Cable Shrugs


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Cable Shrugs

This Shoulders Exercise isolates your Trapezius Muscles using a Cable Pulley

Welcome to our Cable Shrugs Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this shoulders exercise using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Shoulder Exercises so you can immediately add to your next Shoulder Workout Routine and other Weight Training Routines.

Have you seen our Best Shoulder Exercises page yet? See if this deltoid and trapezius exercise made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Cable Shrugs
Main Muscle: Trapezius
Secondary Muscle(s): N/A
Exercise Type: Isolation, Pull
Equipment Required: Cable Pulley

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This shoulder exercise is one of our Cable Exercises and allows you to isolate your trapezius muscles or “traps.” During the lift, you’ll attach a handle to the lowest setting on a cable pulley and shrug your shoulders lifting the weight. Focus on only moving at the shoulder joint and keeping your feet flat on the floor.

You can also do shrugs as a Barbell Exercise or Dumbbell Exercise.


  • Barbell Shrugs
  • Dumbbell Shrug
  • Smith Machine Shrug

To Perform this Shoulder Exercise:

  1. Attach a straight bar to the lowest setting at a cable pulley and stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding the handle at your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  2. Using only your shoulders, exhale and raise your shoulders (shrug) up as far as you can.
  3. Pause for a moment then inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.


  1. Rotate your shoulders from front to back in a semi-circular motion if it helps you feel the exercise in your traps. This is an alteration and is not required.
  2. Keep your feet firmly on the floor throughout the exercise. It may help to bend your knees slightly as you perform the exercise.
  3. Use wrist wraps for better grip if you are having difficulty holding the weight.
  4. Concentrate on only moving at the shoulder joint to complete each repetition. Focus on not using your arms in any way.

Now that you’ve seen Cable Shrugs, check out all of our different Shoulder Exercises! Or, view our most popular shoulder exercises and other related pages below.


Most Popular Deltoid and Trapezius Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Shoulder Exercises and Variations:

  • Iron Cross Exercise 
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press 
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Barbell Shrugs and Dumbbell Shrug
  • Barbell Upright Row and Cable Upright Row  


Final Related Pages

  • Best Shoulder Exercises 
  • Back Exercises and Best Back Exercises
  • Weight Training Exercises Main Page
  • Muscle Building Workouts and Strength Training Exercises
  • Fat Loss Workouts and Fat Burning Exercises

You’ve seen the Shoulder Exercises. Check out our Workout Routines!
Start at our Home Page.

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