Originally Posted by RippedGuitarist
    I'm too lazy to look it up, but to the guy who suggested Power Shrugs as a great exercise for traps, to my suprise your right. This is the second week I've done them, and my traps were sore like never before, and I've already noticed a difference. I do them very controlled and hold the contraction for a count, as well as stop just slightly short of vertical because I like to shrug up and back. They're great!

    To everybody to bashed them, I really suggest you give them a good chance. They certainly aren't dangerous if you don't go too heavy, and the KILL your traps. The additional weight and partial deadlift movement is only beneficial.
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
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    I'm sure you can use power shrugs as a power movement...

    a more isolated clean pull I guess...
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    Its more than that , you have the beggining of a clean/high pull in there , there`s a lot of functionality involved with heavy power shrugs , including strengthening the lockout on a deadlift.
    5'11 @ 220lbs.
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    So push presses are ineffective because they are a cheat movement (you get to use your legs)?

    I think traps respond well to heavy weight. Thats why people prefer rack pulls to DL's for trap development because of the extra weight one is able to use. The same thing holds true for power shrugs. More weight=more growth.
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    Originally Posted by madcow2
    You should already be performing deadlifts and proper barbell rows while working hard to get better and increase capacity on both. In addition, you should be consuming caloric excess if your goal is hypertrophy.

    After that base is established, about the best exercise I know of is the power shrug. A long time ago this was the assistance exercise for the very upper portion of the clean. It has since then been largely neutered into what passes for shrugs today by the isolation happy recreational bbing and fitness crowd to where few even know of it and think the original is some oddball variant. In addition to allowing some massive tonnage to be used, it works the upper back and traps dynamically which in most everyone's experience the back and traps respond to dynamic pulling like nothing else. Give it a read, it takes some practice, it is guaranteed to produce results in the mirror within 3-4 weeks (and I rarely say that since bodybuilders will find a way to screw up anything but this is like dropping a nuke so little to leave to chance).

    This is by far the king of trap exercises - Powershrug. It's an OL variant but the upper back and traps respond like nothing else to dynamic pulling (athletes and OLs have been doing it for many years but it's just now getting some exposure in BBing despite Starr's Ironman writeups that included them). Start light or you will die if you haven't done a lot of pulling like this. I'm a low rep guy (can't count above 8) but these actually work nicely in 10-15 range and don't overload the back too much as the weight is lessened. 2 sessions a week for 3 sets includes a warranty - you are absolutely guaranteed to have solid visible results in the mirror within 3 weeks.
    1. When you say rows, do you mean bent over BB rows?

    2. Don't you deadlift the bar into the hang position before you shrug it? So you can basically combine these 2 exercises?

    3. Do you have a video of what a proper power shrug should look like? I don't really get the gist of them.

    1) Yes - this is a key exercise for development

    2) Absolutely Not - each rep in the PShrug is performed from either just above the knees or middle of the upper thigh. Range of motion is short and explosive the bar travels from here upward being accelerated as quickly as possible as you straighten your body and pull your traps upward at full extension (arms are always straight). With lighter weights the bar will float upward a bit. With heavy weight the bar will become weightless at the top. Either way the weight will then settle downward and you will return it to the hang position. It makes sense to setup a rack with pins or take the bar from a rack - just don't reset the bar on pins every rep, use them only to set it down and pick it up.

    This exercise would be far too taxing to perform the full dead with each rep. That's basically a clean pull and most people clean pull quite a bit less than their best dead while some power shrug with more than their best dead for reps. This exercise is a killer so start smooth and light, get the form and work up over a period of weeks (if you start heavy and have a weak link somewhere, 1) you will likely die if you aren't used to it 2) that weak link may give under weight/momentum and injury you).

    3) The video I was using to help people had the site go down a while back. Funny, when I searched for technique descriptions I found posts of mine here back from 2001 too.

    If anyone has a subscription to Milo - Bill Starr has a bunch of articles that have appeared including the powershrug: http://www.ironmind.com/ironcms/open...htlifting.html

    Anyway, I did locate this video which may help serve a purpose:

    1) Go here: http://www.uwlax.edu/strengthcenter/...ideo_index.htm
    2) Download "Clean Pull Low" - left column under Power heading
    3) Forget everything from the ground to the knees and look at the top. That's the finishing position. Just start the bar from above the knees or the more traditional variation high on thighs with torso only slightly tilted forward.

    Be absolutely sure to read that link I provided above as to technique. Granted you need to read forward over a page or so in the discussion to get all the info but it's very complete. A 10 minute time investment - don't waste the effort in the gym without it because this movement is fast and the video simply can't reveal everything that's going on.
    Last edited by Canadian Iron; 06-29-2006 at 06:11 AM.
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    "Okay, so I've said before that regular shrugs are a piss waste of time. These are the best version out there and the best trap developer around. No one who has ever done these has ever once gone back to a regular shrug (at least I can't think of anyone and certainly no one that I've trained). Visible results in the mirror are guaranteed in 2-3 weeks. This exercise is very result producing as are all the olympic lift variations when it comes to back/trap development - the back was made for dynamic pulling. You'll need straps and you should start light and build up over a period of a few weeks. Higher rep ranges are fine (8-15) for these and I really think they lower weight for higher reps make these a good bit less taxing on the CNS than working down to 5s and 3s.

    A bit on technique - first, the traditional starting position is high on the thighs with the knees flexed slightly and the torso also slightly forward with shoulders over the bar. My descriptions kind of alternate between this version and a variation done from a lower position (hang) just above the knees. Less weight can be used in the lower variation but for athletes not training the traditional olympic lifts and looking to accrue some benefits to explosion and longer range dynamic pulling similar to the clean this is a good variation for training. It's basically a heavy clean pull from the hang. So depending upon what you are looking for give these a shot.

    The first quote is from JS182 at Meso - it's actually a cut/paste from an original post:
    Source Thread: http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/showt...ht=Power+Shrug

    The next 3 quotes are from a discussion at Fortified Iron regarding PSU and their use of HIT. The topic of the powershrug comes in as a way to accrue explosive benefits for athletics without a lot of time spent on technique work first (or as most HIT pundits would put it "the overly dangerous nature of the viscious exercise known as the clean" which is coincidentally statistically less dangerous than the much maligned and deadly sport of soccer).
    Source Thread: http://www.fortifiediron.net/invisio...ic=7109&st=100

    The bottom 2 quotes are from a discussion here that convinced me of the need to put it all in one place:
    Source Thread: http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=388088

    Quote:
    Date: 01/23/02 03:04 PM
    Author: AnimalMass
    Subject: TOPIC 13: SHRUGS

    Shrugs/traps best exercise for big traps are power shrugs. take a barbell, hold it in front of you, SLIGHTLY bend knees and bend VERY SLIGHTLY at the hip. now violently extend the whole body and shrug. its basically a cheat shrug. try to hold for a split second at the top... you wont be able to but try. this exercise should be done with heavy weight. personally, ive used 800+ lbs for 10 reps. use as heavy a weight as you possibly can and still get a full shrug at the top. dont load up the bar all the way the first few sessions, or youll likely die. give yourself 3 or 4 sessions to work up to max weight.


    Quote:
    Actually the former strength coach for FSU was a fan of the power shrug (heavy high pull from the hang position). I think a lot of the positive non-technique effects of the full and even power versions of the olympic lifts transfer very nicely with this movement. Plus, almost no time goes into teaching it since it is very easy from a technique standpoint (in addition, it works very well as a developer for explosion and power in the second portion of the pull).

    As far as there not being any advantage to the the olympic lifts in sports - one can likely make a nice written defense to argue but anyone who has trained them for a period will strongly disagree. I'm of the opinion that the sport improvement stems from the CNS learning to generate maximal power in as short a duration as possible, sort of like torque on a car. Non-ballistic movements teach you to be strong over a period of several seconds rather than 1 second or less (2nd pull is where it's at). Sort of like a dragster vs. a road racer. The ability to generate maximal force as quickly as possible is the difference between a great lineman, running back, or puncher. Rarely is anyone called upon to exert strong force against a consistent object over a period of multiple seconds (even clashing linemen are constantly moving and adjusting) whereas the need for immediate maximal power is prevalent in just about every strength/power sport.


    Quote:
    Yeah, elbows locked. When warming up the bar will obviously fly up with the explosion and force the elbows to flex but once sufficient weight is reached that won't be an issue. I generally prefer starting them with the bar just a bit above the knees. Some people like a higher hang but depending upon what you are going for starting from just above the knees allows you to hit just about everything in the second pull phase of the clean - nothing is in stone so one can experiment and augment according to their preferences and goals. I've also found this exercise very condusive and result producing higher rep ranges (8-15 is what I mean by this but low reps work very well too). Keep in mind anything over 5 is high reps for me so when I say something works well in the 8-15 range you can bet myself and others have had surprising results with it (higher rep range allows lighter weight which won't overload your lower back too much and potentially take away recovery from other exercises as a bonus). Obviously reps and lots of weight = straps. I don't know many who try to maintain a hookgrip for this but it is generally unsuccessful and a waste of effort and skin.

    Overall effectiveness is very good for both sports, Olifting and even bodybuilding. I don't know of any exercise that can compare for upper back and trap stimulus. Even natural bodybuilders will see significant physique changes in about 4 weeks if they've never done this exercise. For sports, it is in my opinion the easiest as well as being one of the most effective ways to develop explosive power. For OLifting it helps dramatically strengthen the second pull and particularly helps full extension.

    <Just another huge wordy post by me but to be honest the powershrug is a fantastic exercise and well worth it>.


    Quote:
    As far as starting position, the closer you get to the floor the more like a high pull (or high-shrug) you get and the more taxing it is on recovery. Depending upon your own natural strength curve you may find that you can use much more weight in this exercise than in a clean or standard high pull (JohnSmith182 on Meso has apparently gone well over 700lbs. and may have done 800 - BTW search his posts there sometime, he is very sharp and also posts under just Johnsmith). The issue with increasing the range of motion beyond the top of the knees is that the movement becomes unbelievably taxing and not only hits your recovery but can make serious inroads into overloading your lower back and hams if you don't account for the drastically increased workload.

    Given the purpose of the exercise (sports power/speed, upper back/trap development, and targeted assistance for an OLifter), the only reason to go below the knee would likely be to work through the midpoint of the pull and increase your ability to smoothly transition heavy weight from the first to the second pull and then full extension. Some people may get something out of it but I doubt the hit to recovery would be worth it and the longer range would no doubt lower the weight many could use so there may be some goal cannibilization.

    When I start above the knees (I take the bar from the rack incidentally), I'm basically in an identical position to the point in the clean after I complete the knee rebend. A lot of people will use a higher position starting from the top, some bend in the knees,and a slight forward tilt to the upper torso. I've done them both, I think for teaching explosion they are both equal. From a weight standpoint you can likely use more from the higher and less bent position. From a general exercise standpoint you are able to recruit a lot more of your pulling muscles from the lower position so it makes for a better all around exercise if one isn't focusing on a lot of pulling from the floor (i.e. most athletes that aren't competing in power or olympic lifting).

    So for volume, it's going to depend a lot on the weight you use and what else you do in your workouts. If you are accustomed to a lot of pulling (I see you post in the Olifting forum so I assume that's a given) you can likely be up and running fairly fast. For other lifters who are strong but are not be used to pulling heavy weight dynamically, building them up slowly over 4 weeks would be appropriate (you can use a lot of weight so someone not used to doing this may find a weak link and hurt himself). Once accustomed to the exercise, with lighter weight pulling from the high hang, 4x10 worksets could be done twice a week depending on what else you are doing. If you are pulling fairly heavy weight and working hard you might find 4x10 twice a week too much so a single session may be more appropriate (this assumes you are not specifically focusing on this exercise over the period of time - since you could always make room). This is really hard to say, since every lifter is different with respect to their work capacity, general recovery, current worklevel, and amount of overlap other exercises are causing. I would experiment with the exercise for a period of at least 6 weeks to give yourself a basis on how you think it will impact you. A snatch grip can also be used but taking a bar from the rack can be hard unless you have narrow stands or a narrow grip. It's still worthwhile to potentially lighten the load and pull the first from the floor (if bumpers just drop the last one)."
    Last edited by Canadian Iron; 06-29-2006 at 06:12 AM.
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    Registered User pali012's Avatar
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    I just started doing these, and love them already. I just had a couple questions:

    1) How far apart should my hands be? Does it really matter?

    2) Grip: Double over or over under? If over under should I switch for each set? I probably can use considerable more weight one way than another...
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    so are power cleans cheating upright rows?
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    Lateral Raise Promoter RippedGuitarist's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    Everybody has a point there are a lot of movements like Power Cleans and Push Press, in which you use your legs. I'll be honest, I'm not really into those movements myself, although I've been known to Push Press from time to time.

    And your right they are a cheat movement. Who said that cheating is ALWAYS bad, its not, especially in this case. Everybody says Deadlifts are the best for traps, so it only makes sense that a partial deadlift to help move the weight, will only help the traps grow even more.

    Man if you haven't tried it, don't knock it, seriously. I thought it was stupid too but I tried it and I'm officially proved wrong. If you have tried them and don't like them, to each his own.

    Pali012, I think grip width is whatever your most comfortable with. I take a less that shoulder width grip, hands at sides. I use a double overhand, and I think that is recommended if you can. And yes i'd alternate an alternated grip if you choose to use that.
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    so I just put a ****load of weight on the bar and jump up and shrug at the same time?
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    Originally Posted by pali012
    I just started doing these, and love them already. I just had a couple questions:

    1) How far apart should my hands be? Does it really matter?

    2) Grip: Double over or over under? If over under should I switch for each set? I probably can use considerable more weight one way than another...
    About under your shoulders. Same as DL. I use an alternate grip when I do them because I hate straps. I usually alternate my grips from set to set. You shouldnt really see any considerable difference in how much you can hold either way. Just do not bend your elbows at all.
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    Originally Posted by Nickdude
    so I just put a ****load of weight on the bar and jump up and shrug at the same time?
    Well, once you have the weight up, bend your knees slightly and with one powerful movement shrug as high as you can. Try to hold this position at the top for a bit. You wont really be able to if you are using a lot of weight. Then slowly return the weight to the start point with the bar on the top of portion of your thigh.
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    Girlfriend made a comment last night, and said it looks like I got bigger in the traps area. Looks like Power Shrugs are here to stay!
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement...
    so? a power clean, by this definition, is a "cheat" exercise.

    guess where power shrugs came from? Olympic lifters who wanted to increase their clean. They do them "jump" style, however, for the most part.

    Who cares if it is "cheating", if it effectively builds muscle and strength?

    Originally Posted by MrSinister
    Do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    now that is a very arrogant thing to say. I have used the heaviest dumbbells in the gym (150) for high repetitions (15), paused at the top for a 3-count, and I'm of the opinion that, as long as rack pulls/deadlifts are being performed, power shrugs are FAR better than basic slow-mo shrugs.

    Take it for what it's worth, my traps aren't a problem for me.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by MrSinister View Post
    ignoring the danger factor they're just a cheat movement... what next, jumping bent over rows? swinging lateral raises? do shrugs properly with a crazy heavy pair of dumbells each hand with full rom and see how weak they are
    yes, this is a very old post but i was searching around. i disagree with you. powershrugging is one of my favourite excersises. using a dumbell is much better. you can use much more weight/tonnage. Bill starr him self pity's people who use dumbells. do it the right way. powershrug.
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    i would also like to add that i just began doing these 3 weeks ago and i just got the form down. this isnt a forearm excersise (it can be if you want it to) so i use straps so i can use heavier weight. i did 225 x10 x10 x10. still just getting use to them. they are awesome. i will most likely up it to atleast 250.
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    Originally Posted by jwright715 View Post
    Ive always been interested in power shrugs, but i can never find a video of proper form, and ive never seen anyone doing them either at my gym. Anyone got any links?
    Just load up the bar with to much weight and pretend to shrug it while your really propelling it up with your legs. Thats pretty much it.
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  26. #26
    KNEES GO PAST TOES GoJu's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ExtremistPullup View Post
    Just load up the bar with to much weight and pretend to shrug it while your really propelling it up with your legs. Thats pretty much it.
    I mostly agree with a lot of what you say except this man, I made a lot of my best trap size gains and got a lot of top end deadlift strength with power shrugs, don't see your problem with them, not every move has to be 100% strict to be valid.
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    Limited Liability Partner gjohnson5's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity , what is the difference between a "shoulder shrug" and a "power shrug"
    I've personally never heard someone use the term "power shrug" as if someone has a philosophy that traps will grow with light weight and high reps. I can imaging that someone would but...


    I would say they are wrong...

    Originally Posted by RippedGuitarist View Post
    I'm too lazy to look it up, but to the guy who suggested Power Shrugs as a great exercise for traps, to my suprise your right. This is the second week I've done them, and my traps were sore like never before, and I've already noticed a difference. I do them very controlled and hold the contraction for a count, as well as stop just slightly short of vertical because I like to shrug up and back. They're great!

    To everybody to bashed them, I really suggest you give them a good chance. They certainly aren't dangerous if you don't go too heavy, and the KILL your traps. The additional weight and partial deadlift movement is only beneficial.
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    OK
    http://orgs.jmu.edu/strength/JMU_Sum...ower_shrug.htm

    A Power shrug is a shoulder shrug using momentum to get the weight up.
    God , there ar so many workout "variations" created and this is just another to use higher weight and less strict form to get the weight up

    I agree that back exercises are generally designed for "cheating" . I'm not so sure if I want to do shoulder shrugs like this after some tbar rows or pendlay rows...
    Last edited by gjohnson5; 08-02-2007 at 12:28 AM.
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    Originally Posted by A-rod View Post
    Definetly a great exercise not just for soreness but mainly for strength , power and muscle growth !
    X2

    It's a great exercise.
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    Originally Posted by JTwood View Post
    i would also like to add that i just began doing these 3 weeks ago and i just got the form down. this isnt a forearm excersise (it can be if you want it to) so i use straps so i can use heavier weight. i did 225 x10 x10 x10. still just getting use to them. they are awesome. i will most likely up it to atleast 250.
    That's 1,000 reps.

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    The guys who claim "I did GOMAD and got fat" are just stupid. - Dave76
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