September 16 2009 2:55 PM
Shrugs can be used for a few things. The first is as a trap builder, and they are definitely one of the better exercises for that. You can also use them to train explosiveness for power cleans, high pulls, and locking out deadlifts. I prefer a barbell, but dumbells work well too. Just pull straight up and squeeze. Don't roll your shoulders with the weight. The trapezius is a huge muscle so don't just throw in a few sets of shrugs if you want it to grow. Some type of high row like face pulls works well. Deadlifts also put on a lot of trap thickness for me, but not much height.
Shrugs are something you can eventually use a shit ton of weight on, but most people just throw around too much weight for them. Unless you are going for pure explosiveness shrugs are something that work better with higher reps imo. If you can get 405 for 15 good reps your traps should be fairly mountainous.