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Shrug (Dumbbell)

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How to do a Shrug (Dumbbell)

  1. Grab a pair of moderately-heavy dumbbells and position them to your sides with your arms straight and palms facing your thighs.
  2. Bring your chest out, engage your glutes, and direct your gaze forward.
  3. Take a breath and shrug your shoulders up to elevate the dumbbells. Keep your arms straight and avoid bending your elbows throughout the movement.
  4. Shrug as high as you can, hold the contraction for a second, exhale, and bring them to the starting position.
  5. Take a breath and repeat.


A helpful cue to contract your trapezius more is to imagine that you’re bringing your shoulders up to your ears. Of course, you won’t be able to shrug them as high, but that can help with the range of motion and allow you to get more out of each repetition.

Shrug (Dumbbell) Alternatives