Bodyweight Trap Exercises That You Can Do At Home Without Equipment

A strong and defined trap is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also essential for maintaining good posture and preventing injuries.

However, hitting the gym every day to work on your trap may not always be feasible. Fortunately, you can do a variety of effective trap exercises from the comfort of your own home.

These exercises target the trapezius muscles, which are located in the upper back and shoulders, and play a crucial role in shoulder mobility and stability.

In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  • Basic anatomy of the trapezius muscles
  • Bodyweight trap exercises at home
  • How to do them and Pro-tips
  • Equipment you can use for trap exercises at home

Basic Anatomy of The Trapezius Muscles

The trapezius muscles, commonly referred to as the traps, are a pair of large muscles located on the upper back and neck. The traps have a trapezoid shape, which is where their name originates.

The trapezius muscle is a broad, flat muscle that extends from the base of the skull to the lower thoracic vertebrae and laterally to the spine of the scapula.

The trapezius muscles are divided into three regions.

  • Upper Trapezius,
  • Middle Trapezius,
  • Lower Trapezius,
trapezius muscle

Upper Trap

The upper fibers of the trapezius muscle originate from the back of the skull and attach to the lateral third of the clavicle (collarbone).

The upper traps are responsible for elevating the shoulders and rotating them inward. They are worked primarily with shrugging movements.

Middle Trap

The middle fibers of the trapezius muscle originate from the spinous processes of the vertebrae in the upper back and attach to the acromion process of the scapula.

The middle traps are responsible for retracting the scapula (shoulder blades). They are worked with rowing movements.

Lower Trap

The lower fibers of the trapezius muscle originate from the spinous processes of the vertebrae in the middle and lower back and attach to the medial border of the scapula.

The lower traps are responsible for depressing the scapula and rotating them upward. They are worked with exercises that involve raising the arms overhead.

12 Best Trap Exercises You Can Do At Home Without Equipment

The following exercises can be done at home using your own body weight to strengthen your upper, middle, and lower traps.

1. Prone I, Y, T, W

These exercises focus on the shoulder and back muscles, mainly the middle and lower part of the trapezius.

They also hit all the rotator cuff muscles which include the infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor, and supraspinatus muscles.

These work together to stabilize the shoulder and move the arm. It is essential to include these exercises in your trap workout regimen.

How To Do Prone I

  1. Gently exhale and slowly lift your arms off the floor (maintain a formation of the letter “I”), with palms facing inward.
  2. Keep your head aligned with your thoracic (upper) spine.
  3. Focus on using your shoulders to generate most of the lift, although some low back extension (arching) is acceptable.

How To Do Prone Y

  1. Gently exhale and slowly lift your arms off the floor.
  2. Moving your arms into the “Y” formation (45-degree angle to form the letter “Y”) as illustrated with palms facing inward.
  3. Focus on using your shoulders to generate most of the lift, although some low back extension (arching) is acceptable.

How To Do Prone T

  1. Gently exhale and slowly lift your arms off the floor.
  2. Moving your arms into the “T” formation (90-degree angle to form the letter “T”) as illustrated with palms facing forward.
  3. Focus on using your shoulders to generate most of the lift, although some low back extension (arching) is acceptable.

How To Do Prone W

  1. Gently exhale and slowly lift your arms off the floor, flexing (bending) your elbows and dropping them to a 45-degree angle to the sides of your body as illustrated with palms facing inward (“W” formation to form the letter “W”).
  2. Focus on using your shoulders to generate most of the lift, although some low back extension (arching) is acceptable.


  • Try holding for only five or 10 seconds for the first time, and work up to 30 seconds in future workouts.
  • Maintain your head alignment with your thoracic (upper) spine.
  • Move your arms slowly up and down in each position of I, T, W and Y.
  • To make the exercises more challenging, add a 1-3 pound weight in each hand.
  • Do not hold your breath. Breathe regularly.

2. Wall Slide

Wall slides—also known as wall slide or wall angel—It is one of the basic exercises that people are taught to practice for improved shoulder rotation, middle and upper trap activation, and scapular mobility.

Wall slides are an exercise that involves sliding your arms up and down along a wall while maintaining contact with it.

In the study, it was found that the group that did wall slide exercises had a significant decrease in pain in the rotator cuff muscles after four weeks.

Wall Slide

How To Do

  1. Start by standing with your back flat against a wall.
  2. Keep your feet at least 6 inches in front of your body.
  3. Keep the back of your head, shoulders, butt, and heels against the wall.
  4. Slowly slide your arms up the wall, keeping your elbows straight, until you reach a position where your arms are above your shoulders and at 90-degree angles from your torso.
  5. With your chest open and back tall, squeeze the muscles of your midback as you slide your arms down toward your shoulders.
  6. Slowly slide your arms down the wall, keeping them as close to the wall.
  7. Elbows are slightly lower than shoulder height.
  8. Hold this position for one count.
  9. Inhale and then push your arms back up to your starting position without anything lifting off from the wall.
  10. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets and repetitions.


  • Leave a slight bend in your knees, so your legs aren’t fully locked.
  • Always keep your back and the backs of your palms, wrists, and elbows pressed up against the wall.

3. Bodyweight Shrugs

Bodyweight shrugs are a great way to work your traps without any equipment. It involves lifting and lowering the shoulders in a controlled manner.

Bodyweight shrug is one of the most common trap exercises that target the upper traps.

For an added challenge, try holding a heavy book or water bottle in each hand while you perform the exercise.

shoulder shrugs

How to Do

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Relax your arms by your sides.
  3. Slowly lift your shoulders towards your ears as high as possible while keeping your arms relaxed.
  4. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment.
  5. Lower your shoulders back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Concentrate on contracting the trapezius muscles while performing the movement
  • Maintain a slow and controlled tempo throughout the exercise
  • Keep your head in a neutral position
  • As you become more comfortable with bodyweight shrugs, you can add resistance by holding light dumbbells or utilizing resistance bands to further challenge the muscles.

4. Plank T-Raises

Plank T-raises are a compound exercise that combines the stability challenge of a plank with the shoulder and upper back engagement of a T-raise.

It targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the trapezius muscles, shoulders, core, and glutes.

Before attempting plank T-raises, ensure you have mastered a solid plank position, as this exercise builds upon the stability and strength of a traditional plank.

The plank t-raises are beneficial for overall functional fitness because they simulate movements used in daily activities, such as lifting and reaching.

plank rotation

How To Do

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Engage your core and glutes to maintain a stable plank position.
  3. Keeping your hips and shoulders square to the ground, lift one arm out to the side, bringing it parallel to the ground and forming a T-shape.
  4. Pause for a moment at the top, focusing on squeezing the shoulder blades together.
  5. Lower the arm back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the movement on the opposite side, alternating arms for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Maintain a straight line from head to toe throughout the exercise.
  • Avoiding any sagging or arching of the back.
  • Avoid using momentum.
Know More: Plank Exercise: Benefits, Variations, Muscles Worked, Tips

5. Crab Walk

The Crab walk is an excellent bodyweight exercise that particularly works the upper arms, shoulders, trap, legs, and core.

It is excellent for toning, effectively targeting all your muscle groups and working them hard to build strength.

Moves like the crab walk are great total-body exercises that don’t require any additional equipment, making them ideal moves to perform when you don’t have a lot of time or fitness gear on hand.

Crab Walk

How To Do

  1. Position your hands and feet so that they are flat on the ground, and you are face up.
  2. Lift your butt up off the ground by tightening your gluteal muscles.
  3. Begin “walking” by first moving your hands and then your feet.
  4. Avoid excessive shoulder strain by moving your hands no more than 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) at a time.

Pro Tips

  • As a caution, do not let your feet get moving too fast for your upper body so as not to injure your shoulders.
  • Control your movements

6. Pike Push Up

The Pike Push-ups is one of the best bodyweight exercises that works your delts and trap muscles at the same time. 

It is a variation of the push-up that increases strength and stability in the shoulders and triceps.

Performing the exercise in a more upright position will target the shoulders more than the chest.

Pike Push Up

How To Do

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground.
  4. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  5. Then slowly push back until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.
Know More: 21 Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises To Build Mass & Strength

7. Bodyweight Plank Row

Bodyweight plank rows, also known as renegade rows, are a compound exercise that combines the plank position with a rowing motion.

This exercise targets multiple muscle groups, including the back, shoulders, core, and arms.

If the exercise is challenging, you can do the rows in knee plank position until you have enough strength and stability.

Dumbbell Renegade Row

How to Do

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart for stability.
  3. While maintaining a stable plank, engage your core and glutes.
  4. Shift your weight onto one arm and lift the opposite hand off the ground.
  5. Keep your elbow close to your body and pull the lifted arm upward until your hand reaches your ribs or slightly higher.
  6. Lower the arm back down to the starting position with control.
  7. Repeat the rowing motion on the opposite side.
  8. Alternate rows between each arm for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Ensure that your body stays in a straight line.
  • Avoiding sagging or arching of the back.
  • Focus on controlled and deliberate rowing movements

8. Inverted Row

The inverted row is another name for bodyweight rows. The inverted row puts your body in a horizontal position, making it easier to perform.

It also works the back and shoulder muscles including rhomboids, trap and rear delt from a different angle.


How To Do

  1. Adjust the height of the chair and bar so that it’s a little higher than arm’s length from the floor.
  2. Lie under the bar with your legs and body straight.
  3. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip that’s a little wider than shoulder width.
  4. Keeping your legs and body straight, exhale as you pull your chest up to the bar.
  5. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
  6. Inhale as you lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Pro Tips

  • Do not allow your butt to sag. Flex your tummy, squeeze your butt cheeks, and keep your body stiff from your head to your toe.
  • Make sure you go down completely. Lower your body and ensure the arms are extended and raise your body until you touch the chest touches the bar.

9. Pull-Up

The pull-up is an upper-body strength movement that targets your back, chest, shoulders, trap and arms.

Pull-ups are often a challenge for beginners and even experienced athletes to perform. 

The pull-up increases the strength, thickness, and width of your back, specifically your lats. The lats are what influences back width and form the “V” in the upper back.

Wide Grip Pull Up

How To Do

  1. Using an overhand grip, grab a pull-up bar with your hands positioned at shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and your chest high, while exaggerating the arch in your lower back.
  3. Pull yourself up by squeezing your shoulder blades together and contracting your lats until your chin passes the bar.
  4. Hold the contraction at the top for a second before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position.


  • To reduce biceps involvement, use a thumbless grip.
  • Go full range of motion and keep form correct.
  • Avoid making sudden, uncontrolled movements.
Related Post: 25 Different Types Of Pull Ups And Chin Ups (Variations)

10. Handstand Push Up

The handstand push-up also called the vertical push-up is a type of push-up exercise where the body is positioned in a handstand.

It is an advanced bodyweight exercise that targets the shoulders, trap as well as the arms and core.

They require a high degree of upper body strength and skill and should be attempted only after proper training and conditioning.

Handstand Push Up

How To Do

  1. start in a handstand position against a wall, with your hands placed on the ground and your body in a straight line.
  2. Slowly lower your body down towards the ground by bending your arms, keeping your body in a straight line.
  3. Push your body back up to the starting position by extending your arms.


  • It is important to have a spotter or use a wall for safety and support when attempting this exercise.
  • Focus on controlling the downward movement.
Read More: 10 Best Push Up For Beginner To Build Strong Upper Body

11. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Shoulder blade squeeze, also known as scapular retraction or scapular squeeze, is an exercise that focuses on strengthening the muscles responsible for retracting the shoulder blades.

It primarily targets the muscles of the upper back, including the rhomboids and middle trapezius.

Shoulder blade squeeze helps prevent rounded shoulders and improve posture by strengthening the muscles that pull the shoulder blades back.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

How to Do

  • Start by sitting or standing upright with good posture.
  • Relax your arms by your sides.
  • Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together by retracting them towards your spine.
  • Imagine pinching a pencil or holding a small object between your shoulder blades.
  • Hold the squeeze for a few seconds while maintaining good posture.
  • Relax and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Concentrate on engaging the muscles between your shoulder blades
  • While performing the exercise, try to keep your neck and other muscles as relaxed as possible.

12 Upright Row

The upright row primarily targets the middle traps and the deltoids.

The exercise also engages the muscles of the upper back, including the rhomboids and rear delts, contributing to improved posture and back strength.

The water bottle upright row is a modified version of the upright row exercise that involves using a water bottle filled with water or sand as a substitute for traditional weights or resistance.

Dumbbell Upright Row

How to Do

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a water bottle in each hand.
  • Begin with your arms fully extended, palms facing your body, and the water bottles hanging in front of your thighs.
  • Engage your core and maintain good posture throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly lift the water bottles by pulling them up towards your chin.
  • Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you perform the upward movement.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement.
  • Then lower the water bottles back down to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Choose a water bottle with a comfortable grip and adjust the amount of water or sand inside to achieve the desired level of resistance.
  • Focus on controlled movements

Equipment You Can Use For Trap Exercises at Home

You don’t need a lot of equipment to perform trap exercises at home. Here are some tools and equipment that you can use.

At Home Trap Exercises With Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are an excellent tool for performing trap exercises. They are affordable, portable, and versatile.

Here are some resistance bands trap exercises you can do at home.

  • Resistance Band Pull-Apart
  • Resistance Band Face Pulls
  • Resistance Band Pull-Downs
  • Resistance Band Shrug
  • Band Upright Rows
  • Band Bent-Over Rows
  • Band Reverse Flyes

At Home Trap Exercises With Dumbbells

Dumbbells are an essential piece of equipment for any home gym. They come in various weights and sizes and can be used for a variety of exercises.

Here are some dumbbell trap exercises you can do at home.

At Home Trap Exercises With Barbell

The barbell is a great tool for performing upright rows and other trap exercises. It is a bit more expensive than resistance bands and dumbbells, but it is worth the investment.

Here are some barbell bands trap exercises you can do at home.

  1. Barbell Shrugs
  2. Barbell Upright Rows
  3. Barbell Bent-Over Rows
  4. Barbell Power Cleans
  5. Barbell Shoulder Press
  6. Barbell Farmer’s Carries

Benefits Of Bodyweight Trap Exercises At home

Trap exercises are important in home workouts for several reasons:

1. Posture improvement

The traps are responsible for stabilizing and supporting the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Weak traps can contribute to poor posture and rounded shoulders.

Strengthen these muscles, improving posture and reducing the risk of postural imbalances.

2. Upper body functionality

The traps are involved in various upper body movements, such as pulling, lifting, and carrying.

By training the traps at home, you can improve your upper body strength and functional abilities, making daily activities and tasks easier to do.

3. Balanced muscle development

Many home workouts focus on the chest, arms, and abs, but they don’t focus on the traps and other muscles of the back. It could lead to muscle imbalances.

Trap exercises are a great way to develop balanced muscles, which can help prevent muscle imbalance.

4. Overall aesthetics

Well-developed traps add definition and symmetry to the upper body, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your physique.

It helps to shape and tone the muscles, which makes your upper back and shoulders look better.

5. Convenience

Bodyweight trap exercises can be performed anywhere, anytime, without the need for expensive equipment or gym memberships.

They are particularly well-suited for home workouts or when access to a fitness facility is limited.

6. Cost-effective

As mentioned, bodyweight exercises require little to no equipment, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget.

7. Adaptability and scalability

It is possible to modify and adapt bodyweight trap exercises to suit individual fitness levels.

Bodyweight exercises can be made easier or harder depending on your abilities and goals.

Many bodyweight trap exercises are low impact, meaning they put minimal stress on the joints.

Sample Home Workout Routine for Traps

Beginner At Home Trap Workout Plan

presented in tabular form:

Bodyweight Shrugs312-1560-90 sec
Prone Y Raise310-1260-90 sec
Wall Slides312-1560-90 sec
Shoulder Blade Squeeze310-1260-90 sec
Upright Row38-1060-90 sec

Again, adjust the sets, reps, and rest periods based on your fitness level and capabilities

Intermediate At Home Trap Workout Plan

Pike Push-Ups310-1260 seconds
Prone T-Raises312-1560 seconds
Bodyweight Shrugs312-1560 seconds
Plank Rows38-1060 seconds
Crab Walk2AMRAP60 seconds

Advance At Home Trap Workout Plan

Prone T-Raises3-48-1060 seconds
Pike Push-Ups3-410-1260 seconds
Plank Rows312-1560 seconds
Inverted Row312-1560 seconds
Handstand Push-Ups38-1060 seconds

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you build traps without weights?

It’s possible to build up your traps at home with numerous bodyweight exercises, like bodyweight shrug, pike pushups, Y raises, , and wall slides.

How often should I train my traps at home?

The frequency of trap training is dependent on your objectives. The frequency of 1-2 times per week is sufficient.

Can trap exercises be done by beginners?

Yes, beginners can do trap exercises. It’s important to start with exercises that match your fitness level and work your way up as you get stronger and more comfortable.


The trapezius muscle is not just about neck mobility, it plays a crucial role in lifting and balancing.

The provided bodyweight exercises are suitable for those who prefer not to use weights. Start gently and avoid overdoing the exercises.

Remember to use proper form and safety tips when performing trap exercises and avoid common mistakes. With a little bit of dedication and consistency, you can achieve strong and well-defined shoulders.

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