The gripless shrug, or calf raise machine shrug is a very effective isolation exercise for the trapezius muscles. Now, typically a standard shrug would require you to hold the weight with both hands but the gripless shrug eliminates the need for grip strength. Many people actually find their grip to give out before the traps are exhausted and this is very frustrating.
But the calf raise machine allows you to position your shoulders under the support padding and perform your shrugs by just using your traps and this is a great benefit of this exercise. As long as you practice proper form during this exercise, you’ll develop some pretty awesome traps.
In This Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Upper Trapezius
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Standing calf raise machine
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Start by adjusting the calf raise machine to your height.
- Position your body facing the calf raise machine so the support pads are resting on your shoulders.
- Now, hold the handles or grip something to secure your body during the movement.
- Then shrug your shoulders and contract your traps while exhaling.
- Hold for a couple of seconds.
- Then relax your shoulders and bring them back down while inhaling.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Variations & Tips
- Avoid using a weight that is too heavy because it will limit your range of motion.
- Make sure to hold the position during the positive portion of the rep to really engage the trap muscles.
- The gripless shrug is a great alternative to shrug variations where you’re holding the weight in your hands because you don’t have to depend on your grip strength to effectively work the traps.
Video: How to do the gripless shrug
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