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What is Shoulder Shrug Exercise : Types, Benefits & Techniques

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At present most of the health problems are due to our poor routine. Continuous working on laptops and phones affects the body posture, which arises several health problems. Neck and back pain is one of the common problem that most of the people are facing nowadays. Experts advised that people should wake up in every half an hour and wander a little to avoid problems of neck and back pain. According to the health consultant, those who are working while sitting for prolong time they must prefer regular exercise. Shoulder shrug exercise is one of them, which you must include in your exercise routine.

By regular exercise you can strengthen your tissues, muscles and can also develop body posture. If you talk about the shoulders, you can not only get rid of the pain of the shoulders, but it will also give you a unique and attractive personality.

In addition to the other shoulder exercises like shoulder press and lateral rise, you should also practice shoulder shrug exercise. This exercise can prove to be a boon for the weak muscles of the shoulders that are prone to injury and chronic pain.

During this exercise, both shoulders will be raised slightly above the neck and the dumbbell will be caught in both hands. Due to excess load, the muscles of the shoulders and neck develop rapidly and become stronger.

Benefits of Shoulder Shrug Exercise.

The traps muscle at the back of the neck are targeted while carrying the shoulders to the height of the middle part of the neck during this exercise. These muscles help to bend the head and neck in every direction. These muscles also supports while folding of the hands with the help of shoulders. The trapezius muscles also improve the posture by stabilizing the neck and shoulders.

The same muscles play an active role in various tasks of the day such as lifting, extending hands, bending and sitting. Shoulder shrug also help to strengthen the muscles which help to lift the load and improve the functions. These muscles also play a vital role in lifting weight during deadlifts, shoulders or overhead presses. A study conducted in Denmark in the year 2011 found that people who have neck pain have benefited immensely by shoulder shrug exercise.

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Types of Shoulder Shrug Exercise.

Shoulder shrug exercise is considered to be the best with the help of Dumbbell. However, this exercise can also be done in the following ways;

  • Shoulder shrug machine.
  • Dumbbells or kettlebell shrug.
  • Barbell shrug.
  • Behind the back barbell shrug.

The Right Way To Do Exercise.

Shoulder shrug have the freedom to lift more weight during exercise, so it is one of the effective exercises for muscle development. Do not forget to warm up to avoid workout injury before exercise.

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What Muscles Are Affected?

Trapezius, neck, shoulders and upper part of the back.

What Devices Are Required?

  • A pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
  • Shoulder shrug machine.

Who Can Exercise It?

Anyone from Intermediate (Trainee) to Experienced.

Sets & Repetitions.

4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.


Step 1.

First stand straight. Now take the maximum weight according to your capacity in both hands. Both palms should be on the face of the front.

Step 2.

Now bend your knees slightly and lift your shoulders towards the ears. Both hands should be straight.

Shoulder Shrug Exercise
Shoulder Shrug Exercise

Step 3.

Stop at the maximum height for one to two seconds and then gradually bring the shoulders down in the initial position. It’s repetition.

*Tips: Shoulders should move up and down straight. Do not rotate the shoulders in any other direction. Take maximum weight according to your ability, it will put adequate tension in the muscles while lifting the shoulders. If you already have problems like pain in the neck, you can do this exercise without any weight.

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Frequently Asked Questions. 

1. Can we do shrug exercise along with shoulder exercise?

Yes, shoulder exercise also engage traps and shoulder muscle groups. So, while you are exercise for shoulder you can do shoulder shrug exercise. As it will boost up overall strength of your shoulders and traps.

2. How to differentiate between shoulder shrug and shoulder jerk exercise?

Basically in shoulder shrug exercise we push shoulders downward to strengthen shoulders and back muscles. But, in shoulder jerk exercise we lift the weight with the help of arms and elbows. It also engages most of the part of the hips and knees. You may consider shoulder jerk exercise as a compound exercise.

Bottom Line.

Shoulder shrugs is a very effective exercise to build and strengthen the muscles behind the neck along the shoulders. This exercise is also beneficial for those who have problems with neck and shoulder pain. Through this exercise, muscles get strength and stability.

But you should always avoid wrong technique, as it may occur shoulder pain. If you are a beginner then it should be practiced under the guidance trained professional.

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