This exercise targets the back of the shoulders and the upper part of the back. The upper parts of the trapezius do most of the heavy lifting, with the levator scapulae assisting. The shrug also gives the forearm muscles a good workout, as the relatively heavy load makes the grip challenging. This exercise is great for increasing strength in movements like carrying, lifting, and dragging. Zw suits professions and sports where a strong grip is important, such as rugby, wrestling and martial arts. A barbell is all that is needed. A firm rack to prop up the bar at hip height will help prevent injury as you get into the starting position.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees straight. Grasp the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you and elbows straight. Drop the shoulders forward. Pull the barbell straight up by pulling the shoulders up to the ears, keeping the bar close to the body. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Do it well
Pull your shoulders straight up. There is no need to roll the shoulders back and forth.
Use a rack to get the barbell into the starting position and remain upright throughout the exercise.
Use the mixed grip, with one palm turned toward the body and the other away from it. This way you can grip the bar more firmly and it cannot slip out of your hands. Pull the barbell straight up by shrugging the shoulders, keeping the bar close to the body. Slowly lower it back to the starting position.
Use one or two low cable pulleys, or two dumbbells, for an extra challenging grip and a slightly wider and more natural range of motion. Grasp the dumbbells or handles with hands next to the body, under the shoulders, with palms facing you and elbows straight.