January 2019: One-Arm Dumbbell Shrug with Super Fat Dumbbell
Most everybody who has been weight training for any period of time will probably be familiar with the barbell shrug - it is the basic trapezius exercise that is commonly used to build large, powerful "traps." The shrug is a short, powerful movement that doesn't look like much to someone who views the exercise, but just try them. The traps are critical to the strength and support of the entire upper back and shoulder girdle, and are heavily involved in any type of rowing motion or overhead lifting. The common shrug variations usually use both hands; exemplified by barbell shrugs, hex-bar shrugs (aka; Gerard bar shrugs), or two-handed dumbbell shrugs.
One-arm dumbbell shrugs seem to be used far less, despite the fact that some people believe that they can get the active shoulder to dip down much deeper on the one-arm version, thereby getting a greater range of motion. Even less common is the one-arm dumbbell shrug using a thick-handled dumbbell, which will tax the grip tremendously just by holding onto the weight through the repetitive up-down motion of the dumbbell.
You will not be able to use as much weight on the Super Fat Bar as you can with a regular dumbbell, for the simple reason that you won't be able to hang onto it. For this reason, we recommend that you do your normal "trap" workout first, with the heavier weights. Only when your traps are sufficiently fried should you finish them off with a few sets of this combined trap/grip exercise. Again, go for a nice, deep drop of the shoulder to the start position, and try to hold the top position with a tight squeeze for a few seconds. Because of the bouncing movement of the heavy poundage typically used for a shrug, this exercise will have your forearm flexors complaining loudly by the end of a set. Fantastic for grip strength; the basic ability to grab onto something and hold onto it.
Powerlifters, don't worry about dropping those personal record deadlifts if you make this move a regular part of your training.
The photos below show the bottom and top position of a shrug from the back and the front. Good luck, lobster hands!