How to Perform an Upper Trap Shrug

 In Back and Neck Pain

This exercise is useful when rehabilitating from neck or shoulder pain. Neck and shoulder pain can stem from shoulder blade/scapular position. It can also be due to deficits in strength or endurance of the upper trapezius muscle. The upper trapezius muscle is important for supporting our shoulder blade in the correct position and to also help posture.

This exercise should be performed with a weight that is heavy but at an appropriate weight that you can perform 15 repetitions. Perform 3 sets.

Ensure that you maintain good posture during the exercise and that the movement is coming from your upper trapezius muscle. Do not use the elbow or bend the neck to perform the exercise.

Your helpful physiotherapist will be able to tell you if this exercise could benefit you and check that you are using perfect technique.


Hi everyone, Emily from POGO Physio here. I am just going to go through a really quick exercise that is really good for shoulder pain, neck pain and different things like that.  If prescribed by your Physiotherapist this exercise is a single arm shrug and it is generally done with quite a heavy dumbbell, I have got 8kg here.

What we are doing is standing up nice and tall with your shoulder blades back and down and you are just going to be lifting up the weight using that upper trapezius muscle.  Making sure you keep your shoulder blades back and down while you are doing it and really controlling that shoulder blade position by coming up to where you can control it and lowering it back down.

With this exercise you usually do 15 to 20 reps around 3 or 4 times just to build up the endurance of that upper trapezius muscle.

Emily Georgopolous (APAM)


 Emily Georgopuolos Physiotherapist

pain free performance Gold Coast physio

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