Shrugs are performed mostly by weightlifters as they strengthen the upper trapezius muscles.

Teaching points

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.  
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the arms straight by your sides and palms facing in.  
  • Keep your arms straight as you shrug your shoulders, aiming to lift the weight as high as possible.  

Variations & progressions

  • Barbell shrug - perform exactly the same movement using a barbell.  

Muscles worked