Smith Machine Shrugs


Smith Machine Shrugs

This Shoulder Exercise Isolates your Trapezius Shoulder Muscles, piling Weight on a Smith Machine

Welcome to our Smith Machine Shrugs Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this shoulder exercise using the correct technique. Below you’ll find a 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 Programs.

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

Exercise Summary

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

Exercise Description and Instruction:

This shoulder exercise allows you to pile on weight while isolating your trapezius shoulder muscles. During the lift, you load a bar on smith machine and shrug your shoulders holding 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 Dumbbell Exercise, Cable Exercise or Barbell Exercise.

  • Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Cable Shrugs
  • Barbell Shrugs (most effective)

To Perform this Shoulder Exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and grasp the bar with an overhand (palms facing your thighs) shoulder width grip. This will be your starting position.
  2. Unhook the weight to begin the exercise.
  3. Using only your shoulders, exhale and raise your shoulders (shrug) up as far as you can while moving the weight along the track.
  4. Pause for a moment then inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
  5. 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 Smith Machine Shrugs, which isolate your trapezius shoulder muscles, check out all of our different Shoulder Exercises!

Outside of Shrugs, there are a few basic movements that comprise most Shoulder Exercises. View the pages below for links to all our variations of the other popular shoulder exercise movements.

  • Upright Row
  • Lateral Raises
  • Military Press
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Most Popular)
  • Front Raise
  • Best Shoulder Exercises
  • Shoulder Workout Routine List
  • 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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