Smith machine monkey shrugs

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This video demonstrates the correct way to perform Smith machine monkey shrugs. This is a great exercise to better target your upper Traps. It is better than a traditional shrug due to the upward rotation of the Scapula, which helps to align the fibres of the Upper Trapezius to the direction of loading.

The content in this video is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to replace a physiotherapy or medical consultation.

Step by Step

  1. This exercise works your Upper Trapezius. The slight abduction helps to bias the upper Trapezius fibres better than a traditional shrug
  2. Like any exercise this should be pain free or shouldn’t increase existing pain levels, during, after and the next day.
  3. It is normal to feel some delayed onset muscle soreness between 48-72 hours but this should be manageable
  4. Set the smith machine bar at the bottom or on the safetys just above your knees
  5. Bend your hips and knees to reach and grab the barbell but have your hands quite wide
  6. Your lower back should be straight and your heels should stay in contact with the floor
  7. Next lift the barbell up by straightening your hips and knees,
  8. Keep the bar pulled towards your legs, using your lats and squeeze your shoulder blades together through out
  9. At the top squeeze you buttocks to fully extend your hips but do not extend your lower back
  10. This is the start position
  11. Now simultaneously shrug your shoulders up towards your ears while slightly bending your elbows.
  12. Once the shoulder girdle is fully elevated then slowly lower back down to the start position
  13. For strengthening you should perform 6-10 reps to fatigue
  14. You should perform 3-5 sets with 3 minutes rests
  15. This session can be done 2-3 times per week
  16. For endurance you should perform 15-25 reps to fatigue
  17. You should perform 3-5 sets with no more than 30 second rests
  18. This session can be done 2-3 times per week

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