Cable Shrug

Cable Shrug

The Cable Shrug is a highly effective exercise that primarily targets the muscles in your upper back and traps. This exercise is commonly performed with a cable machine, which allows for smooth and controlled movements throughout the exercise. By incorporating the Cable Shrug into your workout routine, you can develop greater strength, size, and definition in your upper back muscles. During the Cable Shrug, you'll be using a neutral grip handle attachment connected to the cable machine. This grip variation helps to target the traps and upper back muscles more effectively. As you perform the exercise, it's important to maintain proper form and focus on engaging the targeted muscles. The cable machine provides constant tension, ensuring that your muscles are fully engaged throughout the entire range of motion. By retracting your shoulder blades and shrugging your shoulders upward, you activate the upper back muscles and traps, creating a powerful contraction. The controlled lowering of the weight back to the starting position allows for eccentric muscle activation and further development. Incorporating the Cable Shrug into your workout routine can help improve your posture and upper body strength. It can also be an excellent exercise for individuals who experience neck and shoulder tension, as it helps to strengthen and engage the muscles that support those areas. Remember to choose an appropriate weight and perform the exercise with proper form to maximize the benefits of this exercise.


  • Stand upright facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grasp the cable attachment with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Keep your arms fully extended and your shoulders relaxed.
  • Raise your shoulders as high as possible while keeping your arms straight.
  • Squeeze your traps at the top of the movement and hold for a brief pause.
  • Slowly lower your shoulders back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on your form and technique to ensure that you are engaging the targeted muscles effectively.
  • Incorporate a full range of motion, allowing your shoulders to rise as high as possible during each repetition.
  • Engage your core muscles by maintaining a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  • Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it back down, maintaining a controlled breathing pattern.
  • Avoid jerking or using momentum and instead, emphasize a slow and controlled movement.
  • Gradually increase the weight you are using to challenge your muscles and promote strength and muscle growth.
  • Consider using a mixed grip (one hand pronated and the other supinated) to vary the muscle activation and enhance overall development.
  • Experiment with different hand positions (narrow grip, wide grip, double overhand, etc.) to target different areas of your shoulders and upper back.
  • Incorporate cable shrugs into your routine along with other exercises to target and strengthen your traps and upper back from multiple angles.
  • Remember to warm up adequately before performing cable shrugs to prevent injuries and improve performance.


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