Including shrugs in your program

10.90 To include an upper-back shrug without it adding much to the total load of your training, and to minimize if not eliminate any warming up, shrug after your final set of deadlifts. Perform one or two work set(s) of a shrug. But for your first few times out, use a light poundage and several sets, to learn how to do the movement properly. Once you have learned it, use a weight appropriate to your strength.

10.91 I rate the incline shrug as the most important shrug for regular inclusion in your training. You could substitute the regular standing shrug for an occasional spell. Use a rep target that you feel most comfortable with, e.g., 8, 12, 15 or 20, or vary the reps from cycle to cycle.

10.92 Build up your shrug poundage and you will build the strength needed for the top part of all variations of the deadlift (when you especially need to keep your shoulders pulled back). ^is will help increase your deadlift poundages. Strength developed from incline shrugs will help you to keep the very important flat back while deadlifting and squatting. ^ere are other important benefits, including strengthening the shoulder girdle, helping to keep your torso more solid, and putting muscle on your traps where you place a bar for squatting.

10.93 ^e incline shrug in particular will help improve posture for people who have rounded shoulders. In extreme cases where deadlifts cannot be done properly because of poor posture, incline shrugs need to be done until sufficient strength has been built to improve posture. ^en, perhaps a few months later, the deadlift can be introduced and performed in good form.

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