How To Perform Shoulder Shrugs And What Are Their Benefits

How To Perform Shoulder Shrugs And What Are Their Benefits

While writing this article, I am feeling pain in my shoulders and stiffness in my neck. Why? Because it’s a desk job and sitting in a similar position for long hours, eyes fixated on the screen, with zero to little physical activity; such symptoms are inevitable. While taking a small walk after every hour or standing for a few minutes can help relax the muscles; exercise is the ultimate solution to such problems. Shoulder shrugs are one such exercise that can help relieve muscle pain while maintaining posture. So, how to perform shoulder shrugs, and what benefits it can offer? Let’s look into it:

What are Shoulder Shrugs?

A resistance and strength-training exercise that is used for strengthening and building upper body muscle mass to ensure better posture and relief from shoulder and neck stiffness and pain. The shoulder shrugs primarily target the trapezius muscles which are present on either side of your neck.

Trapezius muscles are the ones that control the movements of your shoulder blades and other secondary muscles of the upper body like the biceps, rhomboids, and serratus anterior. Strengthening trapezius muscles help in getting better posture and improved daily life movements. To strengthen and tone these muscles, shoulder shrugs are recommended.

How to Perform Shoulder Shrugs?

Just like any other exercise, shoulder shrugs do have proper steps that need to be followed to achieve the results. Here’s how you can perform shoulder shrugs.

Step 1: To perform this workout, stand on a flat surface while keeping your feet as far as hip-width apart.

Step 2: Keep both your arms on your sides in a way that both palms face each other. If you want to add more resistance to your exercise and are planning to add on weights, then bend down now to grab them.

Step 3: Flex your knees slightly in a way that they line up with your toes. Face ahead while keeping your chin up and neck straight.

Step 4: While bringing your shoulder slowly up to your ears, inhale. It’s important that you perform this step slowly to create more resistance in the muscles.

Step 5: While exhaling slowly, lower down your shoulder back.

Step 6: Perform this in the sets and keep increasing the sets with the passage of time.

What are the Benefits of Shoulder Shrugs?

The following health benefits have been observed after performing shoulder shrugs:

  1. Muscle and strength-building
  2. Improved posture
  3. Relief from neck pain
  4. Improves neck strength and muscle
  5. Improves muscle strength of shoulders
  6. Reduces strain on the muscles of the neck and shoulder
  7. Helps in strengthening the upper back muscles
  8. Strengthens the trapezius muscles
  9. Time-efficient exercise
  10. Can be performed by anyone and anywhere

Safety Tips

Though shoulder shrugs are a simple exercise, that does not mean that you do not look out for your safety. If you feel too much pain while performing, it’s better to stop right there until you feel better and then start again. If you have faced any injury recently, then you should not perform this exercise for a while. Always lift weight carefully while performing this workout and drop your shoulders slowly back to their original position.


Whenever you feel like your upper body muscles are acting up, shoulder shrugs can always come to your rescue. Follow the steps of this exercise as mentioned and you’ll see how relaxed your muscles will get in no time. If you still feel the pain and stiffness in the muscles, it’s better to stop right there and go see a doctor.


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