Training Middle Traps

Training Middle Traps


Want to learn our favorite, scientifically proven exercise to target middle traps?



Based on the fiber orientation of being directed horizontally inward toward the spine the middle traps main action is:

  • Retraction of the shoulder blade

Since shoulder blade retraction is indirectly involved in many traditional exercises in the gym, such as rows and reverse flyes, we commonly work this muscle without even knowing it. But, if we specifically target this muscle, then we can optimally strengthen and develop it.


A comprehensive study comparing middle trap activation with several exercises showed that shoulder horizontal extension with the thumb facing towards the ceiling while in the prone position resulted in the greatest muscle activation! This exercise can be done with dumbbells, a cable or a band.


Our favorite is with a band because (1) it can be done at home and (2) the resistance increases are you go through the motion making the muscle work even harder! Here we are showing this exercise in standing with a cable because it is difficult to find a surface that is elevated enough to perform in prone.


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Featured Image By: JMax Fitness

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