Dumbbell Decline Shrug (version 2)

Dumbbell Decline Shrug (version 2)

The Dumbbell Decline Shrug (version 2) is a highly effective exercise that targets the trapezius muscles in your upper back and shoulders. This variation of the traditional shrug exercise specifically emphasizes the lower trapezius fibers, which helps to improve posture and strengthen the muscles responsible for scapular retraction and depression. To perform the Dumbbell Decline Shrug (version 2), you will need a decline bench and a pair of dumbbells. Start by adjusting the bench to a moderate decline angle (around 30-45 degrees) and positioning yourself face down on it. Hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip, allowing your arms to hang straight down towards the floor. Next, initiate the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together and lifting the dumbbells straight up, towards the ceiling. Be sure to keep your arms extended and your elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise. Focus on using your upper back muscles to elevate the dumbbells as high as possible, making a conscious effort to hold the contraction at the top for a second or two. As you lower the dumbbells back down, aim to maintain control and resist the urge to let them drop. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. To optimize your workout, it's important to choose an appropriate weight that challenges your muscles without compromising your form. Proper posture and alignment are crucial in this exercise, so avoid excessive swinging or using momentum to lift the weights. Remember to breathe consistently and engage your core for stability. Incorporating the Dumbbell Decline Shrug (version 2) into your routine can help strengthen your upper back and shoulders, improve scapular stability, and enhance overall posture. As with any exercise, if you're new to this movement, it's always a good idea to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as your strength improves.


  • Start by setting up a decline bench at a suitable angle, typically around 30-45 degrees.
  • Sit on the bench with your back against the pad and your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides with a pronated grip (palms facing your body).
  • Keeping your arms straight, use your shoulders to lift the dumbbells as high as possible.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, holding the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, making sure to maintain control throughout the movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Maintain proper form and posture throughout the exercise.
  • Focus on engaging your traps and shoulders during the movement.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged by tightening your abs.
  • Use a controlled and slow tempo to maximize muscle activation.
  • Ensure a full range of motion by allowing your shoulders to fully shrug up and down.
  • Choose an appropriate dumbbell weight that challenges you without compromising your form.
  • Breathe deeply and exhale on the contraction phase of the movement.
  • Avoid jerking or using momentum to lift the dumbbells.
  • Warm up your muscles before performing the exercise to prevent injury.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks or modify the exercise if needed.


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